Parcells Again Pushing Buttons

Bill Parcells is known to handle players on an individual basis. Now, Parcells has called out a former first-round draft pick this week in an effort to see him step up his play to another level.

The statistics say safety Roy Williams is the Cowboys' fourth-leading tackler this season with 11, just three behind linebacker Dexter Coakley, who leads the team with 14 tackles.

Williams also has one forced fumble, one quarterback pressure and one pass deflection, all adding up to solid numbers for the second-year safety.

Williams, however, is no ordinary NFL sophomore. His expectations and those of the Cowboys are extraordinary.

That was the case on draft day 2002, when the Cowboys chose him with the eighth overall pick, making the former Oklahoma star the first safety chosen in the top 10 in more than a decade.

The expectations increased after a rookie season in which Williams made more big plays than any Cowboys defender. He finished with a Pro Bowl-worthy 127 tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interception returns for touchdowns.

But so far in 2003, the year he was supposed to firmly establish himself as one of the league's rising stars -- there has been nothing.

And while the season is only two games old, no big plays from a player who is defined by the big play is troubling for Williams and the Cowboys.

"I think I have done all right, but I haven't played up to my expectations," Williams said. "I don't know why. I might be trying to do too much. But I need to do what I do, and that's make big plays. That's my game. I feel I need to make at least two big plays a game."

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells didn't call Williams by name when he said last week that several Cowboys have not played up to expectations so far this season.

Tuesday, though, he acknowledged that Williams "needs to pick it up."

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