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Saturday, April 20, 2002
Cowboys get Williams and extra pick
Associated Press

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys traded away their highest draft pick in 11 years, but still got the player they wanted -- All-American safety Roy Williams from Oklahoma -- and an extra pick.

As their 15-minute time limit to make the No. 6 overall pick ran out Saturday, the Cowboys completed a trade with Kansas City.

Dallas went down just two spots, picking Williams eighth overall and also getting Chiefs' third-round pick (75th overall) and a sixth-round pick next year.

Tough judge
I don't like this pick because I don't think Roy Williams can play free safety in the NFL -- if they make him try, they'll ruin him in his first year. Or they will put him out there with someone else and throw off the whole chemistry of their defense. I don't like this pick at all.
-- Tim Brown, Raiders wide receiver

"It was beautiful the way it worked," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "Roy Williams was somebody we coveted. He's a player that will allow us to be better next year, but is a foundation for the future. That's a rare opportunity, one that we haven't had in a long time."

After consecutive 5-11 seasons, the Cowboys picked in the top 10 for the first time since getting defensive tackle Russell Maryland with the first overall choice in 1991.

Dallas didn't have first-round picks the last two years, having traded those to Seattle for receiver Joey Galloway in February 2000.

The Cowboys had nine picks left in the seven-round draft, including the 37th (second round) and 72nd (third round) overall picks Saturday, plus the extra choice they got from Kansas City. They also have overall picks 104, 140, 179, 208, 211 and 237 on Sunday.

Williams bypassed his senior year at Oklahoma, where he won the Bronko Nagurski Award for the nation's top defensive player and Thorpe Award for top defensive back. He had 101 tackles and five interceptions for the Sooners last season.

"Roy Williams is an impact-type of player, a guy that makes plays," said Cowboys coach Dave Campo. "You can make a highlight tape of Roy by putting any tape on. He's a highlight in himself."

Williams is expected to start immediately, alongside five-time Pro Bowler Darren Woodson, the 10-year veteran signed to a contract extension last month.

Jones was able to put some drama in his pick, even though a player the Cowboys wanted was available when it was their turn to pick. As time to pick was running out, Jones was on the phone with both Kansas City and Jacksonsville, completing the trade with the Chiefs at the last second.

"The longer you wait, the more you keep your options open. We were going to leave it out there as long as we could," Jones said. "We were pleased to have the sixth pick for Roy Williams. At the same time, we could maximize our draft."

Kansas City wanted to move up to pick North Carolina defensive tackle Ryan Sims, the same player that Minnesota had wanted with its seventh overall pick. The Chiefs got Sims and the Vikings took All-American tackle Bryant McKinnie from Miami, leaving Williams for the Cowboys.

Dallas had also targeted Texas cornerback Quentin Jammer, but he was picked fourth overall by San Diego and the Cowboys didn't have to choose between the two Big 12 defenders.

"We drafted our board," Jones insisted, refusing to speculate what the Cowboys would have done had both Jammer and Williams been available.