One Man Has Pouted, One Man is Pissed
Roy Williams' fate becomes the subject of debate after Dez Bryant's selection. Will he feel prodded by a young competitor? Will he pout?
If history serves as a guide, we should expect the latter. Williams got to play the Dez Bryant role in 2004 and 2005 when he joined a Lions team which could not get a healthy Charles Rogers on the field. When Mike Williams flopped in '05 and '06, Williams became the focal point of Detroit's offense. Roy had his career season in 2006, when Mike Furrey rode shotgun and Rogers and Williams became afterthoughts.
The following season, the Lions drafted Calvin Johnson, and Williams declined. The first time OC Mike Martz skewed his pass calls in Johnson's favor mid-way through the '08 season, Williams met with Martz to ask for more balls. When Williams was traded to Dallas, he edged in as Terrell Owens' sidekick, then got his second chance to be the man when T.O. was released. He again seemed defensive and insistent on his prime role after Austin broke out in October.
Now, Williams faces his third challenge, but this time, its for the right to be a starter. Where's your money? On an inspired Roy Williams, or a withdrawn one?
Bryant, meanwhile, carries a Randy Moss-sized chip on his shoulder. He recently told reporters that he would make the teams which passed on him pay. Does this fire for redemption burn white hot, Mr. Bryant, or cool white?
A Value Too Good to Refuse?
The Cowboys had two trade up options in the early 2nd. They could deal up with New England at 22, when they were in the 22nd spot, and pick Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga, or they could make the trade which transpired, and take Bryant. In the first instance, the price would have been higher, but Green Bay had to be jumped.
In the second instance, Bryant had no real competitor. The best players available were Kyle Wilson and Bryant. The key was jumping the Baltimore Ravens, who likely would have taken Bryant at 25. They traded for Anquan Boldin recently but he's on the wrong side of 30 and has broken down the last two years. He's never was a deep threat and he's a bit slower today. The Ravens would not have passed up the chance for a player many have compared to a young Boldin.
I'm fairly sure that if Dallas had Bulaga, Wilson and Bryant on the board at 27 that they still would have picked the receiver.
Return Man? We No Longer Need a Return Man
Close the books on all the shifty slot receivers you targeted for the middle rounds, who could also serve as punt returners. Here is Bryant's return line for 2008, his last full season:
- 20 returns, 305 yards, 15.25 yard average, 2 touchdowns.
Bryant had three returns in his truncated '09 season and averaged a ridiculous 37 yards per attempt, one an 82 yard touchdown romp. Here is your new Dallas Cowboys punt returner, one with the chance to be the best since Deion Sanders. Jason Garrett and Ray Sherman were no doubt happy when Bryant was picked, but Joe DeCamillis is smiling too. His return arsenal just got a lot more dangerous.
Round Two Notes:
-- Offense lineman and free safety rise to the top of Dallas' wish list for the 59. Four tackles linked with the Cowboys: Charles Brown, Roger Saffold, Vlad Ducasse and Bruce Campbell, remain available.
At safety, Taylor Mays tops the 2nd tier, which also includes Nate Allen, Morgan Burnett and Major Wright.
That's eight potential targets at Dallas' two biggest need spots. We should not rule out cornerback, if those spots are depleted.
Round One Recap
-- Is Denver's Josh McDaniels trying to build the NFL's first true spread option offense? He took Demaryius Thomas, a big, raw reciever who played in a spread option Georgia Tech offense, and Tim Tebow to throw him the ball.
-- Dallas had not selected a receiver in the first round since Alvin Harper was taken 12th overall in 1991.