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Has Brice Butler Earned A Larger Offensive Role In 2017?

Brian Martin

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Has Brice Butler Earned A Larger Offensive Role In 2017?
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The sample size may be a little small, but through a few weeks of padded training camp practices and one preseason game, wide receiver Brice Butler looks much improved. If he can continue to carry this momentum throughout the rest the off-season, he could possibly be looking at a much larger offensive role with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017.

In 2015, the Dallas Cowboys sent a 2016 fifth-round draft pick to the Oakland Raiders to acquire Brice Butler's services. Ever since then a lot of Cowboys Nation have been anxiously awaiting for him to emerge as a consistent offensive weapon. Fortunately for Cowboys fans and Butler, it's starting to look as if that is exactly what is happening.

Brice Butler has shown flashes of his playmaking ability since joining the Cowboys, but he has also shown an inconsistency that has been frustrating to say the least. It's those flashes that excited a lot of us and started the questioning of whether or not he could surpass Terrance Williams on the depth chart.

A year ago at this time the debate of Terrance Williams and Brice Butler was one of the hottest topics of discussion among Cowboys fans. We all know Williams didn't surrender his job in 2016, but Butler's play in both practices and games so far could open the debate once again.

WR Brice ButlerThere is definitely a lot to like about Brice Butler's game and what he could possibly add to the Cowboys offense. He is one of the tallest and heaviest (6'3", 220) WRs currently on the roster. But, he also possesses the speed (4.37 40 yard dash) that could add an entirely different dimension to the offense.

Butler has the size and speed to be a weapon all over the field, but he could also be that legitimate deep threat Cowboys fans have wanted for years now. Unfortunately though it's his lack of consistency and attention span which has always seemed to hold him back from becoming that type of weapon.

Has he finally put things together? Yes. No. Maybe.

I definitely think Brice Butler has a chance to see a larger role on offense in 2017 with the Cowboys, but he's going to have to continue to prove himself worthy. This is especially true considering the fact the Cowboys WR position is arguably the deepest it has ever been from top to bottom.

There are only so many balls to go around in the passing game and the pecking order doesn't do Butler any favors. But, if he continues to play the way he has thus far this off-season, I think offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will find a way to get him more involved.

Everything seems to be in his hands right now (pun intended). All he has to do now is take advantage of it.

Will Brice Butler have a larger offensive role in 2017?



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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8 Comments
  • Derek Robinson

    Yes! I think he has. He has the speed to take that back-end pressure off of Dez. If the OC can find ways to get him in single coverage, could mean a lot of yards and a lot of TOUCHDOWNS.

    • Brian Martin

      If they can remain consistent like he has been so far this off-season, he can really be a really good weapon for the Cowboys in 2017

  • John Williams

    I think what we are about to see is the team going empty backfield while relying less on Jason Witten.

    We will start seeing them go 5-wide more often this year. Because there seem to be so many playmakers on this team now, it’s going to be difficult for them all to get a ton of snaps. With Brice potentially being the guy to take the top off the defense and teams having to worry about Dez Bryant all over the field and Beasley and Switzer underneath, and the running game, it’s all going to come together offensively for them.

    They are going to score points. And a lot of them.

    I have a hard time believing that Williams will lose snaps though. His do it all ability as a WR makes him someone you don’t want to take off the field. Now if Brice can get his blocking on par with Twill, then we are having a different conversation.

    • Brian Martin

      John, I agree with everything you said. Well stated.

      • John Williams

        Thanks. Sometimes I have good thoughts. Lol.

  • Cris de Campos

    Great article. I really hope to see him step into the #2 spot (even though my gut tells me nothing will change). I thought it would happen last year. Even with any inconsistencies that may still show up, I think his big play ability is just too much to not have on the field. Much like a Tyrell Williams on the Chargers, he’s the only guy on this squad that can take a crossing route and take it 80 yards, take the top off the defense, and has really shown some ability to fight for and win 50/50 balls. I think if it was up to me I’d just rotate Terrance Williams in and out as needed for breathers, or perhaps for matchup reasons in the slot on occasion.

