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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 WR Terrance Williams Facing Multi-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

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Terrance Williams
Ric Tapia via AP

An arrest last May for public intoxication may finally result in a suspension for Dallas Cowboys Receiver Terrance Williams.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, who reported the pending suspension, outlined the details of Williams' case. Charges were ultimately dropped once Terrance completed an alcohol education course and paid damages to the city.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/3RmwQOllim via @sportsdaydfw

However, as Cowboys fans know too well, the NFL reserves the right to suspend players under the Personal Conduct Policy regardless of legal outcomes. The 2017 season was marred by the league's persecution of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence despite no arrests or charges coming from any legal or police entity.

In Williams' case, there's no dispute of his guilt. It is unlikely he will appeal any decision the NFL makes.

The potential that Terrance will be missing for 2-4 games helps explain the Cowboys' move earlier this week to bring back WR Brice Butler. With both currently active, Dallas has an unusually high seven receivers on their 53-man roster.

It's already Friday, so the suspension is doubtful to come for this week's game in Seattle. But Terrance could easily be one of the seven inactive players on game day, having received the fewest snaps of any Cowboys WR last week against the Giants.

We'll see soon enough, likely as soon as next week, just what the league has in store for Terrance Williams.



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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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