Cowboys rookie WR Williams gets advice from RG3

IRVING, Texas — Terrance Williams doesn’t plan on ending his friendship with Robert Griffin III just because the former Baylor teammates play for different NFC East teams.

Williams, the Dallas Cowboys’ third-round pick in this year’s draft, said the Washington Redskins quarterback gave him some tips on what to expect during the pre-draft process.

Griffin, the 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, also gave the 6-2, 202-pound wide receiver some advice on how to approach his first NFL season.

“[He said] just continue to do you and don’t change the way you are,” Williams said. “Be happy with your capabilities and show what you can do. I just really took that to heart the most.”

Williams’ capabilities allowed him to catch 97 passes for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. In 2011, Williams was one of Griffin’s favorite targets, recording 59 receptions for 957 yards and 11 scores.

With numbers like that, it’s somewhat surprising that Williams, the seventh receiver selected, was still available in the third round.

“Well, I was surprised, and I think a lot of people were surprised,” Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley said. “And then of course, as a position coach, I was hopeful that the organization felt the same way that I did. Fortunately, we did.”

The Cowboys, who have selected a wide receiver in each of the past five drafts, probably wouldn’t have invested a third-round pick in Williams if they didn’t think he could contribute as a rookie. Dooley says it’s possible as long as Williams stays focused on steadily improving some aspect of his game each day.

Of course, limiting his distractions off the field will also help. Williams hasn’t had to travel far to play football. He attended W.T. White High School before making the two-hour drive south to Waco. With his professional career bringing him back to the Metroplex, there’s a chance his off-the-field distractions could increase.

“I try to keep my distractions down to a minimum,” Williams said. “I’m good with just talking to [a few close friends]. As far as the whole outside thing, I try to keep that down, just do my job first and family and friends come second.

“[Baylor coach Art Briles] did a great job of showing us to work first and the fun is second.”

Williams struggled at times to catch the football during the first two days of rookie minicamp. As the Saturday afternoon session came to a close, Williams was one of the last players to leave the Valley Ranch practice field. He was spending time catching passes on the JUGS machine while Cowboys coach Jason Garrett watched from afar.

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota