DENVER - OCTOBER 04: Roy Williams #11 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a pass reception and is pushed out of bounds by Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos in the first quarter during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Dallas Cowboys receivers have come under some considerable scrutiny early in the season. Fans decry the lack of a home-run-hitter; announcers seem convinced that, without Terrell Owens, the Cowboys offense has been rendered harmless as a kitten on Zoloft. (Of course, with Terrell Owens, they thought the team was equally screwed, destined for bloody in-fighting and not much else.)
These are fair arguments. The receiving corps has looked ineffectual in each game since Tampa bay; and even the Tampa Bay game loses some credibility as a gauge of talent within the unit, after three more losses for the Bucs and no hope for anything in South Florida.
That's why it was fairly shocking to come across some statistical evidence of some positive facet for this tirelessly questioned stable of receivers; on Matt Mosley's NFC East Blog on ESPN.com, the all-knower of the East put up rankings for yards after catch (YAC) by receivers. And two Cowboys--Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams--were in the top five. Crayton, averaging 9.45 YAC ranked second, and Williams, averaging 7.09 YAC, ranked fifth.
As Mosley points out, each had a long run-after-catch against Tampa Bay which could have skewed the numbers; but thinking back, they actually have done a pretty good job with the ball in their hands (and aside from that, Dallas would do well to take what they can get, skewed or not).
The trouble, it seems, is the whole getting-the-ball-in-their-hands thing.
Williams and Crayton are tied for 86th in terms of receptions along with seventeen others--including former Cowboy Julius Jones--with eleven. If Tony Romo has accuracy trouble even close to what was seen last Sunday, the top 100 is about all one could reasonably hope for, for Crayton, Williams, or anyone else.
Note: Matt Jones is still available. I'm just saying.