MOBILE, Ala. – Sherman Williams still has the swagger.
The former Alabama and Cowboys running back doesn't believe even prison can bring him down, though he's traded in jersey No. 20 for Inmate No. 07520-003.
"I can handle anything," Williams told the Press-Register of Mobile in a prison interview at the Forrest City Federal Correctional Institution in Arkansas.
He has spent nearly six years in the prison about 45 miles west of Memphis, Tenn. That's where he'll probably reside for at least seven more years for his conviction on three counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and a separate plea for passing counterfeit currency.
Williams believes performing under the spotlight, in stadiums packed with fans, toughened him for prison life.
"You know, I would think that things that would kill the average man wouldn't even make me flinch," he said.
Williams, who spent four years as Emmitt Smith's backup, was arrested on April 21, 2000, and charged with being the leader of a drug ring that authorities said had supplied as much as 1,000 pounds of marijuana to the Mobile area since 1998.
He complains that the prison sentence was too harsh, but Williams doesn't sound fazed by his time there.
"I'm cool with that," he said. "It's no problem. Do I look like a guy that's doing hard time?"
Defensive end Greg Ellis, who is hoping that the Cowboys will guarantee parts of his contract for the future, will be on the team's Thursday flight to Oxnard, Calif., for training camp, according to his agent. Ellis, who is concerned about his role, tied for the team lead in sacks last season with eight.
The Cowboys reached an agreement with seventh-round pick Pat McQuistan, an offensive tackle, on a four-year deal. The Cowboys have made a five-year offer to first-round pick Bobby Carpenter.
Williams, who never carried the ball more than 121 times in his four-year career, was cut in favor of Chris Warren after the 1998 season. Williams' Cowboys numbers:
| Att. || Yards || Avg. || TDs |
| 302 || 1,162 || 3.8 || 4 |