NFC East High Energy Player of the Week

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 3.

Since his arrival during the '08 season, no Dallas Cowboys player has taken as much heat as wide receiver Roy Williams. And the criticism has been deserved, I might add.

But on a Sunday when the Cowboys needed a win to keep their 2010 season alive, Williams turned in one of the best performances of his career. It was only his second 100-yard game with the Cowboys, and this time it led to a win. We'll never know exactly why quarterback Tony Romo and Williams have had such a difficult time finding chemistry, but they teamed to overwhelm a young Texans secondary in the Cowboys' 27-13 win.

Williams had five catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He caught passes in traffic and used his powerful frame to beat jams at the line of scrimmage. Williams was plagued by drops last season, but he's caught everything thrown his way this season. To his credit, he's handled all the criticism with a lot of class.

There's a decent chance Dez Bryant will overtake Williams as No. 2 receiver at some point this season, but it's not going to happen after Sunday's game. Williams' willingness to work the middle of the field and take big hits over the past couple of weeks has given this offense much-needed energy. And if a team's going to sell out to stop Miles Austin, Williams will continue to get opportunities.

We've been quick to criticize Williams for his play since the '08 season, so it's only appropriate that he receive recognition this week. He told a Houston radio station Monday that he's been inspired by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin saying the Cowboys were playing "10 vs. 11" because of Williams' presence on the field. And if that's the type of motivation he needs, I'm sure Jerry Jones will encourage Irvin to keep up the good work.