used to enjoy watching him play, especially early in his career.
Watching him take out some unassuming wide receiver was always something to anticipate.
Like the time Amani Toomer got up off the Giants bench with his chin strip looking like a piece of tape on his mouth because Roy had blasted him so hard. One game against Detroit, it seemed like receiver Tai Streets stayed on the Texas Stadium turf for about five minutes after Roy nailed him so hard.
I remember when he decked both Dorsey Levens and Shaun Alexander to the ground with nothing more than a shoulder tackle.
How about the time he nearly decapitated some 49ers kickoff returner back in his rookie season? Back then, Roy could hit hard enough as it was, much less with 60-yard head start. But on the kickoff coverage team, Williams completely smashed some dude, causing a fumble, which he recovered.
That same season, he made the game-winning interception and touchdown return against the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day.
There was the forced fumble on Turkey Day against the Broncos that led to a score. He had a huge sack and forced fumble to beat the Eagles back in 2003.
Who could ever forget the early Christmas gift Donovan McNabb gave to him and the Cowboys in 2005 when Williams scored the game-winning touchdown off an interception, giving the Cowboys a 21-20 victory on Monday Night Football. In fact, our website's headline "Roy-al Comeback" was always one of my favorites.
There were lots of big plays. Unfortunately, especially at the end of his career here with the Cowboys, there started to be big plays for both teams.
While all of those plays are ones that I remember, it seems Roy Williams will be remembered more for being in the picture on those two huge bombs to Santana Moss in a game Washington completely stole from the Cowboys in 2005.
Over the years, those big plays became fewer and fewer, and the sight of No. 31, or even No. 38 a few times last year, creeping into the picture after a long touchdown, started to happen more often.
Not only did we see Williams getting beat more often, but those bone-jarring hits started to decrease. Instead of being known for the guy who would punish crossing receivers, he had a rule named after him.
Why, the sudden change? No one really knows.
You can say he lacked confidence. Maybe his desire for the game changed. Maybe he wasn't ever as great as we all thought he was and eventually teams started to figure out his weaknesses.
At the end of the day, the Cowboys just simply couldn't afford to pay that much for a player they didn't know wouldn't be able to contribute every down. For a guy to count $6.6 million who is not able to play in the dime package and doesn't play much special teams anymore, it just doesn't add up. Throw in the part about him returning from not one, but two broken forearm injuries last year, and it just came down to business.
Roy Williams is definitely an enigma.
He started out as a great player. He turned into a good player with an absolutely horrible contract. And the Cowboys simply had to let him go.
But it's too bad it had to end like this. Sadly, Roy Williams may never be remembered for the player he once was, but instead the player he turned out to be.
But he's gone now . . . in case you missed it.