Roy L. Williams to retire as Cowboy

CANTON, Ohio -- Safety Roy L. Williams has been a Cincinnati Bengal for a little more than a year. But he'll consider himself a Dallas Cowboy for the rest of his life.

The Cowboys released Williams last offseason. When Jerry Jones informed the five-time Pro Bowler of the decision, the Cowboys' owner asked if there was anything he could do for Williams.

"I want to retire as a Cowboy," Williams said Saturday, recalling the moment while he toured the Pro Football Hall of Fame a day before meeting his former team in the preseason opener.

Jones told Williams to consider it done. They agreed that Williams would sign a one-day contract with the Cowboys when he decided to retire, a ceremonious gesture Jones has given such players as Emmitt Smith and Larry Allen over the years.

Williams, who is entering his ninth NFL season, doesn't know exactly when that day will come but acknowledged that the end of his career could be near.

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.