Cowboys Find Themselves Without a First Round Pick...Again

Jason TurnerCorrespondent IApril 21, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  Cowboy fans wait for the start of the 2006 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 29, 2006 in New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This is the Dallas Cowboys' first draft since the trade for Roy Williams. The deal in which Dallas gave up first, third, and sixth round draft picks in 2009 for the Lions' wideout will again come to the forefront this Saturday.

Let me say that I love Roy Williams. I followed him all four years at Texas, and prayed that the the Cowboys would somehow get their hands on him. His statistics weren't great in Detroit, but it was the Lions for crying out loud. I think that once Roy has had sufficient time to work with Tony Romo, he will pay dividends and show the NFL that he is a top notch talent.

So, it's not Roy Williams I have a problem with. My problem is with when, how, and the circumstances under which the Cowboys decided to trade for Williams. This deal was lopsided, premature, and very short-sighted on the part of Jerry Jones.

What chaps me the most about this deal is that the Cowboys could have shown patience and waited until the end of the season for the soon-to-be free agent receiver to make his own way to Dallas. Roy made no bones about saying he was unhappy in Detroit, wanted to come back to Texas, and that he wanted to be a Cowboy.

The guy grew up in Odessa, Texas. He played his high school ball at state powerhouse Odessa Permian, and went on to play at the University of Texas. Every kid in west Texas wants to do three things: play football for Odessa Permian, play football for the Texas Longhorns, and play football for the Dallas Cowboys.

Williams not only spends his offseasons in Odessa, he has also expressed that he wants to be the school's head football coach after he retires from the NFL. The writing was on the wall, all Dallas had to do was be hold on a few more months.

But instead of simply waiting on Roy to come to us, Jerry Jones decided to give up two first-round picks and pay through the nose for the receiver's services. This deal worked out like most mid-season trades do in football. There was no cohesiveness, and thus no immediate impact.

Jerry Jones had on his favorite pair of Superbowl Goggles, and an otherwise ugly deal suddenly looked much more appealing. Or maybe it was the same stuff he was drinking when he decided to fire Jimmy. Who knows?

What ever it was, it didn't help that Tony Romo was injured, and Williams spent his first month catching passes from Brad Johnson. The timing of the deal was terrible,  the price was much too costly, and the first payment is due on Saturday. 

I'd hoped that Jerry had learned from the mistakes of his past when it comes to letting go of multiple first rounders for wide receivers.

In 2000, The Cowboys did the exact same thing by giving up back-to-back first-round picks to Seattle for Joey Galloway. That move set the franchise back years, and I'm afraid history is doomed to repeat itself.

Fast forward to April, and the Cowboys are not only lacking a first-round pick, but they also have let go of Terrell Owens. This move not only means Patrick Crayton is a starter again (ugh!), but it also means we basically gave up Terrell Owens and a No. 1 for a receiver we could have signed anyway.

Does anyone else feel that, at best, we are running in place while donating No. 1 picks to other franchises.

The Cowboys are a very talented team, but they are not lacking in holes that need to be filled in the draft. I'm going to have to classify Crayton as one of those holes, not to mention the one left by the trade of Anthony Henry, who could fill in at safety and corner.

Dallas also needs to address the aging offensive tackle position, and they could always use another corner. Although the experts seem to agree that this draft is not particularly deep, the Cowboys will need to find value in the later rounds this year.

However, I think Dallas picks too late to hope to fill any of these voids immediately. I don't see the team getting any first-year starters, unless they work a deal and trade up into the first round.

With 11 overall picks, maybe Dallas can hit on a few sleepers that will pay off down the road. The Cowboys have a second rounder, a third rounder, two fourths, three fifths, and two picks in the sixth and seventh rounds each.

The Roy Williams trade should be a point of interest for a long time. And years from now, we will all look at who the Lions were able to get with these picks and wonder.

But more importantly, I hope Jerry looks back. I hope he learns some patience and timing for future transactions.

I hope Jerry pulls his head out of his stadium and realizes that he is running a football team and not a fantasy team, and that prematurely pulling the trigger often leads to shooting oneself in the foot.