Big News in Big D

Roy Williams makes a play

The Dallas Cowboys have been making a lot of headlines these past few weeks. Here is a chronological overview of the news from Valley Ranch, along with quick, to-the-point reaction? You’ll notice that most of the stories – especially those toward the middle and end – are like a slab of ribs: juicy in appearance until you pick them up and realize that there is actually very little meat on each bone.

Marion Barber and Terence Newman locked up long term

Great move by Jerry Jones getting this taken care of. If Barber stays healthy, his value is only going to rise. To get him in a seven-year deal with just $16 million guaranteed is a bargain. Signing Newman was an even better move. Few realize that the sixth-year pro is the best cornerback in football. Newman’s presence is the main reason why Roy Williams’s coverage woes have not absolutely killed this defense yet. Speaking of:.

Roy Williams’s status in question

It is hard to believe that a 27-year-old perennial Pro Bowler is in jeopardy of not making the team, but such is the case with the hard-hitting safety. Williams’s struggles in coverage have been immense, which is why his discomfort in Wade Phillips’s defensive scheme has become public knowledge. Expect Williams to remain the starting SS in Big D, but expect a short leash on him as well.

P.S. ESPN tried to make a story out of Williams’s teammates “criticizing” his situation, but there’s simply nothing there. Nobody has said anything about Williams that he himself hasn’t already acknowledged. Nice try anyway.

Pac Man Jones

ESPN has glorified this story as well. There are a lot of dimensions to this story.

*Jones met with Roger Goodell about reinstatement. No news here – this was scheduled to happen anyway. And, as you might expect, no news on how the meeting went.

*Jones paid off $20,000 in gambling debt to a Las Vegas casino. This one is hard to figure out. Do we care or not care? Is gambling debt a form of player conduct? Given who we’re talking about, yes, probably so. But then again, given the legal trouble history of who we’re talking about, it’s hard to see the big deal here. Fortunately, the debt is paid, which means the story is dead.

*Terrell Owens will mentor Jones. Let’s pounce on ESPN some more here. SportsCenter used this story as a tease, saying something along the lines of “Coming up, if Pac Man gets into trouble this year, find out which Cowboy will be to blame.” Yeah, that’s fair media coverage. Jones will have countless mentors and veteran role models in Dallas – just like he had countless mentors and veteran role models in Tennessee. The onus is still on him (as if anyone needs to be reminded of this).

*The Cowboys have said they may use Pac Man at wide receiver. Yet more news that is over-hyped. Of course Dallas may use Jones on offense – every speedy cornerback gets consideration on offense at some point.

Terry Glenn asked to sign injury settlement

First off, this is not relevant to the possibility of Pac Man playing receiver – no way would Dallas replace a veteran wideout with an inexperienced corner. It is good business by the Cowboys to protect themselves should Glenn’s knee problems recur in 2008. However, Glenn is only set to make $1.74 million this season, which means if he were to sign the injury settlement and then get hurt, the Cowboys would save just a little under $1.25 million. These aren’t pennies, but they’re not necessarily big bucks either. Glenn is a sensitive guy – slight him and face retaliation. Remember how his Patriots career ended?

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