Terrance Williams is the hometown boy who relished the idea of playing for his hometown team.
This past Sunday, that hometown boy made everyone associated with him and the Dallas Cowboys very proud.
While playing one of the best games ever, Williams caught a career-high nine passes for 141 yards as the Cowboys scored the game’s final 14 points and rallied for a 28-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at AT&T Stadium.
Williams, who now has 207 career receptions while becoming just the 22nd player in Cowboys history with at least 200 catches, tried to downplay what he was able to accomplish against the Chiefs.
“Basically, I think during the week the coaches were just giving us good messages on just being ready,” Williams said. “But for some reason (Sunday), when me and (wide receiver) Dez (Bryant) were just having a conversation….we just told each other that we weren’t going to worry about the outcome of the game or what was going on.
“We were going to focus on each other.”
That focus definitely paid off for Williams, who has struggled mightily this season after the five-year veteran from Baylor signed a four-year, $17 million extension over the offseason.
“You know everybody here is happy for him,” said Bryant, who had six receptions for 73 yards against the Chiefs. “That’s something that he needs, just to show, you know, these haters that they don’t know what goes on.
“That guy can ball, and he always could. I’m glad. I’m so happy that he showed the world (Sunday).”
Williams has been so invincible this season that in the four games prior to the contest against Kansas City, he had just eight catches for 84 yards. And in the six games before Sunday, he had a total of just 148 yards in receptions.
In other words, from the fans’ viewpoint, it was as if the Cowboys were playing with 10 players on offense.
However, Williams certainly made his presence felt against the Chiefs. That includes making a 56-yard catch which the Cowboys turned into a touchdown.
“Terrance did great, he really did,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “I think we threw to him nine times and he caught nine of them.
“And not only did he catch the ball, but he did a really good job after the catch. He went north and south on a few occasions, got first downs for us.”
Those first downs were crucial as the Cowboys rallied to win their third straight game and improve to 5-3 on the season.
“When you attack defenses in a lot of different ways — run and pass, handing it to different guys, throwing it to different guys — it challenges them,” Garrett said. “You know Terrance stepped (up and) had a lot of opportunities and took advantage of them, and that was a big part of the success (Sunday).”
Another big part of Sunday’s success was yet another solid gold performance by Dak Prescott. The second-year quarterback from Mississippi State continues to show why he’s one of the best signal-callers in the business as he ran for one touchdown against the Chiefs and also completed 21-of-33 passes for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“I’m a better player overall than I was last year, (and) a better passer overall,” Prescott said. “(I’m) seeing the defense, been able to get through my reads.”
Both of Prescott’s TD passes went to Cole Beasley, who, like Williams, has endured his own struggles this season. Meanwhile, following back-to-back frustrating losses to the Los Angeles Rams (35-30) and Green Bay Packers (35-31), the Cowboys remain within striking distance of the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1).
“It’s huge,” Prescott said, referring to Sunday’s victory. “Especially after a couple of those close losses that put us at 2-3.
“To stay focused and stay within ourselves and believe in ourselves as a team and flip the script, it put ourselves in this position.”
Despite the win, the Cowboys still had to overcome the drama concerning running back Ezekiel Elliott and his quest to have his NFL-imposed six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy thrown out. Elliott missed two days of practice last week and didn’t even know until Friday that he was going to be able to play against Kansas City.
“It was a little rushed, I’m not going to lie,” said Elliott, who rushed for 93 yards on 27 carries and scored a TD against the Chiefs. “Honestly, I had no idea when I came in on Friday that I was going to have the chance to come in (and play).
“I really didn’t know I was playing this weekend. So I came in Friday and practiced and spent all day Friday watching a lot of film. Saturday, just kind of, trying to catch up to this team and catch up for what I lost.”
In the meantime, if Elliott is suspended for six games, the Cowboys – they play at Atlanta on Sunday — will need players like Williams to step up and be counted even more.
“If you look back at Terrance’s career with us, he’s been a guy that whenever he’s been given opportunities he typically comes through,” Garrett said. “His mindset and his mentality always is, ‘I’m ready coach, I’m ready. I’m ready for my opportunity.’ “
The only time Williams has accumulated more yards in a game was on Jan. 3, 2016 when he totaled 173 reception yards against Washington, and on Oct. 6, 2013 when he caught 151 reception yards in a game against Denver during his rookie season.
Mostly, Williams has been inconsistent and knows he has been the butt of a lot of jokes by some fans. A 2008 graduate of Dallas W.T. White High School, Williams hopes Sunday’s game is the one where the jokes about him will finally stop.
“He had a great day just getting open a bunch of times, and he had a lot of yards after catch that were huge for us, giving us chances to score before the half,” Prescott said. “He was making big plays all night.”