As I was watching NFL Network a few days ago, they showed an interview reporters had with Roy Williams before a tournament at Cowboys Golf Club. This is Roy's first public appearance to talk about the Dallas Cowboys 2010 season. The reporters wanted to know how Roy was going to prepare for the upcoming season and, Cowboys fans favorite topic...our first round draft pick.
" I know people are thinking that he is going come in and take my spot (with his signature nervous smile. Like he just dropped another one of Romo's balls that hit him right in the hands. Hoping that he can make things right with the the leader of the team. Going back into the huddle as the camera is zoomed into his unshielded facemask) and all that mess and you know it's not all about that," Roy comments about Dez Bryant's immediate impact on the team and being a threat to take his number 1 receiver spot. Roy continues, "I don't think it's gonna happen anyways". He then tries to smooth over his bold statement by including ,"I embrace the challenge and what not, but I just think he's gonna come in and help this football team win 3 more ball games". Yeah...of course, he was brought in to make us win more games and eventually win us a Super Bowl! Way to go out on a limb Roy!...drafting a receiver first round was to fill a void that you still haven't been able to do on your own since receiving your 5 year, $45 million contract. Jerry Jones got Dez Bryant for that reason and more. Roy needs to start reading the writing on the walls, or at least admit to it. It's time for a major upgrade Roy, and earn your money!
I just don't understand how he still seems to not have chemistry with Tony Romo. Romo has no problems getting the ball out to anyone else on the team. But, practically, every ball that is thrown to Number 11's way is out of reach some how...some way. Let's include all that time that was spent in the offseason trying to get a rhythm with the routes. It just boggles my mind! Roy Williams is a 2006 Pro Bowl Wide Receiver and he has, less than, half the stats as what Miles Austin and Jason Witten, with Miles only starting 12 games.
Roy replies to the upcoming competition of this years best receiver in the draft, Dez Bryant, with "I'm just gonna go through this like I'm the man...like I've always been and it's never gonna change". Really? Do you really need to make that statement Roy? This isn't a game of opinions and 'he said, she said' stuff. This is a game of stats. Obviously, Number 11's stats don't add up to being "the man". It's plain and simple. Why would he say something like that? You never hear Michael Irvin or Emmitt Smith needing to claim to the media that they are 'the man', when competition for their position is a factor. This is a situation where it's not a spoken matter. This is something that should just be known. It should be something that is known throughout your team, your fans, media, and even people who don't follow closely to the Dallas Cowboys, but know the NFL.
Another thing that bothers me about that comment is that Roy should be truly embracing his new teammate. He should be completely hopeful for the team and where it is headed. Most importantly, he needs to be a veteran leader to Dez Bryant. Someone, whom Dez will be looking toward to give him a little guidance on the field when times get rough for the rookie. Dez can't always count on Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin for everything. There is a time when someone just needs to step up and show the rookie 'the ropes'. So, I guess this ends up being placed on Miles Austin's shoulders. Well....why not? Miles worked his way from the bottom of the roster to the absolute top. Who else would we want to show our, 'up and coming' star, rookie wide receiver how to work hard and making something big of himself. Who else to give Dez a little push 'here, but not there' kind of attitude?...especially while they are on the field.
So what is our "Number 1" Receiver's job for the offseason? Wade Phillips wants for Roy not to be so upright whenever he is coming off his routes. "It's just little certain things they want me to do, and I'm willing to try and do them to be a better player" Roy states to the media. I don't mean to nit pick but, when does Master Yoda come into the picture and tell Roy "try you must not! you either do or you don't"? He just needs to step up and be that leading receiver on the field, without any questions. I know that he has his own particular way of running routes, but clearly it's not working right now. I know that the stat of 8 dropped balls is all that's going to be talked about with this upcoming season, from start to finish. It's not the 8 drops exactly...but in a ways it is. Any person who truly knows football that... Some times,...(just sometimes!...notice sarcasm)receivers don't run their routes correctly and it's not the QB's fault. Look at T.O. and the interceptions that he caused Romo before he was given the axe by Jerry.
