Cowboys' Williams named to Pro bowl roster in Taylor's place

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams is going
to the Pro Bowl for the fifth consecutive season, and he will have
plenty of teammates to hang out with in Hawaii.

The addition of Williams to the NFC roster Thursday gave the
Cowboys a league-record 12 Pro Bowl selections.

Williams took the roster spot of the late Sean Taylor, the
Washington strong safety voted in as a starter.

"I appreciate being the first alternate to go," Williams said.
"We are going to do something special for Sean and his family. ...
It's an honor to be going in his place."

Williams wouldn't elaborate on the plans to honor Taylor, who
died Nov. 27 after being shot during a burglary at his home in

The NFL also said Cowboys free safety Ken Hamlin, a first-time
Pro Bowler, will replace Taylor in the starting lineup for the NFC.
Hamlin is the eighth Dallas player set to start in the Pro Bowl.

Williams received the fourth-most votes for safeties behind
Taylor, Minnesota's Darren Sharper and Hamlin. Sharper was voted in
as the starting strong safety.

"Making it was definitely an honor. Roy is definitely
deserving, he's done a great job, as well. He's been there a lot
more than me, so I'll definitely follow him," Hamlin said.
"Making it means a lot to me. ... And to be a starter in that type
of game is definitely a big honor."

When the Pro Bowl teams were chosen last month, Dallas tied a
franchise record with 11 selections. That included seven starters:
receiver Terrell Owens, tight end Jason Witten, offensive linemen
Flozell Adams, Andre Gurode and Leonard Davis, linebacker DeMarcus Ware and rookie kicker Nick Folk.

The other Pro Bowlers from Dallas (13-3), the NFC's top-seeded
playoff team, are quarterback Tony Romo, running back Marion Barber
and cornerback Terence Newman.

"That's 12 guys in, so that's exciting for us," coach Wade
Phillips said Thursday.

Williams has 92 tackles and two interceptions in 15 games. He
missed the Carolina game last month while serving a one-game
suspension for another violation of the horse-collar rule that is
tabbed by some "The Roy Williams Rule" because of his use of the

The NFL fined Williams once last year and twice earlier this
year before sending him a letter warning that he might have to miss
a game if he did it again. Then he got penalized for tackling
Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb from behind on Dec. 16.

In practice this week, Williams wore No. 38 instead of the No.
31 jersey he's had throughout his six seasons in Dallas. He plans
to switch next season to the higher number that has spritual
significance to him.

"Eight in the Bible is a new beginning, and I feel that after
this season, it's time to switch," Williams said. "I have always
been a spiritual person. After rededicating my life, I felt it was
a good time to do it. It's about my life. Football is my job. My
walk with Christ, I am taking to a whole another level and I am
serious about it."

This isn't the first time Williams wanted to wear No. 38.

Williams said he didn't switch two years ago because so many
fans were wearing No. 31 and he "didn't want Jerry (Jones, the
Cowboys owner) to lose any money as far as people recalling those
jerseys back."

He said he tried to get No. 38 when he first arrived in Dallas
as a rookie in 2002, but the number was already taken.

"Duane Hawthorne was trying to charge me $20,000," Williams
said. "Coming in as a rookie, I was like I am not going to pay no
dang money for a number."