At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Jerry Jones delivered a screed against complacency, the highlights of which were his hinting at impending and widespread change on the roster, and the assertion that he wanted some of his players to be nervous; he then turned around and gave receiver Roy Williams a resounding vote of confidence.
When asked if he could see a scenario in which Williams would not be starting in 2010, Jones said, "a big no." These two statements seemed contradictory: players should be nervous about their playing time and indeed their future in Dallas; but Williams, who, arguably more than anyone else, was a disappointment in 2009, has a starting spot locked up.
Jones attempted to address this seeming disconnect recently.
"You don’t need to manufacture things to make Roy nervous," Jones said. "Just our situation and as a matter of fact, his ability to handle the things that would make any of us nervous has been impressive to me and it's one of the things I'm encouraged about.
"He's getting [criticism] from enough places but his ability to handle that from enough places is a big plus. It's one of the things that I would say the average to a high percentage people and players I've known would have been a more negative reacting than he's been and I think that’s a plus."
Jones has a point here, but it may be ill-suited for this conversation.
To be sure, it is better to have an underachieving receiver with a good attitude than one with a bad attitude. Then again, it's doubtful that when Jones made the initial 'get nervous' remarks, he was after players with an unflappably sunny countenance. Whether Williams possesses that is wholly irrelevant if he doesn't produce on Sundays and, so far in Dallas, well, we all know the story. But Jones is confident--as he has been, one should note, since he made the trade in October of 2008--that Williams will be fine in Dallas.
"He knows how to make it a positive time and I've seen him do that," Jones said. "If he will continue to work we’ll be fine with Roy and he’s going to be fine with us."