IRVING, Texas – The fumble at the end of the Chargers game seems like a distant memory considering rookie Terrance Williams' production since then.
While most of the receiver talk leading into this matchup understandably centers on Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson, the Lions will need to pay strict attention to Williams if they don't want the rookie scoring in his fourth straight game. Williams credits much of that production to his relationship with Tony Romo.
"I'm more comfortable with what I'm doing and what Tony's going to change the play to," Williams said. "Once I figured that out, I can play a whole lot faster now."
Williams said he doesn't feel like a red zone threat yet, despite scoring on three of his 12 catches the last three games. He's accumulated 249 receiving yards in that span.
"I just feel like I have to just pay attention to the signals that Tony gives me and continue making the most out of his chances when he throws me the ball," he said. "That's just something that I just still have to continue doing when he changes the play, just to pick it up real quick."
Romo seems to be more comfortable with his rookie receiver every week. Williams said he talks to Romo all the time to see what he can change or what Romo would like him to do.
The rookie receiver also credits fellow receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant for his jump in production.
"Guys here do a great job in guiding me, especially Miles and Dez and Tony," Williams said. "To keep hearing from them when I do something good and bad, it just keeps me going to never be happy with the stuff that I'm doing now. There's more stuff that I can get better at."
Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan expected a lot out of Williams, but even he admits he's impressed with just how quickly the rookie receiver's picked everything up. Callahan credits that to Williams' work ethic.
"He's one of those rookies that's come in and just really taken charge and kind of grabbed the bull by the horns and has really taken advantage of every opportunity," Callahan said. "It kind of plays to his character about what he's about internally and what he's done on the field."
An NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor apparently isn't enough to convince Sean Lee that he's playing to his highest capabilities.
Lee said the defense and the linebackers have done a better job recently of putting themselves in the right positions to make plays and not give up the big play, but there's more to be done. Lee finished with a team-high 11 combined tackles, a tackle for loss, an interception and a pass defended against the Eagles.
"I still think I can make more plays," Lee said. "There's times where I can play faster and play better, and I think I've gotten better every game. I'm trying to learn from mistakes. I think I'm getting better but with room to improve."
He helped to hold dynamic running back LeSean McCoy in check with fewer than 100 yards from scrimmage. As a whole, the Cowboys' defense held the vaunted Eagles offense to just 278 total net yards. [embedded_ad]
The linebackers will have a similar test Sunday against shifty running back Reggie Bush.
"It was an unbelievable effort, being able to hold them to that many yards and stopping an unbelievable running back, but we're on to the next test, and it's a very similar test when it comes to the running back, a guy who can take it all the way any time he touches it," Lee said.
Lee complimented Bush's vision, explosion and agility. It'll be a critical test for this defense to see how they can limit Bush, quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson. If they can't, it's back to .500 for the Cowboys.
"If you look at our record in the past and how we've played defensively in the past, I think we've been up and down," Lee said. "We're looking to be that consistent defensive team and consistent team that's in the playoffs every year and playing for a Super Bowl every year, and that takes a lot of work and a lot of consistency."
Cole Beasley's always drawn comparisons to Wes Welker in the slot, but now it's for more reasons than his position and appearance.
Beasley's put together 14 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown his last three games. He's also catching almost everything thrown his direction, snagging 18 of his 21 targets this year.
"Cole has really elevated his game in a lot of respects, and he gives you the dimension of quickness and agility, and a guy that can change direction in the slot and do multiple things," Callahan said. "You can isolate him on different guys and in different locations. I think that's a real advantage to have a guy like him, kind of Wes Welker-ish, in a sense. He gives us that dimension, he gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of his route tree, the things he can do getting open."
Callahan said there's always a place for players with Beasley's skill set in an offense. With Welker now out of New England, Callahan compared him to some other Patriots receivers.
"I think you see that with Danny Amendola, I think you see that in (Julian) Edelman up in New England," he said.
Going back further, Beasley's also a bit like Troy Brown.
"No question," Callahan said. "I think there's a lot of guys like that, and you're always looking for him because of the slot matchup and what they can do inside."
He's also making moves once he gets the ball in his hands. Some players at Beasley's size might go down quickly, but Callahan said that's not Beasley's nature.
"I just have the utmost respect for what he does," Callahan said. "I don't think, if you watch that play the other night, when he was working to get the third down, I think it was third-and-11, he was going for it. I don't think he has any regard for his body whatsoever."