#6. Will the Dallas defense be better without Roy Williams?
In short, the answer is, "yes."
Williams had become such a liability in pass coverage that he often had to be taken off the field in obvious passing situations last season. While his awareness near the line of scrimmage and his ability to provide run support were unmatched, he simply couldn't cover faster receivers downfield, so the Cowboys cut him.
Who steps in his shoes now as a replacement? It starts with Gerald Sensabaugh, who last was with the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing a one-year deal with Dallas in March.
To say the fifth-year pro out of North Carolina is the anti-Roy Williams would be an understatement as he was actually used as a cornerback at times with the Jaguars because his cover skills are so good.
"I played against a lot of top receivers," Sensabaugh said. "Against Pittsburgh, my assignment was pretty much Hines Ward, so I had to do that for the greater portion of the game. I'm used to doing it. My first couple years in Jacksonville, they kind of tried me at corner — I played every position in the secondary, but I've always tried to cover receivers."
Sensabaugh received the bulk of the snaps with the first team at strong safety throughout OTAs and mini-camp and should be a strong replacement for Williams provided he can keep his affairs in order off the field.
Unfortunately, he was arrested for driving on a suspended license in February, and adding up all his arrests (three) since 2007 surely leaves Jerry Jones with an uncomfortable feeling.
9 Questions for 2009: #6
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