we're going to do that every time this time of year, (and) we need to start doing it more."
No arguments there. But here's two problems. One, Williams wasn't that good close to the line of scrimmage this year. Hey, you saw him whiff on Shaun Alexander five yards deep in the backfield. You saw him take too many bad angles in run pursuit this year.
And two, he's a safety. At times, safeties have to play in coverage. You can't always play an eight-man front. You can't always play in single safety formation. Someone has to cover the tight end or the running backs out of the backfield at times.
Now I know what you guys are screaming. I've read it. Frankly, too many times, until you've turned blue in the face. Move Roy to linebacker.
Baloney. He's can't play linebacker. He can't. You realize he's 6-foot, 229 pounds (listed). How many 6-foot, 230-pound linebackers (I'll give him a pound) you know in the NFL these days? I mean, you seriously think he can play Greg Ellis' vacated outside left linebacker spot on this 3-4 defense?
Right, I'd love to see him standing up on the line of scrimmage trying to fend off one of those 340-pound offensive tackles. He'd get squashed.
And what else do the Cowboys ask those outside linebackers to do? Like go into the slot and reroute receivers when teams go three wide. Like cover sometimes. Do you not just cringe at the thought of Williams going one-on-one with, say, Tiki Barber? Oh, he won't have to, sorry, Tiki has retired. OK, then Brian Westbrook. Reggie Bush. Ha!
So you say, how about inside?
Please. You kidding me? They'll run him over so hard, he'll turn into a pancake by game's end. Single stack. If you watch closely, Williams rarely sheds a blocker to get to the ball carrier. He'll as soon turn a shoulder and give himself up than fight through the muck to make a tackle.
No, that's not the answer. Forget it.
So I figure there are two choices to get your $11 million out of Roy: Pair him with a Pro Bowl free safety or someone has to force him to work harder.
Now those Pro Bowl free safeties don't grow on trees. And generally, if a team has a legit one, he doesn't come free. And can you stomach spending another first-round pick on a defensive back? I mean, that would be three in secondary, along with having to pay basically first-round money to Henry. At this rate, you'll never get that difference-making wide receiver or second pass rusher or franchise-type offensive tackle or . . . heaven forbid if it should come to this . . . quarterback.
Come on, Williams shouldn't need Darren Woodson to hold his hand. Still. Maybe say a prayer for Patrick Watkins.
As I've said many a times, a lot of playing safety is recognition - knowing what to do when it's time to do it. That takes plenty of film study. Knowledge allows you to make decisions back there much quicker. Also allows you to play more aggressively.
See, what everyone needs to understand is that in the NFL there aren't many - if any - players who get to freelance, as Roy evidently did at Oklahoma. No defined position so to speak.
Hence, the Cowboys' dilemma.
But with the kind of money they just paid him - and will pay him - this must be solved. And you would hope, again, with the money the Cowboys have guaranteed, that Williams will do his part to help. Take responsibility for himself.
Because, look, there is a Pro Bowl safety somewhere inside No. 31. Somehow that guy needs to be extracted.
The Cowboys don't need another unsolved mystery out here.