True Blue - Writer's Block
Heading into the draft in 2002, safety Roy Williams made it clear he wanted to play for the Cowboys. Now, nearly seven years and five Pro Bowls later, Williams is ready to part ways with the team.
Jordan Woy, the agent for Williams, has asked the team to trade or release the safety by today. The Cowboys had been shopping Williams in a trade, but can’t seem to find any takers. Letting Williams go would save the Cowboys about $2 million in cap space.
Woy spoke to KTCK (1310-AM) about Williams’ situation this morning. The transcript of the interview is below.
From a player’s standpoint, is it the sooner you get in the free agent market the better?
Woy: “There’s no question. Roy’s enjoyed his time with Dallas and liked playing for the Cowboys, but once you know that’s come to an end, the sooner you can get out there the better because as everybody knows, in free agency day-by-day-by-day as players are getting signed the money that’s available starts to go down and starts to eventually run out. So the sooner that he gets out there, the better for his opportunities.
Is it safe to assume then that Williams’ career in Dallas is over?
Woy: “I would say that’s probably correct.”
Do you detect that the Cowboys are getting any interest in the trade market?
Woy: “I know that they’ve had some good talks. But like everything else it comes down to, teams have to look at a player’s salary cap number, they have to look at how does this fit in, how does it affect our cap. I think there’s been some good constructive talks. Whether something will get done or not, it’s hard for me to say. It’s hard to trade a player who has a high salary . . . Teams realize if a trade doesn’t work out they’ll have a shot at picking a player up without any draft compensation, and that’s obviously what they prefer to do because draft picks are very important to every team.
Have any teams whispered to you that if Roy is available to be sure to call them?
Woy: “I was at the Combine for about five days, and you talk to a lot of teams and you run into a lot of people and everybody kind of keeps their eyes and ears open to who may or may not be out there. I don’t think there’s any question, there are a handful of teams I think will show interest in Roy and will think Roy will be a good fit for them. But no, I haven’t had any types of substantial talks or anything like that with any teams at this point. We’re waiting until the Cowboys make their decision on either to trade or release him and then we’ll hit the ground running from there.
What happened to Roy? His first few years he was a better player.
Woy: “I think the defensive scheme changed. In the early days Roy was much more up on the line and attacking plays and doing his thing. In the defense they’ve moved to in the last few years, he’s more a guy who’s back off the line, he has to do a lot more covering. It just doesn’t play into Roy’s style of play as well.
Looks like he got his wish...Cowboys just released RW.
Updated: March 5, 2009, 11 AM ET
Cowboys release safety Williams
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By Len Pasquarelli
Two days ago, Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams publicly requested his release from the club.
Phillips on Roy Williams
Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips discusses Roy Williams' hard style of tackling.
On Thursday, he was granted his wish.
Just one day after jettisoning wide receiver Terrell Owens, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones maintained the trend of pink slips for his high-profile players, by terminating Williams' contract. The move, first reported by the Dallas Morning News and confirmed through league sources, makes Williams a free agent and puts a youthful and still-productive defensive player on the open market.
Williams, 28, was the Cowboys' first-round pick in the 2002 draft, from Oklahoma.
The seven-year veteran, a fixture in the Dallas interior secondary, was named to five Pro Bowl teams and one All-Pro squad. During his career with the Cowboys, Williams collected 611 tackles, 6½ sacks, 19 interceptions and 56 passes defensed.
Blessed with the instincts of a safety and the hitting power of a linebacker, Williams was often a liability in pass coverage. He was at his best playing close to the line of scrimmage and was an effective defender versus the run.
Williams recently signed a $25 million contract extension, which included an $11 million signing bonus. His departure saves the Cowboys about $1 million in salary-cap room.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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