By: Joe D.
Roy Williams is an enigma. He has all the necessary skills and talent to play at a high level in the NFL. He had one season with the Detroit Lions which was spectacularly productive, but he has wilted with the Dallas Cowboys. Outside of becoming a Super Bowl MVP, he will likely never “earn” the money given to him in his contract or be worth the draft picks that were traded to obtain him.
There is a reason to believe that 2010 will be one to remember for Williams. Roy Williams is now expendable. With Dallas drafting Dez Bryant, the release of Williams becomes much more palatable. The argument will be made (by me) that the Cowboys spent 2 first round picks and a 3rd rounder to solve their WR problem. Expensive, yes, but a better option than spending a first and a third only to have a huge gaping hole at the position.
Imagine if you will, a janitor working for the federal government making a ridiculous sum of $50,000 per year (let’s say because of security clearances). The janitor is told that his level of performance is unacceptable and he will be terminated at the end of the year unless he is able to raise his performance to acceptable levels. The janitor looks through the classified to find he can get a new job, making a paltry $8.00 per hour (or $16,000 per year).
Similarly, Roy is in the same leaky boat. Roy is making $8 to $10 million dollars per year with the Cowboys. If he is cut, based upon the performance of the previous two years, he would likely receive $2 to $3 million dollar contract that is heavily incentive laden. Roy’s not dumb. Both he and the janitor know that more is expected and the consequences of not meeting those expectations are costly.
There are suggestions that Bryant will start this year. He may due to injury or in 3 WR sets to open the game, but expect Williams to have his chance to earn his playing time. After all, Bryant will be a rookie in 2010 and only 10.8% of pro-bowl WR’s make the pro-bowl in their rookie year (which includes special teams). It’s a difficult transition for most rookies WR’s entering the NFL, let alone for one that had a truncated 2009 season.
There are a few bright spots, though. If Williams under-performs in 2010, Cowboys fans will be rid of him. Don’t forget about Miles Austin. With a Williams departure, we only need Bryant to be a good #2 WR and not a great #1.