Receivers have to step up

Before the season, the word on the Cowboys was that they didn't have the receivers to get the job done.

Well, a quarter of the way through the season, that appears to be embarrassingly true. Starting wide receivers Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton each has 11 catches. They are tied for 42nd in the NFC. 41 players in the AFC have more catches as well.

At this rate they will each finish with 44 catches on the season. It would be the lowest number of catches for the lead receiver on the Cowboys since Tony Hill had 35 in the strike-shortened 1982 season.

With the winless Kansas City Chiefs and their 29th-ranked pass defense up next, there is hope for a breakout game.

"The numbers are horrible," Crayton said. "They are horrible. But it is what it is. That's what you have to live with when you don't get opportunities. It's just frustrating dude. It's just frustrating."

Williams hoped to have a big season after getting just 19 catches last year when he came over in a bye-week trade from Detroit. He spent the offseason working with quarterback Tony Romo to get on the same page.

"No, it's not what I expected, but I didn't expect to be 2-2 either," Williams said. "It's tough for me, but I'm going with the punches. I'm figuring out what we do best and that's running the football. That's why I say when I catch the ball I'm trying to get to the end zone because you don't know when you'll get another opportunity. So you're just trying to make the best of things and I'm just keeping it rolling."

Williams got off to a good start in the season opener against Tampa Bay but has been held down since.

Blame the Cowboys' reliance on the running game. Also, blame a more conservative Romo, who has not been throwing the ball down field often.

But don't blame Williams, who has been open but just hasn't been looked at.

The Cowboys are 10th in the league pass attempts, but Williams is 42nd in targeted passes.

Williams says he is doing what he is coached to do and that he is staying patient.

He said he wants the ball but is not going to be a divisive force.

"Everybody that has blown up before is a receiver who wants the ball," Williams said. "It happens. I'm not going to blow up to you guys in the media. I'm just chilling. If we were 1-3, it wouldn't last. But we are 2-2. We can't go nowhere but up. I promise you it's going to be OK. I'm not 'argh' give me the ball. It's going to come. Holler at me in four games."

SERIES HISTORY: 9th regular-season meeting. Cowboys lead the series 5-3. The Cowboys have only faced three teams - Baltimore (three) Houston (two) and Jacksonville (four) - fewer than the eight times than they have faced the Chiefs. Dallas has faced the Chiefs three times in Kansas City and holds a 1-2 record when playing the Chiefs on the road. The home team has won the last six meetings, dating back to 1983.

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