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ESPN: Once face of the franchise, Williams facing hazy future


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http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3410945&type=story

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Once face of the franchise, Williams facing hazy future

By Matt Mosley

ESPN.com

IRVING, Texas -- To know Roy Williams is to misunderstand him.

Six years ago, he was given the opportunity to become the face of the Dallas Cowboys. As a rookie in 2002, he was one of the few bright spots on a 5-11 team, and his No. 31 jersey quickly overtook No. 22 in the Texas Stadium crowd.

But now as the Cowboys prepare to christen a $1 billion stadium in 2009, there's a good chance Williams won't be around for the grand opening. How could a player with so much promise fall off the map? Well, it's important to go back to the beginning.

In his first two years, Williams became one of the most feared players in the NFL because of his punishing style. Turns out, though, that Jerry Jones and his scouting department overlooked flaws in Williams' game leading up to the 2002 draft.

In recent conversations with men who were privy to those discussions, I learned that former secondary coach Clancy Pendergast, now the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, had serious concerns about Williams' ability to learn the defense. When he traveled to the Oklahoma campus and put Williams on the dry erase board, he quickly learned that it would be a difficult transition for the college All American. Veteran scout Jim Hess, a former college coach, agreed with Pendergast's assessment.

Jones and his right-hand man, Larry Lacewell, were able to look past that potential flaw because they knew Williams would be playing next to Darren Woodson, one of the league's best safeties.

The Cowboys thought Williams could be much like John Lynch was in the vaunted Tampa 2 defense, but even more dynamic. And for the first two years of his NFL career, they were rewarded. Playing next to Woodson in 2002 and 2003, Williams was a bone-crunching playmaker. Running backs and receivers flinched when they sensed his arrival.

Williams began his string of five Pro Bowl appearances in 2003, although you can make a strong argument that the past couple have been on name-recognition alone. The 2004 season started off with a bust when QB Quincy Carter was released only days into training camp. The story line that got buried was that Woodson's injured back was preventing him from practicing. The Cowboys placed him on the physically unable to perform list and hoped for the best.

But it was apparent from the start that the odds were against Woodson, and he was eventually forced into retirement. Suddenly Williams was thrust into a leadership role in a secondary that included cornerback Terence Newman, a first-round pick in 2003, and safety Keith Davis, who had starred in NFL Europe the previous spring.

"I take a lot of blame for what Roy has had to endure," said Woodson, now an ESPN analyst.

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I remember about 2 years ago I had a cowboy fan arguing wih that that Sean Taylor would never be as good as Roy Williams.. I knew what the hell I was talking about, Roy Williams was never even on the same level as ST.. Roy Williams WISHED he could lay the wood like ST and wishes he could cover ground like ST.. What's funny is that I ask him what happend to his boy and he tells me he doesnt remember even having the conversation with me.. Figures..

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I learned that former secondary coach Clancy Pendergast, now the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, had serious concerns about Williams' ability to learn the defense. When he traveled to the Oklahoma campus and put Williams on the dry erase board, he quickly learned that it would be a difficult transition for the college All American. Veteran scout Jim Hess, a former college coach, agreed with Pendergast's assessment.

I find this funny as well. On top of his other flaws he might have trouble understanding how the defense works.

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Could some one elighten me on who out of Jerry Jones hand picked guys has actually panned out ?

Newman - Parcells wanted a DT

Ware - Parcells wanted Spears

TO - All Jerry Jones

Leonard Davis - All Jerry Jones

Ken Hamlin - All Jerry Jones

I'm sure there are alot more!

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Newman - Parcells wanted a DT

Ware - Parcells wanted Spears

TO - All Jerry Jones

Leonard Davis - All Jerry Jones

Ken Hamlin - All Jerry Jones

I'm sure there are alot more!

But big bill got us Fasano and reached hard for bobby carpenter (who I still believe can help the team and will become a good player when he can see the field... )

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Newman - Parcells wanted a DT

Ware - Parcells wanted Spears

TO - All Jerry Jones

Leonard Davis - All Jerry Jones

Ken Hamlin - All Jerry Jones

I'm sure there are alot more!

Three of those four were FA's.

Jerruh's drafting technique sucks...ask most puke fans.

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I am shocked to see yet another RW thread.... doesn't it get old? Every single team has busts through the draft.... im sure you skins fans can relate....right?

Hey, for a pro-bowler who sucks so bad, it's a fun topic.

I hope to find more articles about his horrible play...should be easy.

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Hey, for a pro-bowler who sucks so bad, it's a fun topic.

