- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Don’t mess with Texas players.
At least, don’t mess with the ones who are proven NFL underachievers.
Perhaps Jerry Jones has learned his lesson after handing pink slips Tuesday to a pair of high-priced Longhorns: receiver Roy Williams and offensive guard Leonard Davis. Those two Texas-exes didn’t live up to their billing for the teams that drafted them with top-10 picks. They’ll leave Dallas as disappointments, although Davis did have a couple of very good seasons for the Cowboys before declining back into mediocrity.
The Cowboys could make a similar mistake with safety Michael Huff, another top-10 Texas-ex who has been an NFL underachiever. Huff had his best season last year – what a coincidence, in the final year of his contract – so he could end up with a deal befitting one of the NFL’s best safeties.
There was plenty of speculation about the Cowboys pursuing Huff, an Irving native, to fill one of their glaring holes at the safety spots. There hasn’t been any smoke on that front so far. Perhaps that ought to be considered progress for Jerry.
The Cowboys’ recent experiences with highly hyped Longhorns had to leave a bitter taste in Jerry’s mouth, not to mention a sharp pain in his hip pocket.
Davis got a seven-year, $49.6 million deal from the Cowboys with almost half of the money guaranteed. Williams got a five-year, $45 million deal with about half of it guaranteed.
That’s a couple of extremely costly gambles taken on players who can be considered poster boys for the poor reputation UT has in NFL scouting circles. The theory goes that Mack Brown’s country club atmosphere produces coddled players who fail to live up to their potential as professionals.
There are exceptions, of course. It just doesn’t seem wise for Jerry to try to find them while investing in expensive fixer-uppers in free agency.