On Tuesday, October 14, 2008, the Dallas Cowboys traded for receiver Roy Williams. In exchange, they sent to the Detroit Lions a first- third- and sixth-round draft pick in 2009.
Matching him with Terrell Owens, the move was supposed to give the Cowboys yet another elite weapon en route to being a Super Bowl contender. In Detroit, it was a move toward rebuilding and the future.
As they prepare to meet Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, both teams suck at 2-7. Dallas just fired its head coach and the Lions haven't won a road game in their last 25 tries.
But, afforded two years of perspective, which team won the Williams trade?
Williams, whom the Cowboys immediately rewarded with a five-year contract extension worth $45 million, has now played the equivalent of about two full seasons in Dallas. In that time, he's produced 82 catches for 1,150 yards and 13 touchdowns. In other words, it's taken him two seasons to put together one good season.
Disappointing to say the least. Williams began his stay in Dallas with lazy routes and dropped passes. He's been better this season, but is slowly - starkly - being outplayed and put to pasture by rookie Dez Bryant.
The side-effect problem is what Williams' arrival did to Dallas' 2009 draft. In a word: Disaster. Of 12 picks from that class, only kicker David Buehler is a major contributor on game days.
Looks bad, until you consider what Detroit did with its loot lifted from Dallas. With the draft picks the Lions selected tight end Brandon Pettigrew (1st), receiver Derrick Williams (3rd) and running back Aaron Brown (6th).
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Pettigrew is a good player, among the top 10 NFL tight ends in catches, yards and touchdowns. But Williams is a complete bust with only eight career catches and former TCU running back Brown has only 144 NFL rushing yards and is buried on the Lions' depth chart.
I dunno, you can call Roy Williams a bust in Dallas. But in Detroit they probably wish they would've done more with this deal as well.
Call it a lose/lose?