Cowboys Champions – Kevin Williams
In the months following their Super Bowl XXVII victory over Buffalo, the Dallas Cowboys watched Kelvin Martin sign a free-agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks. That left head coach Jimmy Johnson searching for Martin’s replacement at punt-returner. In April, Johnson’s search came to an end in the second-round of the NFL Draft, when the Cowboys selected speedy Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Kevin Williams 46th overall.
Williams’ Cowboy career got off to a very conspicuous beginning, as he fumbled in each of his first two games. Despite scoring Dallas’ only touchdown in their Week 2 loss at Texas Stadium, Williams found himself approaching the uncomfortable confines of Johnson’s doghouse. If not for Emmitt Smith’s contract holdout which seemed to be poisoning Dallas’ effort at repeating as world champs, Williams may very well have been benched. As it turned out, Smith came back, Williams was given another chance, and the Cowboys started winning games again.
Later in the season, Williams proved to be a holiday-conscious scoring machine in inclement weather. In a driving rainstorm against Philadelphia in Week 7, Williams took a handoff from Troy Aikman and ran the remaining 11 yards for a touchdown, helping Dallas to a 23-10 Halloween victory.
Four weeks later, Williams navigated the sleet-covered terrain at Texas Stadium for two touchdowns (via reception & punt return) versus Miami on Thanksgiving Day.
Williams capped his rookie season with a 50-yard kick-return during Dallas’ 30-13 victory over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVIII.
As Dallas’ third receiver, behind Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper, Williams continued to be somewhat of an afterthought within the Cowboys offense. His status as the Cowboys’ returner extraordinaire remained unchallenged, with two runbacks for scores during the 1994 regular season.
Williams was moved up to the No. 2 wide receiver for his third season after Harper agreed to a big-money contract with Tampa Bay. Now a full-time participant on offense, Williams saw his numbers rise dramatically in 1995, tallying a career-high 38 receptions. His season, which had been a mild disappointment for those used to Harper’s flashy ways, reached a high note on Christmas night in Arizona, his 13 catches, 203 receiving yards, and two touchdowns leading Dallas to a 37-13 win that gave them home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Williams then backed up that performance with a 6-catch 124-yard outing in a 30-11 Divisional playoff beating of Philadelphia.
As a starter in Super Bowl XXX, Williams notched two catches to help Dallas to its third championship in four years, a 27-17 conquest of Pittsburgh.
When Irvin was suspended for the first five games of the 1996 season, Williams moved to the No. 1 WR spot with a chance to prove his true value to the team. But a foot injury in Week 4 in Buffalo caused him to miss two months. Upon returning, Williams filled his old spot next to The Playmaker, and did little to warrant a new contract after the season. In his final game in a Cowboy uniform, Williams piled up a season-best 89 yards receiving on 6 catches in a 26-17 Divisional loss to Carolina.