The Roy Williams Trade Fiasco Revisited

This is a guest post from The Landry Hat fan and reader Joe Thomas:

As we enter the off season, we are now a year and a half into the Dallas Cowboys Roy Williams fiasco.  It is time for a look back on what this trade did for the Cowboys.

The Facts

On October 14th, 2008 the Cowboys acquired Roy Williams and a 2009 7th round draft pick from Detroit for the rights to the Cowboys 2009 1st, 3rd, and 6th round draft picks.  Roy Williams was given a 5 year, $45 million deal to play wide receiver for the Cowboys.

In 2009, his first full year with the Cowboys, Roy Williams produced 38 receptions for 596 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Not very good for the kind of picks and money the Cowboys gave up.

So What Did The Lions Do With The Draft Picks?

Round 1 they drafted Brandon Pettigrew, TE, who went on to produce 30 catches for 346 yards and 2 touchdowns in his rookie season.

Round 3 they drafted Derrick Williams, WR, who played very little at all in his rookie season.

Round 6 they drafted Aaron Brown, RB, who also played very little as the Lions 3rd option at running back.

So in one season, you could almost argue the Cowboys came out ahead statistically.

Opportunity Lost

If you argue the Cowboys should have never given up so much in the first place to get Roy Williams, who could they have drafted?

This is pure speculation, but if they needed a wide receiver the 2009 draft was full of them.  It may go down as one of the deepest wide receiver drafts ever.

If the Cowboys had retained their first round pick (20th overall) and used it on a wide receiver they could have gotten Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, or Kenny Britt.  These were the next three wide receivers taken in the draft and all went in the first round.

What is somewhat shocking is that they all put up better statistics than Roy Williams in 2009.  Harvin, the offensive rookie of the year, had 60 receptions for 790 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Nicks went for 47-790-6.  And even Kenny Britt had  42-701-3.

Looking back, the Cowboys clearly missed out on some great, young wide receivers by trading for Williams.

What To Do Now

The Cowboys are in a bit of a dilemma here.  The good news is that there is a way out.  2010 is the now famous uncapped year (there is no NFL salary cap in 2010).  The Cowboys can choose to simply buy out Roy Williams and send him on his way.  That way they will not impact their cap room in future years.

This clears the way for Sam Hurd and Kevin Ogletree to get more playing time.  Maybe one of them can become the next Miles Austin.  AND the Cowboys could use their first rounder this year to try to find another wide receiver.  Maybe they will get the next Harvin or Nicks or Britt in the draft.

Roy Williams had his chance to make an impact.  He is either just not very good or does not jive well with Tony Romo, take your pick.  But now is the time to cut Williams and run.


About the authorWhile not watching the NFL on Sundays, Joe Thomas spends his time writing for his Web site.

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