Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What To Do With All These Weapons?

By Scott Crisp

After six games this season, the Dallas Cowboys have encountered myriad problems. A lack of discipline that's resulted in too many untimely penalties, an awful couple of games by Tony Romo, poor two-minute defense, etc. Of all these problems that have emerged, or will emerge, though, one (and just one) can be read as a "good problem" (which I guess, by definition would make it not a problem at all).

The Dallas Cowboys might have too many weapons.

This is most obviously seen in the case of Roy Williams, whose weapon-ness is certainly a subject of debate; but for the sake of argument, he is the perfect example. Williams has been the subject of criticism for most of this year, kind of justifiably, considering he is paid like a no. 1 receiver, called a no. 1 receiver and has performed more like a no. 3, at best.

With 12 catches, 230 yards and a touchdown in five games this season, Williams has, by his own admission, underachieved in his time with Dallas. Also by his own admission, he played "terrible" against Atlanta, with two pretty inexplicable drops. So, again for the sake of argument, I'll exclude that performance, one well deserving of criticism.

Williams was ripped in the wake of week two, a loss to New York. Williams had one catch, for 18 yards in the loss to the Giants. Obviously, this was not the kind of week one would hope for from their team's first receiver.

As it was a loss, Williams' lack of production was cited in the obligatory list of reasons why Dallas didn't win. But this was far from the case. Williams wasn't the problem--he wasn't a factor, but he wasn't the problem, either. Dallas ran 29 times for 251 yards, putting up 31 points against a defense often thought to be the best in the division if not the conference.

That is, Williams fell victim to an offense ripe with weapons--he wasn't a factor, because he didn't really have to be--and, ultimately, a faltering defense.

Williams, unlike Terrell Owens, at least, seems to understand this fact. He has yet to start a nasty rumor about Jason Garrett, or whine about Jason Witten (that we know of), which it seems, would make this strictly a perceived problem on the part of the media, one which won't really affect the team.

This issue (or non-issue) can also be seen in Dallas's backfield, which could accurately be described as 'crowded.' But as long as this isn't a pervasive issue for Tashard Choice, whose playing time is most often the victim of this crowding, it can hardly be considered a 'problem' in any real sense.

Like any such issue, positive or negative, real or perceived, in the NFL, any word of this one will go away. All Dallas has to do is keep winning.

As for Williams, and his $9 million a year contract, that might be a different story.