My old friend Troy Aikman says that if - I repeat, if - Roy Williams doesn't produce like a No. 1 receiver, then the Dallas Cowboys' trade to acquire him last season will be "one of the biggest busts in the history of the league."
The screaming headline on the front of the Dallas Morning News: "Aikman blasts trade."
This scene is all effed up. See, the DMN is making way too big of a deal about Aikman making way too big of a deal.
Allow me to explain ...
First of all, Aikman apparently has a short, concussed memory. For it was No. 8 who stamped his approval on the Cowboys' Feb. 12, 2000 acquisition for Seattle Seahawks receiver Joey Galloway in exchange for two first-round draft choices. While Seattle used those picks on Shaun Alexander (wow) and Koren Robinson (eh), Galloway tore his ACL in his very first game in Dallas and never had a 1,000-yard receiving season for the Cowboys.
Roy Williams - who cost Dallas three picks in this year's draft - could retire today to become an Amish seamstress and it wouldn't be as big of a disaster. Unless, of course, you credit/blame Williams' arrival for the departure of Terrell Owens.
(For what it's worth, Aikman's endorsement of the 1997 drafting of David LaFleur is on the list of busts, right?)
But if you read Aikman's quotes and listen to his interview, he's not blasting, he's questioning. "If" is a hell of a lot different than "when."
"If Roy Williams doesn't turn out to be the player they thought he would be when they made the trade, I think this would be one of the biggest busts in the history of the league."
Who among us doesn't agree? If Williams sucks, they gave up three draft picks and Owens. Not good. After Williams ran sorry ass routes and caught only one touchdown last season, it's safe to say we're all skeptical.
But shame on the DMN for slapping Aikman's comments on the front page of SportsDay as a declarative criticism.
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Oh, and - though it's been corrected online - my paper version includes this confusing line in the story:
"Williams did return phone messages seeking comment."
While Dallas' Only Daily was injecting faux drama, it forgot to insert a "not."