No joy in being Roy

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:22 AM ET

It appears that the Roy Williams era is coming to a close in Dallas.

Following three seasons with Dallas, the acquisition of Williams from Detroit in October of 2008 can only be classified as an expensive mistake.

In acquiring Williams from the Lions, the Cowboys gave up a first-round pick in 2009, plus a third- and sixth-rounder that year and a seventh-round pick in '10.

Upon his acquisition, the Cowboys also agreed to a five-year extension worth $45 million, including more than $20-million guaranteed.

At the time, Williams was thought to be a receiver capable of replacing Terrell Owens as their No. 1 receiver.

"I'm more happy to be a Dallas Cowboy than when I got my first bike," Williams said at the time.

But it just never worked out for Williams in Dallas and next season he is not expected to be back.

Simply put, Williams never established himself in Dallas as the go-to guy, the big-play receiver.

In 10 games with Dallas in '08, Williams caught 19 passes and had just one TD. The next season in 15 games, he caught just 38 passes for 596 yards and seven touchdowns. This season he has caught 36 passes and has five TDs.

In his past 10 games he has been overlooked as he has 15 receptions for 218 yards and no scores.

"It's disappointing," Williams said. "I can only do what I can do. I started out nice, then all of sudden I fell off the face of the earth."

In Detroit, he was The Man.

"I was the go-to guy in Detroit," Williams told ESPNDallas.com.

"Co-ordinators can make who they want to make the star."

And in Dallas, Williams has been anything but a star.

Soon, he'll be out of a job.

SEATTLE WOULD SURE WELCOME MATT

In what comes down to their biggest game of the season -- a win it, you are in it, you lose it , you are out -- the Seattle Seahawks will probably have to go with backup Charlie Whitehurst as their quarterback.

Matt Hasselbeck? He's still limping around with a leg strain that has prevented him from practising.

On Sunday night, the Seahawks will play host to the St. Louis Rams with the winner being crowned the NFC's West Division champ. In the Seahawks' case, who would have a 7-9 record with a win, it's more like being the chumps.

Hasselbeck, though, is doing everything he can to make the start.

"Matt is moving around," coach Pete Carroll said.

"He was in the pool today. He is not going to take this in any other way than he's going to get right for the game. He thinks he's going to make it. It's going to be against the odds if he can do that, but he's willing to go for it and we'll see what that means later in the week."

If Whitehurst gets the start, it will be just the second of his NFL career. His only other one was a bus as it came in a 41-7 loss to the New York Giants.

That fact didn't stop Carroll from being a cheerleader.

"I think it's just a matter of time before he's a really, really good starting quarterback in the NFL," Carroll said of Whitehurst.

Yeah, right.

Few believe the Seahawks have much of a chance, given their play of late, no matter who starts.

Carroll, though, clearly wants it to be Hasselbeck.

"I'm totally convinced he's waging a battle against the odds and he's going to make a miracle comeback if he can," Carroll said.

"We'll see what happens."

For the Seahawks to win, it will take more than a miracle.

FOX TROT OUT OF CAROLINA

The curtain comes down on the Carolina Panthers' season this Sunday in Atlanta.

Big deal, you say, it will be just another slaughter against a Panthers team that has won all of two games this season.

True enough, but it will also mark the final game for Panthers head coach John Fox, the final chapter in his nine-year run as Carolina's head coach.

Fox has been a Dead Man Walking for the past two seasons. After Arizona beat Carolina in the division playoff round in 2008, Panthers management decided not to extend his contract beyond his final two years.

On Sunday, his time is finally up.

In talking to the Charlotte Observer this week, Fox wasn't getting all weepy over what will be his final game.

"I'm not really in a reflective mood at this stage," Fox said.

"But I'll be able to walk out with my head high and be able to look in the mirror."

Most coaching jobs, regardless of the sport don't end this way, with Fox clicking out the lights and closing the door. Usually a coach gets booted through the door, gets turfed in the middle of a contract like Wade Phillips and Brad Childress did earlier in the season.

"This is not new news," Fox said of the coming of the end.

"It's a finishing, and it's kind of been knowledgeable for a couple of years. We'll just leave it at that."

His big regret is going out with a team that should finish 2-14. It marks the first time in his 20 seasons in the NFL as a coach that his team suffered 10 or more losses.

"I wish we could have won more games," Fox said. "This is new territory for me being through this, whether it be an assistant or a head coach."

If he has any plans, Fox, 55, is keeping them to himself.

"I think right now it's been the end of a long, hard season," he said.

"I'll evaluate that when the season is over, after Sunday."

SURGERY FOR COLSTON

The New Orleans Saints have been one of the hottest teams over the past eight weeks winning seven of eight games including Monday night's big 17-14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

After an inconsistent start, the Saints appear to be heading into the playoffs in defence of their Super Bowl victory hitting on all cylinders.

This week, however, as they prepare to play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what promises to be a bruising finale, the Saints will have to get by without wide receiver Marques Colston who earlier in the week underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

Colston will in all likelihood not be able to play in Sunday's game -- but what about a wild-card game the following weekend?

Saints head coach Sean Payton said that Colston emerged from Monday's game with soreness and had a procedure that he characterized as a "clean up" and relatively minor.

Colston did not practice on Thursday and as a result the Saints brought up receiver Adrian Arrington from the practice squad as a precautionary move.

Colston this season has been the favourite target of quarterback Drew Brees as he leads the club in receptions with 84, receiving yards with 1,022 and has caught seven TD passes.

Colston is a key link in the Saints passing game and come playoff time if he can't go or is not fully recovered and less effective it could put a severe crimp in the Saints offensive game plan and their hopes of a Super Bowl repeat.


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