Williams: Defense Missing Focus, Fun

Safety Roy Williams says the Cowboys' offense isn't necessarily the biggest concern. <BR>

While skeptics focused on the offense -- errant throws, ineffective running, dropped passes, offensive line penalties, etc. -- after Sunday's 26-3 loss at Cincinnati, Dallas safety Roy Williams said the offense should not endure all of the blame. The defense, which statistically was the best in the NFL last season, deserves to have fingers pointed in its direction, too, according to the Cowboys' third-year safety.

Williams said that the defense has not lots its physical ability. On the contrary, he said many of the defense's problems can be traced to the fact that several players are trying to do more than their roles within the defense require.

"At times, guys try to do more than what they're supposed to do," Williams said. "That's a natural thing when things are not going right."

His explanation, even if accurate, doesn't make losses any easier for Williams to accept.

"I'm a sore loser," he said. "It doesn't sit well with me."

Williams admitted that this year's inconsistent defense reminds him a little of the defense he played on in 2002, his rookie season in Big D.

"Yeah, at times," he said when asked about possible similarities between the two defensive units. "At times, in spurts, the defense looks good. Then, in the last quarter, we start making mistakes, and we end up throwing up white flags."

Williams is quick to defend head coach Bill Parcells, whose motivational techniques have run the gamut from encouragement to proverbial whip-cracking.

"He rips us pretty tough," Williams said. "I don't know if we respond enough. He's tough already. How much tougher can he be? What's most disappointing is when he harps on turnovers and penalties, and then that's what we did."

Williams said that a change in the defense's chemistry seems to have had an effect on the group's performance.

"I don't know what it is," he said. "It's like we're not having fun like last year. The heart is there, but after a big play, the excitement isn't there. This year, it's like we make a big play, we get excited and then we go back into work mode."

Williams said that the absence of fellow safety Darren Woodson, who's been sidelined by injury this year, can not be blamed for the team's defensive shortcomings this season.

"He's on the sideline, cheering us on," Williams said of Woodson, adding that the senior member of the Dallas secondary also has acted as an extra coach to the young defensive backs. "But I played without him in my rookie year, too. So we can't use that as an excuse."

Parcells drew national headlines after Sunday's loss when he called his team "stupid." While QB Vinny Testaverde declined to comment Monday on his coach's comments, Williams said that as long as the Cowboys continue to make mistakes, his coach's assessment is accurate.

"We are a stupid team," he said, "with the false starts, not protecting the ball, turnovers. Until we stop making mistakes, he's right."

CowboysHQ Top Stories