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Roy Williams

Roy WilliamsDallas Cowboys release safety Roy Williams.

Roy Williams is no longer a Dallas Cowboy.

After attempts to trade the five-time Pro Bowl safety failed, the Cowboys decided to release Williams, their No. 1 draft pick in 2002. Williams confirmed his release Thursday morning in a text message.

By cutting Williams, the Cowboys save roughly $2 million in salary-cap space in 2009 and close the book on a player who was once the face of the franchise.

Williams was named to the Pro Bowl from 2003 to '07, earning a reputation as one of the NFL's most-feared hitters. He was also named All-Pro in 2003 and only five defensive players in franchise history have played in more Pro Bowls than Williams as a Cowboy. He finished his Dallas career with 611 tackles, 6½ sacks, 22 tackles for loss, 21 quarterback pressures, 56 pass deflections and 19 interceptions. He returned three for a touchdown, one shy of the team record.

Williams, 28, was limited to three games in 2008 because of a twice fractured right forearm and he finished with just nine tackles.

The Cowboys signed Williams to a $25 million extension on Aug. 2, 2006, that included an $11.1 million signing bonus, which at the time was the most in history for a safety. But Williams' coverage skills became more of an issue over the last few years, something that he believed was a result in the change to the 3-4 scheme from the 4-3 system the Cowboys used when he was drafted out of Oklahoma.

Williams also earned several fines and was suspended by the NFL for a game for horse-collar tackles, which is commonly known as the Roy Williams Rule.

Williams was also one of the most involved players in the community with his Safety Net Foundation work for single moms, setting up offices in Dallas and Oklahoma to help families in need.

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