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.
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?
If 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.