IRVING, Texas (AP) - Count Roy Williams among the Dallas Cowboys happy with the changes made by new head coach Wade Phillips.
After leading the Cowboys with five interceptions last season
but criticized for often getting beat on deep throws, Williams said
Saturday that Phillips has tailored the 3-4 scheme to make things a
little different for him.
Among the changes: Williams will play closer to the line of
scrimmage, with some new plays allowing him to take advantage of
his reputation as a hard-hitting pass rusher.
"Coach Phillips said they installed some plays for me, and I'm
looking forward to it," Williams said. "Wade said he's going to
put his players in position to make plays. It does feel a little
bit better coming to work knowing that I'm going to be able to get
a little more involved in the defense."
The Cowboys wrap up their voluntary workouts Sunday at their
Valley Ranch headquarters. Players won't report again until
training camp starts July 24 in San Antonio.
A Pro Bowler in four of his five NFL seasons, Williams said
lining up six or seven yards away from the ball instead of 15 will
be a significant change.
"That's a huge difference," Williams said. "When I'm closer
to the ball, rather than being deep, I can beat a lineman to a
certain point where he's trying to keep me from being, instead of
being 15 yards back, where I've got to run and then stop my
momentum and then try to get around a lineman."
The addition of former Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin, another hard
hitter who can provide pass coverage, also allows the Cowboys some
leeway in shifting Williams around.
"Ken has a lot of range, playing deep balls and his
communication back there," Williams said. "It's really
beneficial, and I appreciate us bringing him in."
Hamlin is also happy to team up with Williams.
"To have that guy lining up next to me, with the corners that
we have, and with the defensive line, it's going to be a good
situation," he said.