Whether he wants to admit it or not, there are problems in the world of Jerry.
One wide receiver needs a new contract.
One refuses to attend OTAs until his role is defined, otherwise he’ll demand a trade.
One was taken in the first round amid some of the most bizarre controversy I’ve witnessed in the NFL.
And one refuses to sit in favor of anyone better than him, because the notion is inconceivable.
Throw in some tight end issues and HBO might as well reconsider their choice of the Jets for this season’s “Hard Knocks” to make the Cowboys the stars again for the third time.
Oh, and another receiver was even given permission to seek a new home so he doesn’t have to get involved in this mess.
Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton, Dez Bryant, Roy Williams, and Sam Hurd.
Who stays, who sits, and who will be sent packing?
In reality, the competition for the two starting spots might be narrowed down to just Austin, Bryant, and Williams because of the potential departures of Crayton and Hurd.
Despite grabbing five touchdowns with a respectable 622 yards last season, Crayton feels that he’ll be left the odd man out in 2010, leading him to inquire about a potential trade and neglecting to continue to attend voluntary OTAs.
"Obviously, I'd like for Patrick to be there, but I understand his situation,'' Tony Romo said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "I understand the way he's thinking. I want him to be a part of things so we can go forward and stay committed to the approach and what we're doing. But there is that other side of the game sometimes that plays a role."
Sam Hurd might not have any choice in the matter either, as it’ll be hard for the Cowboys’ front office to find a willing market for a receiver who raked in just 121 yards in ’09, nearly half of which came on just one of his seven catches.
It is likely that he’ll end up back with the team, but be delegated to the special teams unit almost exclusively.
Jason Witten has been the premier tight end option for the Cowboys since 2004, but Martellus Bennett and John Phillips are hungrily waiting in the on-deck circle.
Bennett impressed as a rookie in ’08, tying Witten’s touchdown output with four. But he seemed to lose focus last year and ultimately endured a concussion and missed some games. He finished the season with 15 receptions, none of which happened to be in the end zone.
A determined Bennett and eager Phillips won’t be taking over for Witten immediately, but they’ll be ready to stab at the first opportunity that presents itself.
Now that brings us to the real dilemma: who will win this year’s Cowboys Diva Search?
After a ridiculous breakout Pro-Bowl season, the explosive Miles Austin is obviously in prime position to be Romo’s receiver-of-choice for ’10. However, the restricted free agent Austin still has yet to sign his tender, with no timetable in sight.
Most believe that before long, he’ll sign his one-year tender, earning him $3.168 million for the upcoming season, a steal for Dallas.
Compare that with the eye-popping contract status of a one Mr. Roy E. Williams.
Granted, the deal was drafted up by the disarray known as the Lions front office, but Roy will be making $3.45 million with a $9.5 million guaranteed option bonus in 2010.
This comes, of course, after a mediocre 38 catch, 596 yard season in which Williams dropped eight passes, good for 12th worst in the NFL.
Does this entitle him to the second starting wide receiver spot?
One could argue that yes, it does.
And that “one” is Roy Williams.
"Like I said when I first got here, ain't no such thing as me sitting on the bench," Williams said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "Never in my life."
But Roy, what about Dez?
"I know people are thinking he's going to come in and take my spot and all that mess," Williams said, according to DallasCowboys.com. "It's not about that. I don't think that's going to happen anyway. I embrace the challenge. I think he's going to come in and help this football team win three more ballgames."
Interesting point of view.
It may actually mark the first time in history that a non-starter will single-handedly win three more ballgames (on top of the 11 won last year, mind you) for an organization.
And it’ll be a rookie who hasn’t played since October, to boot.
The job is Williams’s to lose, but he’s on thin ice already.
For Bryant to win this starting position before Week One, he’ll have to keep his head on straight, give the media nothing to chastise him for, and most importantly be a better football player than Roy Williams.
Even if Dez begins the season third on the depth chart, the leash on Williams will be so short that he’ll simply have to outperform all expectations from the get-go.
There will be no excusable slow start for Roy.
He has had his time to adjust; it is now time to perform.
Otherwise the nation will be calling for America’s Team to make the switch to the star of the future in Bryant.
Jerry Jones has faith in him, and the world will be watching.
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