I hope to find more articles about his horrible play...should be easy.

Hey if it helps you sleep at night before you have to go back out into society where.....well I think we both know where you stand.

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Im not debating this statement, but could you give us some examples....like not just one or two, give us a few examples.

Of what, bad picks?

Quincy.

Drew.

Julius over Jackson. :doh:

Switzer.

Gailey.

Shall I continue?

Without Jimmy Johnson and Big Bill, Jerruh's got nothin'

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Of what, bad picks?

Quincy.

Drew.

Julius over Jackson. :doh:

Switzer.

Gailey.

Shall I continue?

Without Jimmy Johnson and Big Bill, Jerruh's got nothin'

Quincy - Yes, a horrible pick but still accomplished more with less around him than Campbell has to date. Campbell should certainly change this fact in the next few years.

Drew? He was traded for.

Julius was not picked over Jackson. The team traded back but yes it was a bad move, just a little mischaracterized by you.

Switzer - won a super bowl. Not alot to argue with that.

Gailey - I believe he had 2 winning seasons and 2 playoff appearances. Nothing great but not horrible either.

There have been plenty of bad picks by Jerry Jones but not many more than any other team and the last 3-4 drafts have been pretty solid yeilding some good/great players.

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Newman - Parcells wanted a DT

Ware - Parcells wanted Spears

TO - All Jerry Jones

Leonard Davis - All Jerry Jones

Ken Hamlin - All Jerry Jones

I'm sure there are alot more!

I love how since Parcells left, with Jeff Ireland, they're the one who picked all the busts, and it was Jones and Jones alone who knew what he was doing. It was Parcells who wanted to draft nothing but busts, and Jones counciled him otherwise.

With Jones and Lacewell running the show this is what it looked like:

2002:

1 Roy Williams Oklahoma

2 Andre Gurode Colorado

2 Antonio Bryant Pittsburgh

3 Derek Ross Ohio State

4 Jamar Martin Ohio State

5 Ralph Hunter Virginia Union

6 Tyson Walter Ohio State

6 Deveren Johnson Sacred Heart

6 Bob Slowikowski Virginia Tech

2001:

2 Quincy Carter Georgia

2 Tony Dixon Alabama

3 Willie Blade Mississippi State

4 Markus Steele USC

5 Matt Lehr Virginia Tech

6 Daleroy Stewart Southern Mississippi

7 Colston Weatherington Central Missouri State

7 John Nix Southern Mississippi

7 Char-ron Dorsey Florida State

2000:

2 Dwayne Goodrich Tennessee

4 Kareem Larrimore West Texas A&M

5 Michael Wiley Ohio State

6 Mario Edwards Florida State

7 Orantes Grant Georgia

1999:

1 Ebenezer Ekuban North Carolina

2 Solomon Page West Virginia

3 Dat Nguyen Texas A&M

4 Wane McGarity Texas

4 Hundens Zellner Fort Valley State

6 MarTay Jenkins Nebraska-Omaha

7 Mike Lucky Arizona

7 Kelvin Garmon Baylor

1998:

1 Greg Ellis North Carolina

2 Flozell Adams Michigan State

4 Michael Myers Alabama

5 Darren Hambrick South Carolina

5 Oliver Ross Iowa State

6 Izell Reese Alabama-Birmingham

7 Tarik Smith California

7 Antonio Fleming Georgia

7 Rodrick Monroe Cincinnati

1997:

1 David LaFleur Louisiana State

3 Dexter Coakley Appalachian State

3 Steve Scifres Wyoming

3 Kenny Wheaton Oregon

4 Antonio Anderson Syracuse

4 Macey Brooks James Madison

4 Nicky Sualua Ohio State

6 Lee Vaughn Wyoming

7 Omar Stoutmire Fresno State

1998:

1 Greg Ellis North Carolina

2 Flozell Adams Michigan State

4 Michael Myers Alabama

5 Darren Hambrick South Carolina

5 Oliver Ross Iowa State

6 Izell Reese Alabama-Birmingham

7 Tarik Smith California

7 Antonio Fleming Georgia

7 Rodrick Monroe Cincinnati

1997:

1 David LaFleur Louisiana State

3 Dexter Coakley Appalachian State

3 Steve Scifres Wyoming

3 Kenny Wheaton Oregon

4 Antonio Anderson Syracuse

4 Macey Brooks James Madison

4 Nicky Sualua Ohio State

6 Lee Vaughn Wyoming

7 Omar Stoutmire Fresno State

Wow....that's ugly. How can ANYONE say, Jones running the draft on his own is going to be successful at all?

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