Roy Williams’ Failure Was A Gift To The Dallas Cowboys


As we enter the 2015 Free Agency period and the NFL draft, the level of confidence in Dallas Cowboys brass’ ability to make the correct personnel decisions is the highest that it has been in several years. And we have former Cowboys wide recevier Roy Williams to thank for that.

Yes, that’s correct, I can see the shock on your faces right now. Lets reflect on what the war room was like in Valley Ranch before the epic failure the acquisition of Williams.

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For those who might have forgotten, the Cowboys acquire the former University of Texas star wide receiver from the Detroit Lions back in 2008 via a trade. They gave up their first and third round draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft for him.

Williams ended up only recording a total of 94 receptions for 1,324 yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons for the Cowboys. It’s considered one of the worst trades in the history of the franchise.

The Cowboys were a franchise that valued style over substance at that time, a front office that operated with a fan’s mindset. (no offense guys, but most fans don’t spend months of diligent research on players and breaking down film in order to make their assessments and I’m not certain that our front office did their research either)

We were all about what looked good on a roster, and not putting the pieces together so that the entire team gelled.

Since the Roy Williams debacle, Cowboys’ vice president Stephen Jones and his father, owner and general manager Jerry Jones, have embraced the concept of getting the maximum value for their draft picks.

Here is a brief synopsis of the five years prior draft history to the Roy Williams failure. And five years afterwards:

Draft Picks (1st & 2nd rounders):

"2005: DeMarcus Ware (1st Round) and Marcus Spears (2nd round)2006: Bobby Carpenter (1st Round) and Anthony Fasano (2nd round)2007: Anthony Spencer (1st Round) and James Marten (2nd round)2008: Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins (both 1st Round) and  Martellus Bennett (2nd Round)2009: No picks (traded for Roy Williams)"

The only notable acquisitions in this draft pool are Ware and Spencer, and perhaps with a sip of blue and silver punch I’ll give Marcus Spears a pass. But if you look at the other picks these guys were all film warriors who had great combine workouts, but that doesn’t always translate into success in the league. (and it didn’t in this case)

Now let’s take a look forward:

"2010: Dez Bryant (1st Round) and Sean Lee (2nd Round)2011: Tyron Smith (1st Round) and Bruce Carter (2nd Round)2012: Morris Claiborne (1st Round) and Tyrone Crawford (2nd Round)2013: Travis Frederick (1st Round) and Gavin Escobar (2nd Round)2014: Zack Martin (1st Round) and  DeMarcus Lawrence (2nd Round)"

It’s no coincidence that the Cowboys suddenly got better at not only selecting, but retaining draft day one talent since the failed on boarding of Roy Williams. As they sat in the war room the entire day helpless on draft day 2009, Jerry and Stephen began to feel buyers remorse and they knew that it was time for a philosophy change.

As fans we didn’t understand, trust or appreciate it at the time. But the success that we experienced last season (and will for the next couple of years at least) began that lonely draft day.

So today, we salute you Roy Williams. Because if not for your catastrophic failure as a Cowboys player, we perhaps would not get to see wide recevier Dez Bryant throw up the X after torching defenders. Offensive lineman Tyron Smith, Zach Martin and Travis Frederick would not be pancaking overzealous defensive linemen. And Sean Lee would not be filling the gap on 3rd and short to send the punt team on to the field.

Now, we finally have a reason for being thankful for the Roy Williams trade.

Next: Garrett Reveals Cowboys Draft Target