Story goes something like this: Roy Williams sucks. The end.
No, wait, actually there’s more. A lot more. The Cowboys’ safety sucks in coverage, blames the media for picking on him, tells teammate Greg Ellis last year in training camp that he’s not a good fit in coach Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, sucks yet even more in coverage, gets yanked off the field in passing situations, this off-season tells us that he sometimes hoped the ball didn’t get thrown his way and now is isolating himself from teammates via pre-dawn workouts at Valley Ranch.
And to think, the only debate regarding him once was “Ring of Honor or No?”.
I talked with Cowboys' new/old secondary coach Dave Campo out at Valley Ranch back in March and he’d far from given up on Williams. Said on tape he still sees Roy’s physical skills, but also sees a confused player who’s lost his confidence.
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Then last week news came that Ellis, in an attempt to support his teammate, was revealing Williams’ orchestrated isolation, followed by the safety being summoned for a meeting with defensive coordinator Brian Stewart and safeties coach Brett Maxie to clear the air. The fact that Campo, likely Roy’s biggest fan, wasn’t involved is troubling on a couple fronts. Remember, if and when Pacman Jones is reinstated and takes over at starting cornerback, the Cowboys will have the luxury – if they wish – of playing Anthony Henry at safety, further diluting Roy’s leverage.
Yesterday Williams granted one-on-one time to local media during his foundation’s Mother’s Day event. He thanked Ellis for his support, but – with an exaggerated rolling of the eyes – also questioned his teammate's motivation. He claimed he’s at peace with the defense, and his defensive coaches. He tried to explain the “hope they don’t throw it my way” comments, but it was a rambling, illogical, rather sad attempt. And, lastly, he claimed he was working out alone because he didn’t want to be distracted by fraternizing with teammates.
To be a Super Bowl defense this season, I still think the Cowboys need Williams and his leadership and, more importantly, his energizing, turnover-creating big hits. But, I dunno, his physical decline now seems to be being drafted by mental uncertainty.
In other words, I smell trouble. You? -- Richie Whitt