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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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Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler

John Williams

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5 Bye Week Adjustments Cowboys Hopefully Made

The Dallas Cowboys look to be making a move at the wide receiver position as they attempt to bring some life to the position. No they aren't trading for Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon, but bringing back former Wide Receiver Brice Butler.

According to a report from Saad Yousuf from The Athletic, the Dallas Cowboys are set to resign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver but first have to release someone from the 53-man roster.

Saad Yousuf on Twitter

Cowboys officials are in the process of signing wide receiver Brice Butler, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticDFW. The team has to make a roster move to bring Butler onto the 53 and is trying to decide whom to release to make room for Butler before a final decision is made.

Brice Butler was signed in the offseason by the Arizona Cardinals but was released after training camp. It was a surprising move for the Cardinals. They don't have a ton of wide receiver depth aside from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

Butler's caught 73 passes on 133 targets for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns in his five career. In 36 games with the Dallas Cowboys Brice Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and six touchdowns. In his time in Dallas, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception.

He never really got a lot of playing time with the Dallas Cowboys who had Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on the team for the duration of his time in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff placed a higher premium on Terrance Williams' run blocking than Butler's big play ability.

To the coaching staff's credit, Butler was never a consistent enough player to be relied upon week in and week out. In 2017, his last season in Dallas, Brice Butler was never targeted more than three times a game and he never caught more than two passes a game. Butler, however, only played 24.51% of the Dallas Cowboys' offensive snaps in 2017.

If the Dallas Cowboys do make this move it's at a curious time. Sources tell 247 Sports' Mike Fisher that the Dallas Cowboys have zero interest at the moment in Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon. You'd think their lack of interest would be because they still like the wide receiver room as it is.

If they do complete the signing of Brice Butler, you'd have to expect that Deonte Thompson would be the wide receiver on the chopping block. They cut him at the end of the preseason and then brought him back during week one.

This signing is unlikely to have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys week two matchup with the New York Giants, but will probably be completed early Monday to get Butler to Frisco to begin preparing for their week three matchup.

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I don't think this is a move that makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They've been down that road before and haven't received the results they wanted. Brice Butler does offer some big play ability, but it was thought that is why they brought in Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin. Is it possible the Dallas Cowboys are already down on those two players after one game? They wouldn't be bringing Butler back if they didn't have plans for him.

Good or bad, do you think bringing Brice Butler back is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys?



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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

Sean Martin

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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon's Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

It's Sunday morning and the Cleveland Browns are expected to make a questionable decision by tomorrow, which is far from news for a Dallas Cowboys team waiting around for a crucial Sunday Night Football home game tonight. With Cleveland expected to part ways with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon though, the Cowboys have understandably been linked to Gordon, even more so now with the talented pass catcher stating his own interest in America's Team.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

As teams discuss potentially trading for outgoing #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I'm told he's got his eye on two in particular: The #Cowboys and the #49ers.

Before looking into this any further, it's necessary to point out an all-important missing detail. Without any reports of the Cowboys own interest in Gordon, the soon-to-be free agent is simply the latest player to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys - hardly anything new for the Jones.

The Cowboys need for a player like Gordon has never been more evident though. Heavily criticized throughout the offseason for how they handled their wide receivers, the Cowboys passing game was a non-factor in the team's 16-8 week one loss.

Signing or trading for Gordon could do little to fix this, but the risk may also prove worthwhile for Dallas. The Baylor Bears product did put up 1,646 yards in 2013 with minimal talent around him, and has a career 17.3 yards per reception.

His ability to take the top off a defense is something the Cowboys are sorely missing. What they won't miss from not acquiring Gordon is the off-field trouble, taking on a player that missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension.

Last season,  Gordon was reinstated for the Browns final five games.

The NFL is, at least cautiously, easing their policy on players suspended for marijuana usage. Look no further than the Cowboys own Randy Gregory to prove this, as Gregory has already become a success story for the league by being with the Cowboys this season.

Whether or not Gregory plays on Sunday night (officially listed as DOUBTFUL) after suffering a concussion in his long-awaited return last week is yet to be determined. So too is Josh Gordon's future as the latest player on his way out of Cleveland.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @gmfb Weekend: The #Browns plan to release Josh Gordon after he showed up late, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot, and in general completely lost their trust. https://t.co/cX2HGZPBXi

I'm of the belief that Gordon won't last long on the open market, meaning this won't be the latest Cowboys story/non-story to drag through the presses. Any fan looking to pass time between now and kickoff against the Giants could probably find me saying the same about free agent WR Dez Bryant however.

Thanks to Bryant still being a free agent along with former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, the team has looked smarter than expected in the long-term on moves like these.

If there's a smart way to bring on Josh Gordon, Dallas should be considering that too.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Is Dak Prescott’s Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

John Williams

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Is Dak Prescott's Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

As the final whistle sounded last Sunday with the Carolina Panthers coming away victorious over your Dallas Cowboys, it was pretty clear there were a lot of things wrong with the offense. Many pointed to Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan and the play calling. Others to the offensive line. Others to Quarterback Dak Prescott. And others to the wide receivers.

