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Trade has plenty of upside for Roy Williams

Did being traded to the Dallas Cowboys make Roy Williams any more valuable?

My first reaction is that any escape from the Detroit Lions makes it so.

In 60 games, he caught 262 passes for 3,884 yards and 29 touchdowns after having been the seventh overall selection out of Texas in the 2004 NFL draft. Since he arrived in Motown, the Lions have gone 21-48 and finished 24th, 28th, 21st and 16th in scoring offense. They're 0-5 and rank 29th this season, with Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton to handle the quarterbacking duties the rest of the way.

Granted, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo may miss at least the next three games because of a broken finger on his throwing hand. But I'll take him or Brad Johnson throwing passes over anybody on the Detroit roster.

Nobody is saying that Williams' arrival is going to make him anything more than the No. 2 man behind Terrell Owens. But history is littered with plenty of productive No. 2 receivers, even on teams Johnson has led.

Johnson started all 16 games with the 1999 Washington Redskins and that team had three men catch at least 62 passes -- Michael Westbrook (65 catches/1,191 yards/9 touchdowns), Albert Connell (6 2/1 ,13 2/7 ) and fullback Larry Centers (6 9/5 4 4/3 ).

The Cowboys rank third in passing offense (274 yards per game) and throw it 33.5 times per game, about the same number as the Lions, who are 24th with 175 yards per contest.

Another thing to love about the move is Williams' history against foes from the NFC East. Two of his three best games last season came against the Philadelphia Eagles ( 9/2 2 4/1 ) and New York Giants ( 6/1 0 6/0 ). He's averaged 94.6 receiving yards per game, 16.8 yards per catch and scored six TDs in eight career games against the NFC East. His yards after the catch (6.1) are highest against his new division, as are his yards per game.

In two career games against the Eagles, whom the Cowboys face in Week 17 at Lincoln Financial Field, Williams has 18 receptions for 339 yards -- including a career-long 91-yard hookup -- as well as three scores.

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Sorting the Bills

Playing against the San Diego Chargers could be a bonanza for the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bolts are 28th in total defense (365.7 yards per game), 31st against the pass (253.5), 17th against the run (112.2) and 14th in scoring defense (23.2).

In four career games against the Bills, Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson has 91 carries for 431 yards and four TDs. He has hit triple-digit rushing figures only once this season, gaining 106 yards against Oakland on Sept. 28.

Receiver Chris Chambers, who missed last Sunday's game in Miami with an ankle injury, has 47 catches for 665 yards and seven TDs -- his most versus any opponent -- in 11 career games against Buffalo.

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Since you asked

Q: Do you think Tony Gonzalez would have been a more valuable fantasy tight end if he'd been traded to the Buffalo Bills?

A: Absolutely. The Bills rank 13th in passing offense (214.6 ypg) while the Kansas City Chiefs are dead last (136.6). Gonzalez has 21 catches for 193 yards and is tied for the team lead with two of the Chiefs' four TD receptions. Even though the Bills aren't a team that loves to throw to the tight end, the presence of receiver Lee Evans and running back Marshawn Lynch would have undoubtedly opened more quality opportunities for Gonzalez.

While Trent Edwards is never going to be confused with Joe Montana during his Hall of Fame prime, he's a much more polished quarterback than Kansas City's Brodie Croyle.

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Week Six eye-popper

Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, whose job was supposedly in doubt with Brady Quinn warmed and ready, completed 18 of 29 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-14 victory over the New York Giants on Monday night.

Anderson hadn't thrown for more than 166 yards or one score in his first four games. In eight previous games, he'd averaged just 158.5 yards passing.

e-mail: tborrelli@buffnews.com

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