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Does Brice Butler Deserve A Bigger Offensive Role?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Does Brice Butler Deserve A Bigger Offensive Role?

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler has been a hot topic for discussion before, but knowing that All-Pro WR Dez Bryant would likely be out against the San Francisco 49ers, the spotlight was focused in Butler's direction once again.

Heading into the 2016 season, many people believed that #19 would give Terrance Williams a run for his money and possibly become the Cowboys new #2 wide receiver.

Unfortunately, that battle never really materialized, but that doesn't mean the book is closed for Butler becoming in another weapon for the Cowboys offense.

Stepping into the shoes of a wide receiver of Bryant's caliber is never an easy task to take on, but Butler finally showed why the Cowboys organization traded a fifth round draft pick to the Oakland Raiders to obtain his services last season.

If you're going by stats alone, then Butler's 5 receptions for 41 yards and 1 touchdown against the 49ers is nothing to get too excited about. But, if you throw in the fact that he probably should've had another TD if not for 49ers CB Rashard Robinson making a good play by knocking the ball out of his hands in the end zone, then Butler's stats would look a lot more impressive.

Butler has all the tools to be really good WR in the NFL, but for some reason hasn't really been able to put it all together when it's counted.

So, that bring us to the question of does Brice Butler deserve a bigger role on offense?

Cowboys Headlines - Does Brice Butler Deserve A Bigger Offensive Role? 1If we are all being completely honest with ourselves, then when examining everything it's difficult to see a scenario where Butler can have a bigger role for the Cowboys offense due to the players ahead of him on the depth chart.

When we break things down, Dez Bryant is without a doubt the #1 WR, like it or not Terrance Williams is the #2, and Cole Beasley is firmly cemented as the Cowboys slot receiver. That doesn't exactly bode well for Butler to receive a larger role on offense.

I know what you're probably thinking, because the thought has probably crossed my mind as well.

Why not let Butler take some of Williams' snaps?

Well, despite what we all may think, Terrance Williams does a lot of dirty work that the coaching staff for the Cowboys really appreciates. It doesn't show up on the stat sheets, but that doesn't make it any less important.

The dirty work that I'm referring to is Williams' blocking in the running game. I challenge you to watch some of the game film from previous games and pay close attention to how much #83 helps the running game by blocking down field.

It's an underrated aspect to Williams' game, but it is extremely important to why the Cowboys running game is so successful. Butler simply hasn't added that trait to his game yet.

That's not it. Butler's route running isn't as crisp as Williams' either. Butler has gotten better in this area since last year, but still has plenty of room for improvement.

I'm not trying to knock Butler down or anything like that, because I do believe he has the traits to be more of a #1 WR if he continues to develop.

Where Butler is better than Williams is catching the ball away from his body. Butler has a much larger catching radius and can go up and catch the ball at the highest point, much like we have seen Dez Bryant do so many times. Williams as we know is more of a body catcher.

If Brice Butler can continue on his current trajectory, then I could see a scenario where the coaching staff starts to give him more opportunities in the passing game, especially if Dez Bryant is unable to stay healthy.

All in all, there is no way of answering with any certainty if Brice Butler will see a bigger role on offense, but I for one wouldn't mind seeing him get the ball thrown his way a little more often.

To have capable wide receivers able to step up when needed is certainly not a bad problem to have for the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, we would rather it not be as an injury replacement for our top WR.

Do you think Brice Butler deserves a bigger role on offense?

Let me hear what you think of Brice Butler's offensive role in the comment section below.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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10 Comments
  • Arturo Delmoni

    Yes, very much so. He’s tall & he’s fast & he’s smart. Develop him, coaches!!

    • Brian Martin

      Arturo, thanks for commenting. I’m a fan of Butler’s and I think we will start to see him get involved a little bit more on offense.

  • Mike O’D

    Definitely agree that he needs more looks. I admit that I might be holding that bone head move from Game 1 against T-Will. I was happy to see him punished with no targets in week 2. Good article. Appreciate your work.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Mike. I appreciate the positive feedback. It’s definitely going to be difficult for a lot of us to forget Williams not running out of bounds against the Giants and I think that’s why a lot of people are pulling for Butler to see more playing time. Williams is definitely a fan of the coaching staff’s, but Butler could start cutting into 83’s snaps a little bit. As long as the Cowboys can continue to get production from their entire receiver group it doesn’t really bother me who sees more playing time, but I would definitely like to see the ball going Butler’s way a little bit more

  • javonta

    Give the man PT.

  • javonta

    BB PT please!

  • Eric Welly

    2 points- 1st they both have weak hands, 2. They can’t get off of press unless crossing or slanting. Williams is hit or miss getting off the jam and up the field but his catch radius is getting bigger now that he’s using his hands and reach to get the ball and not running into the pass, but accepting the pass. Biggest issue with both of them is the play calling, both are run away possession recievers, slants, comebacks, dbl move guys. Basically until they beat single coverage and get deep Witten\Squirrel\RBs will continue to be Daks 1-2-3 reads. Getting the screen game online early will open it up for the outside guys.

    Great thing is, Dak will make them look good and Romo will make them even more dangerous. So many weapons to choose from, truly a pick your poison Offense.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Eric. I agree with everything you said except that Butler and Williams both have weak hands. I think this is where Butler is better than Williams. He has a large catching radius and can go up and catch the ball the highest point. He should have had a second TD against the 49ers, but the CB made a good play by getting his arm between Butler’s and knocking the ball away. It will be interesting to see how both WRs perform going forward and especially once Romo is back.

  • John Williams

    I think Butler’s role will increase. Maybe not in 2016, but he has a really strong chance at being the number two outside receiver if the Dallas Cowboys let Terrance Williams walk in the offseason. Butler got 9 targets in week 4. It shows Dak’s confidence in Butler’s ability to make plays. I think he converts on more of those chances if he is slated to start in week 5.

    • Brian Martin

      John, I completely agree. Prescott has actually missed a few opportunities to connect with Butler deep so for the season. I expect that to change once Romo is back in the lineup. I could possibly see where he gets a few more chances as the #2 WR this year in certain situations over Williams. But I think you’re right, I think he has a really good chance to re-sign after the season because the Cowboys probably won’t be up to match Williams’ asking price.

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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp

Sean Martin

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Will the Dallas Cowboys "Get Lucky" at Defensive End?

The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.

From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.

Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.

They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.

Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

https://t.co/za0u3lWgaY

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp" 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 & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie

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Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.



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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?

Sean Martin

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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster? 2
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.

This group includes Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Lance Lenoir, Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Michael Gallup, KD Cannon, Mekale McCay, and Marchie Murdock.

The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.

One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.

Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.

What Happens if WR Allen Hurns Doesn't Pan Out?

Dallas Cowboys WR Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Allen Hurns (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.

This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.

Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.

Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.

Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.

Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster?

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.

It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.

Tell us what you think about "Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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