Roy Williams gave the suddenly unremarkable no. 81 jersey a go on Tuesday, changing jerseys with Mike Jefferson for the Cowboys' afternoon practice, the last two-a-day of a two-a-day heavy, utterly cupcake-less training camp.
The new no.1 receiver, dressed up as the old no. 1 receiver, had an interesting observation about the switch. "Well, you know, once I got 81 on, I caught about 50 balls today," he said with a smile.
By Tim MacMahon's count, at the Dallas Morning News Cowboys Blog, the number was a bit more modest. "Actually, Romo targeted Williams nine times during the afternoon practice," Macmahon reports. "They completed six of them. Miscommunication can be blamed for two of the incompletions, which came when Romo threw a go and Williams ran a comeback. The other incompletion came when Romo's pass sailed high on an intermediate crossing route."
In any case, it would be enviable if the jersey had any lasting effect on Williams, who has never caught more than eight touchdown passes in a season. Perhaps I should rephrase: It would be enviable if the jersey had a lasting effect confined within the context of the football field.
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This will probably happen, at least to some degree. While playing time for the starters on offense was predictably, incredibly sparse, the Romo-Williams connection was displayed once with good results last Thursday in Oakland, as Romo hit Williams on a comeback on the sideline during a drive that ended in a Jason Witten touchdown catch; and reports out of San Antonio say the relationship has progressed throughout the offseason and camp in a promising manner.
The pair will see more of the field when Dallas welcomes Tennessee to the leviathan Jones-Mahal for the first home preseason game of the year on Friday, if only by a little. Williams, who missed a day of practice with a sprained wrist this week, remains confident that he'll play.