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Williams Cherishes Opportunity To Play For Hometown Team


IRVING, Texas – Terrance Williams didn't need the same mode of transportation as the other two top selections in making his way to his post-draft press conference.

Williams jumped in his car, meeting up with Cowboys personnel the same way he did in visits prior to the draft and on Dallas Day, to join Travis Frederick and Gavin Escobar after they exited their planes and boarded a bus to Valley Ranch.

The entire trip for Williams, who watched the draft unfold with his family in Dallas, took significantly less time than it did for the other two. But he cherished every second of that moment, considering what it meant to him to get drafted by the Cowboys.

"The call was crazy because I felt like when I saw the Dallas number pop up my heart was beating, and when I heard them say they wanted me to be a Cowboy, I flipped out," Williams said. "(It was) a great, great night and probably one of the biggest nights (of my life). I'll never forget it."

Williams is about as homegrown as a player can get. He'd always dreamed of playing for the Cowboys, even as a two-star recruit coming out of W.T. White High School in Dallas, where he caught 59 passes for 972 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.

Other draft picks and receivers have hailed from the area, including Lufkin High School product Dez Bryant, whom Williams used to mimic at Baylor as a scout team receiver in practice, and DeSoto native Patrick Crayton.

But no Cowboys player is as close to home as Williams, who arrives 20 years after Kevin Williams, the team's last wide receiver draft pick born and raised in Dallas.

Some of the best players in team history are Dallas natives, going back to the days of Harvey Martin and Everson Walls. But Terrance Williams doesn't feel any sense of pressure to produce or follow in anyone's footsteps. All he's feeling is a sense of jubilation about the opportunity to play in front of his family and friends.

"I feel great about my capabilities and I know what I can bring to this team," he said. "There's no pressure. I know what I can and can't do, so I'm ready to go out there and make plays."

The Cowboys feel just as good about the pick. They got a third-round selection they debated taking as early as 31st overall.

Williams led the NCAA with 1,832 receiving yards last season. He hauled in 97 receptions, scored 12 touchdowns and averaged 18.89 yards per catch at Baylor his senior year. That wasn't an anomaly, considering he averaged 16.22 yards per catch the year prior, scoring 11 touchdowns his junior season.

"He plays with poise, he understands how to run routes and he's very good at making contested catches," said head coach Jason Garrett. "One of the big jumps for a lot of young receivers in the NFL is the physical nature of the game. Oftentimes in college there is some space out there. You are going to get contested by corners in the National Football League. The size and strength that you need to go along with the quickness and speed is critical. Getting off a press and making contested plays at the top of the route, he has demonstrated all of that."

Some teams might have worried that his production was only the result of Baylor's high-powered offense. Williams, not lacking for confidence, isn't one of those people.

He believes he can follow up on everything Garrett said about him, including how he handles press coverage from an NFL cornerback.

"From the time that I saw it during college I destroyed it, so I'm really not going to worry about the press as much because I'm going to learn how to beat it and I'm sure they're going to teach me how to beat it more," Williams said. "I'm just trying to learn how to get better and work out and learn from Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. That would mean the world to me and get me ready for press coverage."

Williams said his focus is on taking the pressure off Bryant, Austin and Jason Witten. After all, despite playing so close to home, he's not feeling much of it himself.

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