They're believed to be threefold in nature:
1) Ed Reed's recent contract extension
2) Roy being in the last year of his current contract
3) The Cowboys are stealing national headlines again
Don't underestimate point No. 3. Cowboys' fans and Owner Jerry Jones love it, and the anti-Cowboys' world despises it. As it should be. Thirty-one teams and their faithful followers cringe at the very mention of a Cowboys' ascent. That, and ¾'s of the national media stand poised to pounce on anything and everything Cowboys-related. Especially this year! Hey Jerry, just how much do you love this? If you're a Cowboys' fan, life is currently most interesting and highly anticipated. The anti-Cowboys' world finds each of you utterly despicable, and you'd have it no other way. Amen? Amen.
Roy Williams is set to conclude his first professional contract, and Cowboys' faithful; you must pray it's not his last with the organization. The Cowboys are diligently working behind the scenes to procure his services for years to come by satisfying the market value desires of Roy and his Agent. Rest assured, Roy "El Martillo (Hammer)" Williams is going nowhere. Unless something drastically changes this year, he is the "face" of the franchise as it applies to players. He's also the player you want as the moniker for the organization. He stands for everything right (to be discussed further down the page) with today's game. Worse case scenario, the Cowboys slap the "franchise" tag on him at season's end. The organization prefers not to operate in this manner, but it should be viewed as a safety net, the last line of defense, and a potential final option. Nothing more.
The franchise tag would require the Cowboys to pay Roy the average of the top five safety salaries in the League. Is he worthy of these type dollars? Darn straight. The top spot was just secured by Baltimore's Ed Reed, so the high end of the spectrum is already established and known to all. Should, and will, the Cowboys see fit to exceed the Reed deal? Only time will tell. If Williams' Agent, a solid case could be made for a more lucrative contract than the one received by Reed. The question remains, "just how much more?"
The two safeties have similar, yet not exact, statistics. Both files include production, and players are paid to produce. Ed Reed and Roy Williams are game changers and momentum setters. In different ways and by different means. Ed Reed will kill you with an interception; an untimely pick which could be returned all the way for a score. Roy is more likely to exert his influence with muscle instead of finesse or athletic ability. A bone-jarring hit or a forced fumble are his calling cards. Quarterbacks have to know where Reed is at all times, but all the offensive skill positions must have a bead on #31's presence. He commands attention and has more heads on swivels than would a naked Tyra Banks in San Quentin confines.
So, where does all this "overrated" jibber jabbers emanate? Mistakes on the national stage. Look no further than last year's Monday night, fourth quarter, meltdown against the hated Redskins. Santana Moss gets behind the secondary coverage twice in the last 4 minutes, and all of a sudden Roy Williams sucks!! Right? To the novice eye, general public and anti-Cowboys' media, probably. At least that's how it was portrayed and conveyed. Upon further review, as they say, nothing could be further from the truth. Did he have a hand in the mistakes? Yes, but he was not solely responsible for the Moss massacre.
If there is any word deemed to be "gospel," it's anything coming from Darren Woodson. Roy's former teammate and foremost expert on the strong safety position was on local Dallas radio the other day being asked the same questions about Roy Williams and his "overrated" label. Woody simply laughed and professed nothing could be further from the truth. So, whom do you choose to believe? A scribe or a former teammate? He said there isn't anyone in the game today who can deliver a bigger hit in the shortest space possible. He has pure, explosive abilities. He also went on to say Roy is the best tackler he has ever seen. Considering the source, that's a huge statement. Woody went on to mention, "You only remember the mistakes and/or glitches. Solid, Pro Bowl play is never mentioned." Hence, the Redskins debacle.
"Not his fault," professed Woodson. Not solely his fault. Moss was primarily the corner's responsibility on both plays. Williams was tasked with providing over-the-top help on both patterns. With no bump or re-routing of Moss, it became sheer speed vs. brute force. Guess which element wins concerning deep, end zone patterns? Advantage Santana Moss. In a foot race, Santana Moss vs. Roy Williams is a no-brainer. So just imagine Mark Brunell's surprise (twice) in seeing the speedster running free. A game dominated by the Cowboys is completely wiped out by two cornerback mistakes. It's that simple, and it happens that fast. Thus, the beauty and agony of the NFL. To the naked eye, Roy Williams is a liability in coverage.
Ask yourselves, is Roy Williams' forte "man" coverage? Does Christmas come in August? The man is not Rod Woodson. His "game" is played in the box and out in space. If he's asked to provide deep help, it's in a zone scheme. Rewind back to his Oklahoma days. Which plays stand out and highlight his collegiate resume? Picturesque picks or game-changing hits? Anyone remember Williams going airborne over the Texas offensive line on his way to completely dismantling Chris Simms? Game, set, and match. The masses need to remember the position Roy plays and what he's asked to do in the Cowboys' defensive scheme. He's not a "cover" safety and shouldn't be expected to fit that bill. Ed Reed roams. Roy Williams stalks and terrorizes.
Coming full circle, what's not to like about Roy Williams? Do you really think Jerry Jones is, or should, let this guy walk? Parcells loves him. Roy is a "put it on me" type of player. Was Terence Newman exposed for his Santana Moss involvement? Nope. Roy would not let that happen. His response when asked? "Put that one on me. My bad." Class act. Consummate professional. Team guy. Local favorite. Charity-centric. A giver at every turn. Mild-mannered. Easy going. Always smiling. Good-natured. Yup, sure sounds like an "overrated" jerk not worthy of the big money. By all means Jerry, let this guy walk and substitute a Sean "when's my next court date?" Taylor personality instead. In retrospect, it's unknown whether Roy has ever had a speeding ticket.
Certainly stories for another day, but the critics need to immerse themselves in the California, childhood days of Roy Williams. Times when "stupid" insults and learning disabilities came by the truckloads. He overcame the stiffest of challenges. Study up on Williams' history, and then let us know your thoughts on the "overrated" label. At the very least, this guy is greatly underestimated and a conqueror of heavy, if not all, odds.
Thus, a public plea to "throttle down" the "overrated" garbage. Before pushing him to the curb, think of the alternatives. Roy Williams is a class guy, and his peers think the same way. Is everyone aware of the process Roy, and others, go through on their way to Hawaii? His three Pro Bowl trips are courtesy of his peers and League coaches. Those "in the know" appear to be acutely aware of Roy Williams' talents and capabilities. One doesn't get to Honolulu on good looks and a bag of donuts.
Remember those 31 teams resenting the fact the Cowboys' national attention is again on the rise? How many do you think would line up if your beloved strong safety hit the open market in free agency?
Cowboys' faithful, Roy Williams is here to stay. To the rest of the nay Sayers, "overrate" and cover this!!
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