IRVING, Texas- When the 2015 season began, Terrance Williams was like most of his teammates, hoping and perhaps expecting to be at the Super Bowl in San Francisco in February.
As it turns out, Williams made the trek to the Bay Area, but certainly not as a player. Instead, he made the rounds at Radio Row, doing his share of interviews and guest appearances, as is customary among current NFL players these days.
But after a couple of days, Williams said it was time to go. Not to another party or event, but back home to start working out again.
"I got a chance to experience e the Super Bowl in a different perspective – really as a fan. I've never been to one. Once I finished that, I literally left the next day and I wanted to work.
"Being around and seeing how the event goes on, it just made me want to leave and go back to work and that's what I did," Williams said. "I've been working in Dallas, I've got my own workout packet. I was getting lean, strong and fast. That's something I want to get back to. I feel like I'm just not trying to be the one that's catching up, but ahead."
And it shows. Williams showed up to Baylor's Pro Day two weeks ago in Waco, Texas looking leaner, yet "much stronger" than he has before.
Williams said his motivation actually began at the end of last season, just before the season finale against the Redskins. The night before the game, Williams said a video that Jason Garrett showed the team inspired him for the next day.
"He showed us Derek Jeter's last game with the Yankees," Williams recalled. "And that game didn't mean a lot (in the standings). But it showed the type of character he was. And it sums up the season we had."
Jeter wrapped up his Hall-of-Fame career with a game-winning hit in the ninth inning, going out in style for the last at-bat before he officially retired from the game. Garrett's message was "all the games count," no matter what the records and standings indicate.
"Coach Garrett is one that can fire you up by bringing out real life and comparing it to football," he said. "When he did that, it really motivated me to show him his message meant a lot to me. It hit me, instead of just showing him, the best way to show him I got his message was through my play."
Williams responded with a career-high 173 receiving yards on eight catches. The Cowboys fell short in the game, losing to Washington 34-23, but it allowed the third-year receiver to end on a high note.
As he enters his final season of his initial four-year contract, Williams vow to keep the focus and prove to his team what kind of player he can be.
"That (Washington) game, that's the Terrance Williams I know I can be," he said. "That's the player that allowed me to get drafted. That's what I want to get back to consistently. So this year, I'm just throwing everything else aside. It's time to shut up and just play football."