Look! Seriously! I didn't write this article just to bash Roy Williams like the rest of Dallas Cowboys fans have been. I am all for improvement and doing everything in a very positive manner, but I am just being realistic here with his comments. I am just trying to articulate the frustration that has come from dedicated Dallas Cowboys fans for the past year and a half. They want their moneys worth out of him. I am sure Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Wade Phillips, Ray Sherman, Jason Garrett, and Tony Romo do too...especially when it's 3rd and long and we need a 'go to' receiver when Witten and Austin have been overused.
Roy said of his highly criticized dropped balls. "I would bet anybody in this world I won't come anywhere close to what I had last year," he also said, "It won't even be half. You want to take that bet? I won't even come close. I promise you. I promise you, you, you, you and you and every fan out there. I won't even come close." I truly hope so. I truly hope that Roy doesn't gets that nervous energy out of him before the season starts...cause this is probably going to be this seasons main topic. Welcome to the Dalls Cowboys Roy!...as if you need a reintroduction to the constant pressure of being a wide receiver for America's Team. I know that Dez has the passion and the talent, let's see what happens next.
Don't be intimidated Roy! Just do your job and please, please, please earn your money!...that's the nicest any Dallas Cowboys fan will ever be concerning everything that's gone on since mid-2008...don't ever get use to it.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dallas Cowboys: How “Position-Flex” Has Handcuffed The 2015 Draft Class
Over the last few years the Dallas Cowboys have placed a high level of importance on "position flex." They've drafted Swiss-Army knife players which could be moved around to different positions on the field.
By drafting players like Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods last year, as well as Byron Jones in 2015, the Cowboys have tried to find these versatile players who can be used in multiple ways.
While this seems great on paper, this strategy has handcuffed the majority of their 2015 Draft Class, and is a key reason why the Cowboys seem to be in such a tough spot.
The Cowboys' first round pick in 2015, Byron Jones, quickly became a favorite of mine during his rookie season. Incredibly athletic, long, and skilled in coverage, Jones was able to be both a fantastic cover cornerback and a solid middle-of-the-field safety due to his range.
Due to both injuries to his teammates, and Jones' own versatility, the Cowboys coaching staff couldn't keep Jones in just one spot. Once they discovered how great he was in man coverage against tight ends, they became enamored with trying to play him in the box.
Once in the box, Jones' struggles as a run defender were highlighted, and both the organization and the fans soured on him quickly.
Now it is rumored that Byron Jones will be moving back to cornerback full time. And while I do hope this is the case, the fact that he is in year four, and the Cowboys haven't been able to find their first round pick a permanent home is a huge indictment on their ability to evaluate and develop talent.
Okay, hear me out.
The former third round pick of the 2015 Draft was brought in to be the swing tackle for the Cowboys his rookie year. Mainly due to injuries, Green did not see the field for much of his first two seasons. When he did fill in for Tyron Smith at left tackle in 2016, however, Green was very effective.
Of course, Chaz Green's last appearance with the Cowboys was ugly, giving up a plethora of sacks against the Atlanta Falcons. But Dallas might've made their own bed with Green during the beginning of the 2017 season, when they attempted to move him to left guard full time.
Instead of getting the increased work at tackle, and continuing to work as the swing tackle for the team in case of injury, Dallas started Green at left guard early on in the year. He struggled trying to move positions, and looked even worse when trying to move back to tackle.
Once again, the position flex bit the Cowboys right in the backside.
It's 2018 and we are still talking about what position to play La'el Collins on the offensive line. And that is solely on the coaching staff and front office, not Collins.
Collins was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was widely regarded as a first round pick heading into that draft. Though he started at left tackle at LSU, Dallas shifted Collins inside to left guard in 2015. After taking over for Ronald Leary as the starter, Collins produced highlight blocks week after week.
Injuries shortened his 2016 campaign, but heading into 2017 the Cowboys decided to shift him back out to right tackle. Despite some early struggles, Collins progressed nicely throughout the year and became a solid starting right tackle. Plus, he has the upside to become one of the top right tackles in the league.
Instead, it is now being rumored the Cowboys might move him back to guard for 2018. And with that news, I continue to pull my hair out over the position-flex decisions this coaching staff and front office like to make.
If the Cowboys want to get the most out of each draft class, and effectively develop their talent, they need to let those players actually develop, rather than move them around each season. Hopefully they now understand this, and allow both Byron Jones and La'el Collins to reach their full potential.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
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