Jerry Jones Cleans House: T.O., Williams Cut

Well the past 24 hours have been more than interesting for the Cowboys to say the least. While I’m being a complete baseball nerd and enjoying a bit of MLB: The Show 2009, I got the following text from my sister:

“We just got rid of T.O.!”

I couldn’t believe it. I flew to ESPN to see if it was true. The irony of the opening sentence was quite delicious:

The Dallas Cowboys have released controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens, sources told ESPN’s Michael Smith late Wednesday.

Oh yeah, more anonymous sources! For all the Cowboys spin of trying to claim such sources were only full of lies about problems with T.O. and the Cowboys, it is once again said “mysterious” sources that break the news of T.O.’s forced farewell. How fitting.

One of my friends (an Eagles fan too at that) pointed out that three years ago, I was happy with the signing of T.O. In thinking about that, I realized that there are really eight steps a fan goes through when T.O. gets involved:

  1. While not on your team, you make fun of him and take pleasure in the horrible things that happen to him.
  2. Your team shocks you by signing him. You don’t know if you should be cheering or be pissed.
  3. You begin to think: “Wait a second, this might just work!”
  4. Season 1 you are singing his praises, have your popcorn ready, and you sit and think that your team found that magic “make T.O.” happy formula. You are loving it!
  5. Season 2 some drama creeps up. But hey, no big deal. That is just T.O.’s competitive spirit and people just can’t see that right….RIGHT?!?!
  6. Season 3 you see the writing on the wall. You start going back to step #1, but then you still try to mix in #4 when things actually go well.
  7. Step #6 drives you mad. You want T.O.’s head on a platter and off your team’s roster.
  8. Once cut, you revert to step #1 in earnest and prepare to laugh your ass off at the poor bastards that will be stuck with T.O. next and watch them follow all these steps like you did.

Here’s my proof of said eight steps:

A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Now, of course I am happy, but I do realize that there is a good chunk of offense walking out the door. However, despite the fact that Roy Williams may not be able to completely “replace” the production at the #1 WR receiver slot, the Cowboys have just gotten rid of the biggest crutch for failure that they have been leaning on for the past two years.

When you have the kind of drama T.O. brings, it clouds the whole situation. Why aren’t things clicking? Is Romo just not a good QB? Is Garret a horrible coordinator? Is Wade Phillips just an awful coach? Do we simply just not have the talent to win? The drama T.O. stirred up made these issues secondary. Problem is, these issues are the heart of the problem and you can’t win unless you fix him. On the same side of the coin, you can’t look at them unless you are focused on them.

With the source of distraction gone, it is time to focus on these issues. Releasing T.O. won’t be a cure-all, but we will sure as hell know what we actually have.

The excuses end today for the Cowboys offense. It is put up or shut up time for all of them.

However, if I encourage those screaming “great, now we have no WR” to look at the bigger picture. We have three supremely talented RB ready to roll for next year in Barber, Jones, and Choice. There is no reason in the world we shouldn’t be running this three headed monster down everyone’s throats next season. We don’t have to worry about T.O. getting his touches now, time to game plan like we did in the Green Bay game last season: run their ass over and launch it over their heads when they sell out on the run.

Also keep in mind, we have one of the best TE in the NFL in Witten. He will definitely command more attention this year, but I still think he will be able to handle it. Witten is Romo’s security blanket. Teams not respecting that connection will get burned.

As for Roy Williams, if he actually has some kind of a breakout, that completely spreads the ball out. Defenses won’t key on him — they will focus on Witten or the run. He’ll have fimiliarity with the playbook this time around and he should have room to work. It is now or never for him to prove he is not deserving of the “bust” label he currently holds.

Worst case senario though is the Cowboys have a bad season. If that does happen though, we should have a clear picture of where we go from that point to rebuild this team. I’d rather have a crappy season and make some actual progress in fixing this thing than to deal with another T.O. drama-infested year and feel like we took 10 steps back once again.

In other Cowboys news, the other Roy Williams (the Safety), has also gotten the ax. I don’t think there should be any surprises there. He wanted out and he hasn’t done anything of worth for years.

The way I see it, Jerry got rid of two anchors weighing this team down and also seemed to reclaim his balls by making tough decisions, especially in the case of T.O.

Today won’t fix everything, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.