There was plenty of blame to go around in an offensive performance that left Cowboys Nation struggling for answers. Simply put, there wasn't much good from that side of the football in their 16-8 loss. 

Well, as this week has gone on in preparation for the New York Giants Sunday night, there have been answers to questions from within the organization that make me, an outsider, feel really awkward about the relationships inside the organization. Particularly on the offensive side of the football. 

There was this from Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan responding to Troy Aikman's critique of a lack of creativity in the play calling of Linehan.

"People have their own opinions. It's hard to be super creative when you're having loss-yardage plays, to be honest with you. But I thought we had some really good stuff for the game that we couldn't use. But he's entitled to whatever opinion he has about that. It's our job to go out and show him that we have some stuff that maybe he'll be impressed with."

Scott Linehan - via Jon Machota, Sports Day DFW

Then this from Wide Receiver Allen Hurns. 

Brandon George on Twitter

Cowboys WR Allen Hurns on loss to Carolina: "Statistically people are going to say we didn't play well. If you really break down the game, we created separation. That's what you want to do as a wideout.

With Dak Prescott speaking to the media on Thursday, some interesting nuggets of information came out about the communication that takes place on game day between Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, Quarterback Coach Kellen Moore, and Quarterback Dak Prescott.

Namely Dak described Kellen Moore as a "mediator" between the quarterback and the offensive coordinator.

“Kellen, I guess you call him the mediator at that point, when I come to the sideline. Me and him talk about what we saw and then he gets on the headset and he’s talking with Linehan. Then he’ll get back to me with what Linehan’s thinking with the plays and stuff that we’re working towards, so it’s been great.”

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback

Count 1310 The Ticket's Bob Sturm as one of many confused by Dak's statement about Moore as the go between.

Bob Sturm on Twitter

Thought it was really interesting to day that Dak said he talks to Kellen Moore and QB coach Kellen Moore talks to Linehan. Linehan doesn't talk directly to his QB during the game. I think that is weird.

It's becoming clear that there is a huge disconnect between the play caller and his quarterback and this disconnect is affecting everyone on the offensive side of the ball.  

Everyone, after one week, appears to be placing blame on someone else, which is really odd to me. Normally, when a unified group of players is asked a question that may lead to finger-pointing, they don't really answer the question.

Above, you can see that Hurns basically said, it wasn't the wide receivers' fault. Linehan, reacting to Troy Aikman's comments about the lack of creativity in the offense, placed the reason for the lack of creativity on the players. And Dak Prescott appears to allude to a really odd communication structure.

It has me wondering, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, if there is a trust issue with the Dallas Cowboys offensive staff and players.

Trust is a very important aspect of any group of people who work together to meet a common goal. Football is no different. As far as team sports go, the NFL requires a strong sense of trust and commitment to one another to make the intricacies of an NFL offense work.

As Preseason Begins, Does Prescott Have a "Go-To" Receiver After All?

Oct 8, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) congratulates wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) after a touchdown in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The coach has to trust that the player he's calling the plays for. If the play caller doesn't trust the players to execute, he's going to be much more conservative than he should be. A play caller who trusts his players will allow them to play and will be aggressive in his game planning and play calling. 

The player has to trust that the play caller is putting the player(s) in the best position possible to succeed. If the players don't trust the play caller, they aren't going to buy in to the offensive scheme. If they don't buy in to the offensive scheme then there may not be the necessary effort put in to see the scheme succeed. 

From the outside looking in, the relationship between quarterback and play caller seems fractured.  It's not a good sign for the relationship of the two men tasked with guiding this offense that there is a mediator involved in their communication. If there is an issue in the relationship that is leading to poor communication, then the Dallas Cowboys leadership structure -- Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Jason Garrett -- need to make a change to better enhance offensive communication.

They aren't going to change quarterbacks at this point in the season. The move they can make that Head Coach Jason Garrett appears unwilling to make, is changing who calls the plays. If the relationship between Linehan and Prescott is such that Kellen Moore needs to act as "mediator," then the time has come to change the play caller. Whether it's Moore who takes the reigns or Garrett who returns to calling plays, the change may need to be made soon to salvage this season. 

Trust is a very valuable resource in any organization. It's the reason that Jason Garrett has remained head coach for as long as he has. The ownership trusts him. 

The lack of trust that appears to exist between Dak Prescott and Scott Linehan is something that not only hurts their relationship, but the chemistry with the entire offense. 

Football may be the greatest team sport in the world. And as such it requires a high level of chemistry . It requires everyone on offense and defense buying into their respective schemes and trusting each other to execute those schemes. 

Obviously a win against the Giants would go a long way toward healing whatever wounds exist between Prescott and Linehan. A loss however could potentially deepen a divide between the quarterback and his coordinator.



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