Wednesday, September 2, 1998
Cowboys release receiver Stepfret Williams
By Kevin Lyons
Knight Ridder Newspapers
IRVING, Texas - Jimmy Smith. Tim Daniel. Kevin Williams. Willie
Jackson. Edward Hervey. Anthony Miller. Macey Brooks.
The Cowboys signed each hoping to find a running mate for
Each is running plays for another team, or has been run out
Add Stepfret Williams to the list.
The Cowboys released their third-round pick from the 1996
draft on Tuesday, the eighth draftee or high-priced free agent
the club has been unable to develop into a dependable wide receiver
since drafting Alvin Harper in 1991.
Cowboys coach Chan Gailey announced Williams' release minutes
before the club's kickoff luncheon to introduce the 1998 team
to sponsors at Hotel Intercontinental in North Dallas. Williams
was waived, Gailey said, to make room for running back Sherman
Williams, who was re-signed to back up Emmitt Smith while Chris
Warren is out for at least a month with a groin injury.
It is unlikely that the Cowboys will make more roster moves
before Sunday's season opener against the Arizona Cardinals,
team owner Jerry Jones said.
Williams caught 30 passes for 308 yards and one touchdown
as the club's third-down wide receiver in 1997. He caught six
passes for 69 yards in preseason and added six kickoff returns
for 150 yards.
But Williams was undependable in preseason, dropping "more
balls than I thought he would," Gailey said. And at 6 feet,
170 pounds, Williams is small for the blocking role that the
Cowboys ask of their third- and fourth-team wide receivers.
Late in preseason, Cowboys coaches had moved H-back Eric Bjornson
ahead of Williams in the four-receivers set.
Williams' release means that the Cowboys will begin the season
with five wide receivers: Irvin, Billy Davis, Ernie Mills, Jeff
Ogden and Patrick Jeffers.
Davis, Mills, Ogden and Jeffers combined for 17 receptions
for 184 yards and one touchdown in 1997. Jimmy Smith, who played
for the Cowboys in 1992, caught 82 passes for 1,324 yards and
four touchdowns for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.
"We'll keep working at it," Cowboys vice president
Stephen Jones said of the club's bad luck with wide receivers.
"But sometimes when you change systems, it can affect your
personnel. Stepfret may have fallen into that category. We ask
our receivers to do a lot of blocking. We ask them to be real
physical with all of the crossing routes. Step was more of a
Now, like seven before him, he's a gone guy.Cowboys spotlightHow
are the Cowboys preparing to stop mobile Cardinals quarterback
Jake Plummer, who reminds former 49ers coach Bill Walsh of Joe
Because of Deion Sanders and Kevin Smith, the Cowboys should
do a good job covering Plummer's primary targets, Rob Moore and
Frank Sanders. It's Plummer's running ability that worries coaches.
Expect linebacker Dexter Coakley to act as a "spy"
on Plummer in short-yardage passing situations. Safety Omar Stoutmire
will probably be used as the spy in long-yardage passing situations.
(c) 1998, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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