Short-Term Problems?

it, catch it and then occasionally sprinkle in a crossing route to build that confidence back up."

With Roy, that might be a good plan. His "crossing route" is probably the slant. It's not the best pass play the Cowboys have because for some reason it doesn't get executed. But confidence just might be the issue to getting this thing turned around.

The sad part is that it may just be too late. Not for the Cowboys, but for the fans and critics. The Cowboys always seem to have about four or five regular punching bags, that no matter what happens, the criticism will always fall at their feet.

Tony Romo will forever be one until he plays better in December. Once he does that, then the gripe will be to win a playoff game and once that happens, we'll all start to wonder why he hasn't won a Super Bowl.

Flozell Adams can shut down the AFC Pro Bowl team on the left side, but if he jumps early and gets a false start penalty, it takes a 20-minute segment on talk radio.

Ken Hamlin is now at punching-bag status. While he's certainly not making $39 million worth of plays, he isn't exactly giving up a lot of plays either. Still, he's been a regular target of criticism, too.

And Roy Williams has now reached that level. If the ball so much as grazes his hands, the boo-birds come out. And they're not directed at Romo, who also throws bad balls to Miles Austin, but those don't generate much emotion from the crowd.

But for some reason, and you know it's mostly about the money and the contract he just received, Roy Williams is now the prime target of criticism.

And that's a legitimate gripe. He's making a lot of money and he's not producing. Yes, some of these plays he didn't make would've been outstanding catches. But $45 million receivers are supposed to do that.

If you have a problem with his contract, that's fair. But to say the Cowboys gave up too much for Roy is not a valid argument in my book.

You always hear people say the club gave up three picks for him. Well, really it was two and they got a player in return. It's all how you slice it, but the Cowboys did give up a first, third and sixth, while they received a seventh-round pick and Williams, whom the Cowboys figured to be better than any receiver they would've drafted in the first round this year.

That part is debatable and we'll get to that. But the Cowboys had two third-round picks this year and had no problems parting ways with one of them. Remember, this team still had 12 draft picks and took 12 players.

And let's be honest, anything past the fifth round is all the same anyway. So they traded a sixth and got a seventh. If you think that really matters at the end of the day, you're nitpicking.

The issue comes down to the first-round pick. And the Cowboys needed a receiver and they needed it now. So in their mind, Roy Williams was a better option than any first-year receiver who would've been drafted.

Remember, that's the Cowboys' thinking. Recent history suggests rookie receivers rarely make a big impact right away. Minnesota's Percy Harvin, picked 22nd by the Vikings, will probably get Rookie of the Year honors. He's exceeded every expectation and one of the reasons Minnesota now has an explosive offense. But there aren't many first-year receivers to make this much of an impression since that other Vikings rookie back in 1998.

And honestly, the Cowboys likely would've taken Jeremy Maclin had they kept that 20th pick. Maclin slipped to No. 19 to the Eagles but it's likely they would've traded up to get him. And he's been pretty good in Philly, this year.

Then again, before you say *"see, see, these guys would've been better than Roy," * let's not forget why the Cowboys took Williams in the first place. He was pretty good himself as a rookie and the next couple of years.

Yes, Roy Williams has been a good player. In my opinion, he's still the same guy. But he doesn't need to be benched. He doesn't need to be traded or cut next year. Roy needs to be here, doing what he's always done. He's got too many tools and too much talent not to get it corrected.

And it will. Just wonder if it will be ever enough to please even the harshest of his critics?

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