The Dallas Cowboys have made it their mission this off-season to revamp the wide receivers group. After a disappointing season of dropped passes, tipped catches turning into interceptions, and poor route running, 2018 will feature an almost completely new core of pass catchers.
Going into the new season, Terrance Williams was expected by some to become the new number one receiver in Dallas. However, things have gone wrong for Williams, both on and off the field, and his future with the Cowboys is not a sure thing.
And it’s not just one reason why Williams might not be a Cowboy, there are a number of reasons that have culminated in him playing his last snap in Dallas. Some are bigger than others, but the writing has been on the wall for players over and over again. Terrance Williams is just another in a long line of players who’ve overstayed their welcome.
1. Williams' Arrest
Let’s start with the obvious and most recent. On May 19, Terrance Williams was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor public intoxication. When the news broke, his mug shot and subsequent arrest video were released.
Jerry Jones has staunchly supported his players for off-the-field incidents, such as Adam Jones and Michael Irvin. Even going to the point that it seems ridiculous to do so.
However, Jerry Jones now seems to have tightened his leash around players IF they’ve produced and as we’ll see next, Terrance Williams’ production hasn’t been enough to protect him.
2. Williams' Production
With Jason Witten slowing down and Dez Bryant not playing like his old self, it was hoped that Williams would be able to step up and show out. However, Williams instead posted career lows in receiving yards (568) and touchdowns (0). 2017 was his worst season to date, and it may have hurt his chances in the future.
Terrance Williams has had his chances in the past to be a number one receiver, due to injury to Dez Bryant, but wasn’t able to dominate like one. In a season where Dak Prescott needed Williams to ball out, he deflated instead.
3. Unfamiliar Faces
Last year's receiving corp consisted of Williams, Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Ryan Switzer, Brice Butler and Noah Brown. As it stands today, three of the six are gone.
- Dez Bryant was released
- Brice Butler signed with Arizona in free agency
- Ryan Switzer was traded to Oakland
Dez was not playing up to his price tag, Switzer became a valuable trade asset, and the team showed almost no signs that they intended on resigning Butler.
These moves were all made in the hope of giving Dak Prescott “Dak-friendly receivers.” With the moves made, one has to wonder if Williams is next. A 50% change in a position group is rare in a single off-season, but the team looks as though it may have made the right decisions.
Is trading or releasing Terrance Williams the next move?
4. Off-season Reload
In addition to the loss of three of last year's receivers, the team has gained some new faces. Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns were signed via free agency, Micheal Gallup and Cedrick Wilson were drafted, and the team traded for Tavon Austin in the draft (though he was later designated as a running back).
Traditionally, the Cowboys usually only keep five or six receivers on their roster. Though it’s possible the team keeps seven receivers, Williams will need to go up against Hurns, Thompson, Wilson, Gallup, Cole Beasley and Noah Brown for playing time.
As I mentioned earlier, the writing is on the wall. And the writing for Terrance Williams was bigger than John Hancock’s at this juncture. Terrance Williams is looking like the odd man out.
Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense
For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.
Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.
He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.
During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.
Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.
With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.
Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.
#INDvsDAL: Betting Preview, Trends, And Prediction
For once, the Cowboys are not playing what feels like a do-or-die game on Sunday, needing just 1 win over their final 3 to win the NFC East. This week the 8-5 Cowboys go on the road to face the 7-6 Colts, with each times vying for playoff spots in their respective conferences.
Both the Cowboys and Colts have turned around what looked like dead seasons, but there is no doubt the Colts need this one more than the Cowboys do to keep pace for the 6th seed in the AFC.
Cowboys +3, O/U 47 points.
The once 3-5 Cowboys are now head and shoulders above the rest of their division, after winning their fifth straight in thrilling fashion over the Eagles last Sunday. The team which seemed so disjointed and inconsistent through 8 games has found their identity, and is playing complete team football as of late.
Dak Prescott is coming off a career-best game in terms of yardage, and despite some poor turnovers is still playing some of the best football of his career. This is due in large part to two stars in Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, who have shouldered the production load of this offense the last 5 weeks.
And, of course, there is the defense which continues to make life a living hell for opposing offenses. Randy Gregory is coming into his own as a pass rusher, getting another sack last week and getting flagged for what should have been his second sack of the day.
Dallas is playing the brand of football they told us they would before the season, and are beginning to make their front office and decision makers look very smart in the process.
At 7-6 and fighting for the final AFC playoff spot, the Colts need this one more than the Cowboys do. Getting shut out by the lowly Jaguars two weeks ago may ultimately keep the Colts out of the playoffs, but a win this Sunday and a little help elsewhere could set them up nicely down the stretch.
Indy has quietly one of the best passing offenses in all of the NFL, with star quarterback Andrew Luck playing his best football in quite some time. Luck is healthy and looks like himself again, and the selection of Quenton Nelson to sure-up the offensive line has gone a long way to improving this offense as well.
Defensively the Colts have been even more impressive lately. Though they have a roster comprised of no-names nationally, the Colts defense is 11th in DVOA. Darius Leonard has been a revelation for the Colts at linebacker, and their young defense seems to be improving by the week.
The Colts are coming off of a big road victory over the Houston Texans a week ago, and will look to defeat the Texans' in-state rivals on Sunday to improve to 8-6.
- The Cowboys are 5-0 against the spread their last 5 games, and have won all 5 straight up.
- The score total has hit the over 4 of the Cowboys' last 6 games.
- But the score total has gone under 4 of the Colts' last 5 games.
- The Colts are 4-1 straight up their last 5 home games.
- Dallas is 6-3 their last 9 games against the Colts.
The Cowboys' winning streak has to end at some point, right?
Well, unlike Vegas, I don't expect that ending to happen on Sunday. The Cowboys have been playing desperate football over the last 5 games and they are well aware what a win over Indianapolis would mean.
A victory would clinch them a division title for the third time in five years, and just as they did in 2014, I expect the Cowboys to get that clinching victory over the Colts. Give me the Cowboys and the points this week.
Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018
For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.
After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote
As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.
Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.
Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.
His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!
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