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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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BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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David Irving

For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.

Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.

In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.

Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.

The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

Sean Martin

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Cowboys 2016 Draft Class: Who Will Be The Stand Out In 2017?
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.

Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.

Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.

A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.

This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.

Jason Witten's Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.

Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.

Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.

Tell us what you think about "Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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David Irving to be Present at Dallas Cowboys Minicamp

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

David Irving has been a notable name throughout the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, for both on the field and off the field headlines. First, his RFA tender had fans and analysts wondering just what the Cowboys would do with him. Many, myself included, thought placing anything lower than a first-round tender on the stud defensive tackle would mean he was collecting sacks for someone else in 2018.

Thankfully, the Dallas Cowboys' gamble paid off and they were able to save some money by only having the second-round tender applied to 2018.

Then came the accusation of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, catching us off-guard just before OTAs began in May. Which was then retracted not long after the initial report.

After all of that had quieted down, most of the talk revolved around David Irving not being in shape for OTAs. Not having been around for much of the offseason work the last several weeks before OTAs would keep Irving from working out.

He's had a lot going on in his life lately away from the game of football, and understandably so. As a father to a young child, I can see how you'd get distracted from your job when family stuff comes into play that affects the well-being of your child.

On the football side of things, at least, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Today, it's being reported that David Irving will in fact be present for this week's mandatory minicamp.

Brandon George on Twitter

Also, the Cowboys expect DL David Irving to participate in the 3-day mandatory minicamp that begins today at The Star, a source said. The Cowboys could have both Irving and RG Zack Martin back on the practice field if Martin's contract extension gets finalized this morning.

You may be asking yourself, "what's the big deal? Irving isn't Aaron Donald."

Well, you're mostly right.

Perhaps next to Donald, David Irving was the most disruptive interior player in the NFL last season. David Irving had seven sacks in the eight games he played in.

Read that again. Seven sacks in eight games. That would be 14 sacks over the course of the season if that pace were to continue to play out.

Aaron Donald had 11 sacks in 2017.

Pro Football Focus rated David Irving as its third best pass rusher among interior defensive linemen.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Dominant interior defenders.

To go along with Irving's seven sacks in eight games -- every time I read that I'm floored -- he recorded six passes defended. That was good for second in the NFL at the defensive tackle position and was second on the Dallas Cowboys.

Again, in only eight games played.

Even if you were to pace out his tackle numbers over 16 games, they aren't very spectacular -- 26 solo and 18 assisted -- but he'd still finish in the top 30 among defensive tackles.

Only two other players in the NFL had seven or more sacks and six or more pass breakups; New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan and Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Carlos Dunlap. Both of those guys played in all 16 games and, while I hate to keep bringing this up, Irving only played in eight.

He's an elite interior defender who has only gotten better since joining Rod Marinelli and the Dallas Cowboys.

If he's able to get his personal life in order -- and that most assuredly comes first -- he's going to be a wrecking ball for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line.

Getting Zack Martin's contract extension completed was probably the most important task of the summer, but getting David Irving back into the practice fold is a close second.

With him and DeMarcus Lawrence coming off a tremendous 2017, the sky is the limit for those two in 2018.

With all the improvement that was made on the defensive side of the ball, I can't help but think of the sign that Greg Hardy paid for several years ago.

"Sacks Comin'."



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