As news gets out that the Cowboys are seeking a trade partner for SS Roy Williams, there are a few issues to consider regarding the late moves by the team.
After saying repeatedly during this off-season that the Cowboys would not be making a big splash in free agency, it appears the ‘Boys may have been trying to lay a sleeper on everyone.
Early this afternoon, the Cowboys released veteran quarterback Brad Johnson. The moves frees up about $2 million of the salary cap, which saw an additional hike in addition to the long-planned annual increase today, and also leaves an opening for even one signed backup quarterback.
Brooks Bollinger is a free agent and there are doubts that he will be retained. Rex Grossman, former Super Bowl losing quarterback for the Bears has shown interest in the Cowboys. “Obviously my goal is to go to a place to compete but if that doesn’t happen I would think that if I’m going to be a backup Dallas would be the place I’d want to go,” Grossman said.
While many feel he’s either too much like Romo in his gun-slinger style or just not good enough to help us win if Romo goes down again, any quarterback available that is still playing now like he played taking his team to a Super Bowl, win or lose, is an upgrade over both Johnson and Bollinger.
It’s quite possible that the Cowboys have been waiting to cut Johnson to avoid a prolonged period of speculation that they are indeed going after someone in free agency tomorrow. The rumors that have been spread far and wide about Ray Lewis wanting to come to Dallas may have only fueled their desire to stay quiet for as long as possible.
Now we learn from Alex Marves at FOXSports.com that the Cowboys are shopping Williams around the league, and it looks as though many were right, including myself, that the Cowboys do view the safety position as their top need this off-season.
Despite suffering two breaks in his left forearm in 2008, and having solid numbers in tackles the two previous seasons, Roy Williams has struggled immensely in coverage since the team switched to the 3-4 at the hands of former head coach Bill Parcels. He has been targeted as a liability in the Cowboys pass defense by every team they’ve faced, so his release or trade was expected.
There are still a few solid free agent safeties available right now, but each could be gone by tomorrow afternoon with such a short list of reliable safeties currently in free agency. The draft is another place where some solid talent could be found as several of the more promising safeties look to fall into the second round far enough for the Cowboys to maybe even have a choice at which one they’ll take. The front-runners appear to be Patrick Chung, William Moore, and Rashad Johnson.
Stay tuned for more of the latest updates out of Dallas both here on A Cowboy Nation and on www.CowboysNation.net.