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2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: WR Terrance Williams

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract Cowboys: Terrance Williams 1

It is well known throughout all professional sports that contract years for athletes are very important. That is, a player who's contract expires at the end of the season who looks to put together one of their best seasons as a pro in order to bring in top money from another team, or show his current team enough to be resigned.

We have already talked extensively here at Inside The Star about current Cowboys who's contracts have expired, as we approach free agency. Now, let's fast-forward to the start of the 2016 season and take a look at a Cowboys wide receiver who will be playing in a contract year.

Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract Cowboys: Terrance Williams

Terrance Williams

Terrance Williams' time in Dallas has been highlighted by inconsistency. His stat lines from his first three seasons as a Cowboy are as follows:

2013 - 44 REC 736 YDS 5 TDs

2014 - 37 REC 621 YDS 8 TDs

2015 - 52 REC 840 YDS 3 TDs

Coming into this season, fans took some slight comfort in coping with the possibility of playing without Dez Bryant, because Terrance Williams was ready to take over as a top target.

While Dez was limited the whole season when on the field, Williams did little to step up and help the Cowboys offense. Yes, he had to deal with the likes of Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel throwing him the ball, but a WR who is only good when playing with a top QB is not a player who will bring in a large contract.

The knocks on Williams' have been that he is a body catcher and that he checks out of plays in which he is not the primary target. However, we saw in the later half of the season how dangerous he can be if he does indeed get the ball in his hands.

As a three-year player, the honest evaluation on Williams to this point is that if you are relying on him to be your second best receiver, you have an issue. If you ask him to be a role player to take the top off the defense as part of a deeper receiving core, you can likely live with Terrance Williams.

Brice Butler made the most of his playing time down the stretch in Dallas, and the thought was that he will replace Williams on the outside next season. If this does indeed happen, I do not see Williams returning in 2017 as a role player.

Dez Bryant is the franchise's pride at the receiver position, locked up on a mega-contract until 2019. What the Cowboys get out of this contract to Bryant will be dictated by who they get to play across from him. While Butler likely isn't the long-term answer to that question, Terrance Williams has shown that he is not that guy as well.

I expect Butler to replace Williams after training camp, and the Cowboys to also bring in another WR through the draft or free agency.

Terrance Williams is certainly a guy that needs a big contract year for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.

Tell us what you think about "2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: WR Terrance Williams" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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9 Comments
  • Randy

    First of all, I am not a fan of Williams. He seems to have an inherent flaw that limits his ceiling or perhaps this is his ceiling and that's not so bad for a #3 receiver. But he is not a #2 and never will be in my opinion. He can be incredibly frustrating with the drops and then he will make an amazing catch. I think he is worth keeping as depth. But I have to ask you to expand on why you think Butler will overtake him. What have you seen to indicate that? Butler couldn't grab a job at Oakland when they were hungry to find starters at the position and he seems to be a one trick pony with speed on fly patterns.

  • Ronmexico

    he's a body catcher that doesn't run great routes and really has no speed. time to move on.

  • Blue Star

    Move on from him.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin
    InsideTheStar.com User

    First of all, I am not a fan of Williams. He seems to have an inherent flaw that limits his ceiling or perhaps this is his ceiling and that's not so bad for a #3 receiver. But he is not a #2 and never will be in my opinion. He can be incredibly frustrating with the drops and then he will make an amazing catch. I think he is worth keeping as depth. But I have to ask you to expand on why you think Butler will overtake him. What have you seen to indicate that? Butler couldn't grab a job at Oakland when they were hungry to find starters at the position and he seems to be a one trick pony with speed on fly patterns.

    I would argue that Williams is more of the one trick pony in running streak routes, but Butler is better than him in that area anyway. It's such a small sample size with Butler, but he seems to run crisp routes and is explosive with the ball in his hands. Want to see more of him with Romo, which we will in training camp, and from there I think he will prove a lot more than Terrance.

    • Randy

      Valid point on seeing Butler with Romo through camp and like Zac mentions below he reminds him of Miles Austin. Oddly Butler is one inch taller at 6'3" and they are the same weight. Butler is also a bit faster at 4.37 vs. 4.47. One thing about Butler is he is slow off the line and has a long stride so when he gets in the open field he can really accelerate. It's just getting by the defender. I would like to see him use his height and be more physical. Maybe in fairness to Butler he did kind of go through some stuff as he started there, such as coaching changes, QB changes, and maybe it didn't allow him to get his footing. He was a 7th pick and apparently Dallas saw something to make them give up a conditional 5th so I think they should give him an opportunity to see what he can do. I hope he blossoms but the jury is out. While I don't think we need to be looking at Treadwell with the #4 pick, I think there are some excellent options with our 2nd and 3rd picks and always some hidden jewels in later rounds. It was not until Austin's 4th year that he blossomed and since Butler is heading into his 4th year, maybe this is his year!

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    Brice Butler reminds me a lot of Miles Austin, and anyone who has been around these forums for a little while knows I was a fan of Austin's.

    I always put it like this: tons of receivers are fast. Tons of receivers can catch the ball well. Tons of receiver run fast AND catch the ball well. The differentiating factor among wide receivers, as far as I'm concerned, is route-running.

    Most starting NFL cornerbacks can shut down receivers who are poor route-runners, even ones that are blazing fast. I see speed-demon after speed-demon come through the NFL at the wide receiver position and ultimately prove disappointing. I have NEVER seen a wide receiver be described as a great route-runner and not have a nice window of decent production in their career.

    I LOVE wide receivers who behave like students of the game. I feel like Brice Butler might be one of those guys. Runs very good routes, covers the basic stuff (like not "stutter-stepping" when you're coming off the ball, catching the ball with your hands, etc).

    He might ultimately end up not being as good as I hope he'll be, but I feel pretty confident he's more than an experiment.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    Williams is a #2 receiver and nothing more. That's okay when the #1 receiver is actually active but there's an issue when your #2 guy can't come close to filling those shoes. They need to do better. That may be Butler, who looked great last year, but I have no issue with them spending as high as the #4 pick on a receiver.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    Seems like Jess is creeping towards joining RJ on #TeamTreadwell haha

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app. Check out InsideTheStar.com!

  • RJ Ochoa

    One of us! One of us! #TeamTreadwell

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room

Sean Martin

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line

The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.

Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.

Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp

What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.

The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.

Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.

To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.

Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.

If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.

Tell us what you think about "Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys LB Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week Against Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Leighton Vander Esch
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You already knew that Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker, had a great night last Sunday in Philadelphia. Apparently the rest of the football world agreed, and now he's been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is the first of what could be many for Leighton, who has emerged as a defensive leader for the Cowboys. He's been playing more in the absence of veteran Sean Lee, who has been battling hamstring issues all season.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

THE. WOLF. HUNTER. Congratulations to #DallasCowboys rookie LB @VanderEsch38 on being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week! → https://t.co/XeSTt2tIpX

This is the second Player of the Week award for a Dallas Cowboys this season. Kicker Brett Maher won the Special Teams version in Week 4 after going 4-for-4 and hitting a game winner over the Detroit Lions.

The Defensive Player award hasn't gone to a Cowboys since Week of 2017, when DeMarcus Lawrence put up three sacks against the Arizona Cardinals.

Leighton's recognition is also well-earned. He led Dallas with 13 tackles and an interception in a pivotal road victory against a division rival. In what was arguably a "must-win" game for the Cowboys, their first-round pick stepped up and stood out.

A few more games like this, and Vander Esch could be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But even above personal accolades, Leighton's play could help the Cowboys make a push in the NFC East.

If nothing else, he's making that first-round pick look smarter every week.



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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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