Focus On: Terrance Williams

Focus On: Terrance Williams

Credit: Getty Images

Defensive back Tony Carter #32 of the Denver Broncos watches wide receiver Terrance Williams #83 of the Dallas Cowboys pull away after his catch for an 82 yard touchdown in game 5 at AT&T Stadium October 06, 2013 Arlington, Texas. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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by JOE URSERY

WFAA Sports

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 8 at 12:10 AM

Quick, guess who's the most efficient wide receiver, in terms of completion percentage in passes thrown his way, in the NFL today?

It's not Jason Witten. It's not Tony Gonzalez. It's none of the assortment of wide receivers Peyton Manning used to run up 51 points against the Cowboys on Sunday.

The highest CR% (Catch Rate %, which is simply the rate of targets that turn into completions for any given receiver) is the Cowboys' own Terrance Williams. 84.2% of passes thrown to Williams have turned into receptions, four games into his career.

The completion percentage is outstanding, but given that he's averaging 17.6 yards per completion (good for 11th in the league) while being very efficient in terms of receptions.

Given, he ran the wrong route once against the Giants, causing Romo's first interception of the season (you may have heard about his second pick of the season over the last day). He tried a little too hard to stretch a few too many extra yards out of a reception in San Diego, which is now the second most notable fourth quarter turnover of this young Cowboys season (you might have heard about Romo's interception yesterday).

It's important to note William's role and his expectations. In an ideal world, Williams is the team's third receiver, where you would hope he could be efficient while providing a deep option. In a world where Miles Austin's hamstrings are made out of an experimental peanut brittle subtance, he's the team's second wideout, which still involves winning matchups on the outside and providing an option that forces teams to decide whether to dedicate an over-the-top safety against Williams or Bryant... by being efficient.

Like, 84.2% completion rate. Like, 17.6 yards per catch. That kind of effeciency.

You could look at Williams' catch total (16) and deduct the 82 yard reception from Sunday and come to realization that absent that catch, Williams' YPC would sit at 13.3. That's fair, because removing outliers from a statistical set is almost always a good idea. Then again, he did have that 82 yard reception. He actually did that, on an NFL field. It's the second longest pass of Romo's career. It's kind of a big deal.

Put simply, you can have the contributions Williams has had this season (16 receptions in 19 targets, 282 yards, 1 TD) or you could have that of Tavon Austin (taken 66 picks before Williams in April's draft): 23 receptions in 40 targets, 156 yards (6.8 YPC average), 2 TDs (granted, for a team that's been a dumpster fire, but has the same record as Dallas).  Assuming Williams' YPC and CR% were to hold up given the same amount of targets Austin has had, he'd have 33 receptions for 580 yards, which would be good for fifth and second in the league, respectively.

Of course, Williams isn't going to be targeted at a rate like that, because the offense has Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray, who are going to demand the ball quite a bit due to their talent and track record of effectiveness. Which means Williams is simply going to have to keep being a dependable target, and needs to continue producing from a yardage standpoint.

The good news is, if he does, the Cowboys will have hit on a third round draft pick and we can all feel good. Of course, if that happens, it's likely to eat into the Cowboys' tendency to run the 12 package, which means Gavin Escobar will play less, which means the Cowboys' second round draft pick won't look so good, but, this is about how good Williams' young career is looking, not how strange and self-contradictory the Cowboys' draft strategy is.

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