A matchup that typically draws attention when the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys square off is the one between Dez Bryant and Janoris Jenkins. Both fan bases usually wait to post the resulting Pro Football Focus graphic of who got the best of the other, however, there was another guy that was very important in extending early drives for Dallas.
A guy that has been scrutinized for always catching the ball with his body or making head-scratching decisions late in games, was possibly the best receiver for Dallas on Sunday. Terrance Williams reeled in 6 passes for a total of 68 yards (both game highs) and absolutely worked Giants defensive back Eli Apple, whose second year has been much anticipated.
Dak struggled early and his top target, Dez Bryant, saw a lot of double coverage Sunday night. Someone else needed to step up and help Dak calm down with easy throws. Williams was able to do this by being responsible for first downs on four of his six grabs, three of which came on 3rd downs. Out of the 20 throws that Dak attempted in the first half, Terrance brought in 6, while targeting 5 other receivers as well.
Williams was also able to extend two drives that would earn Dallas six points altogether. In a game where every yard and point was highly contested, Williams’ contributions were critical to the Cowboys’ Week One victory.
These numbers do not jump out at you, and Williams didn’t exactly make headlines with his performance but it won’t go unnoticed by the team or coaching staff. So far, the narratives have been how great the defense performed, what could have been for Dez, or how McAdoo’s recent comments hurt the Giants. And they rightfully deserve to be talked about, but someone always seems to get thrown into the backseat. It happens, and hopefully, this brings light to an underrated performance.