IRVING, Texas - With the Cowboys expecting Miles Austin to return this week against the Giants, it could be the first time all year the offense will have Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Austin together on the field at once.
OK, so technically, it will be the sixth time this year. But for two of those games in October, Austin was definitely not 100 percent and was barely a factor in the offense.
And in the first three games of the year, Williams, by his own admissions, was nowhere near the player he is now, both physically and mentally.
"I just finally have a grasp of what I'm doing," Williams said Wednesday in the locker room. "Before, I didn't have the speed that I have now. I was second-guessing on what I had to do. Now, I just feel like I know what I'm doing. I'm comfortable with the checks Tony's making. I know what I'm doing throughout the whole play instead of, if Tony sees something, then I have to think about what I'm doing while I'm running. Now when Tony makes a check, I can do it at 100 percent and not like 75."
Williams had five catches in the first three games of the season, which were all started by Austin. However, when the rookie took over in Week 4 against the Chargers, he had seven catches for 71 yards, albeit a first-quarter drop and a key lost fumble near the goal line prevented a Cowboys' comeback.
The next week, Williams had a four-catch, 151-yard breakout game that included his first career touchdown. It ignited a scoring streak that saw Williams become the first rookie receiver in club history to record a touchdown catch in four straight games. Williams' 21-yard scoring grab in the last game came on his only catch.
So yes, the Cowboys have seen these three players out there at one time, but never when all three have been at their best. [embedded_ad]
And that's something that is exciting, especially for Bryant, who was targeted just twice in the last game against New Orleans.
"We've got a lot of weapons," said Bryant, who also added Cole Beasley to the mix. "You can't guard 'Bease' in the open field. When we're all out there, we can be dangerous. So I'm excited about getting [Austin] back out there. We're going to be ready."
The Cowboys rank 13th in the NFL in passing yards with 250.8 yards per game, but rank 28th in rushing at 77.0 yards per outing.
Although Williams knows the reps might be limited somewhat with Austin returning, the rookie from Baylor seems excited about his return.
"He looks sharp out there," Williams said. "I think it'll be great to have him back. He's a great player and you can't have enough great players on your team."