D.J. Stone/Icon SMI
Ray Lewis says he's open to the possibility of playing for the Dallas Cowboys next season. If the Cowboys are open to the possibility of healing their fractured locker room and returning to the playoffs next season, they'll sign him as soon as they can.
If Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones doesn't want to hire a vocal leader as a head coach and is content with keeping the current cast of characters he has in a locker room that has more cliques than a high school movie, the least he can do is sign a respected player who will instantaneously be the leader of this wayward group -- whether they like it or not.
Who's going to ignore Lewis or tell him any different? As a Super Bowl champion and a future hall of famer who speaks like a preacher and hits like a semi, Lewis would garner the respect of everyone in the locker room like no player since Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin roamed the halls of Valley Ranch.
No one on the current Cowboys has that kind of clout. Its a bunch of overpaid, over-hyped players who think they're running the show. Lewis recently said that the Cowboys can be a contender if they have "one general" in the locker room.
"I don't see all of that outside stuff that they're talking about what goes on in Dallas," Lewis told the NFL Network. "I see Dallas as a great opportunity. It's always been America's Team. It's just a great place to play football."
While Lewis is a 10-time Pro Bowler at middle linebacker and would upgrade the Cowboys' defense immensely, it's his presence in the locker room where he would earn his money. There is no monetary value you can place on respect and team chemistry, and the addition of Lewis would go a long way in giving the Cowboys, as Lewis said, that "one general" in the locker room that would keep the team on track and not allow dissention to seep in over petty arguments or disputes that wreaked havoc on the team last year.
Lewis isn't a miracle worker, but he is the Cowboys' best chance at healing a dysfunctional locker room and bringing the team together without totally tearing it apart and starting from scratch. Lewis would be the only person in the locker room with any guts to stand up to Terrell Owens, Tony Romo and Jason Witten and be a mediator when a feud broke out. That's something that can't be said for the players' coaches that litter the current coaching staff, which rarely, if ever, stands up to star players.
Lewis will no doubt be a first-ballot hall of famer for his accomplishments on the field. If he came to Dallas and was able to lead the team back to the Super Bowl by taking care of its off-field problems, that would easily be the impressive accomplishment of his career.