    • Brian Martin

      I’m not sure if anything will change either. The Cowboys coaching staff really value Williams and the role he plays on offense. But, if Butler has overcome his inconsistencies, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the field. He can really add an entirely different dimension to the offense that has been missing.

  • Russ_Te

    In 2015 it seemed Butler just knew the deep routes and that’s how they used him. Then you could see he learned the rest of the playbook last year & was running shorter stuff, inside routes, etc. And showed he could make tough catches.

    So this is his year put it all together. He hasn’t earned starter yet, but he is an argument already for more spread sets & empty sets on long downs. Everyone will benefit if defenses have to deal with his size & speed.

    If you put him outside of Dez on the same side, now defenses have to choose whether their best CB moves inside, or if Dez gets their regular slot CB. After Butler notches a couple deep catches this year he’ll start to draw a FS over the top. Cha-ching for Dez underneath.

Star Blog

Time to see What Darius Jackson can do as Zeke’s Backup?

Brian Martin

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Will RB Darius Jackson Stick With Cowboys Second Time Around?

I hate to say it because I really like Rod Smith, but I think it may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to reevaluate the running back position as it pertains to Ezekiel Elliott's primary backup. Smith just hasn't been good this year, which is why I think it may be time to see what Darius Jackson can do if given the opportunity.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting the Dallas Cowboys move on from Rod Smith or demote him right now, but I would promote Darius Jackson from the practice squad to the active roster as insurance in case something were to happen to Zeke. It just seems the right time to make that move after #21's injury scare Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles.

You may have forgotten, but Ezekiel Elliott had to spend some time in the medical tent Sunday against the Eagles. He was luckily able to return to the game not long after, but it did shine a spotlight on Rod Smith and the lack of depth behind him.

Despite how much I like Rod Smith, and I do, he just hasn't been the same player this season as he was last year as Zeke's fill-in. He is just not running with any kind of authority and has been too apt to run east and west instead of north and south. I think it's one of the reasons why the Cowboys have continued to give Zeke such a heavy workload, despite him being banged up.

Rod Smith

Dallas Cowboys RB Rod Smith

Now, Rod Smith did look a little better against the Eagles, but I still believe it would be wise for the Cowboys to promote Darius Jackson to the active roster. Having more depth at such a physically demanding position is just smart football.

With the Dallas Cowboys playoff spot all but secured, it might be time to start thinking about lightening Ezekiel Elliott's workload just a little bit. Whether it's Rod Smith or Darius Jackson, the Cowboys have to find someone who can step in and be productive.

Rod Smith has had his opportunities this year, but hasn't really been able to capitalize like we believed he could. It might be time to turn to Darius Jackson, a fan favorite, who unfortunately just hasn't been able to prove what he can do as of yet in a meaningful game. I think it's time we change that.

As much as I like Rod Smith, I might like Darius Jackson just a little bit more. I think he is kind of like a poor man's Ezekiel Elliott. He is just as athletically gifted and can be a threat as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. He just needs the opportunity to prove it.

There's really no way of knowing if I'm right or wrong about this, but I believe he is worthy of a roster spot on game day if nothing else. I'd rather have him and not need him then need him and not have him.

Do you think it's time to see what Darius Jackson can do?



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Star Blog

Cowboys Lassoing NFC East Title as NFC Dark Horse

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Cowboys Lassoing NFC East Title as NFC Dark Horse

Well don’t look now but the Dallas Cowboys are in control of their division and anything short of a catastrophic collapse will see them hosting the first round of the playoffs. Dallas strengthened their grip on the NFC East by knocking off a divisional rival and the reigning Super Bowl champions with a 29-23 overtime win over the Eagles.

Those who have a favorite online sportsbook and wagered on the Cowboys were ecstatic to see Dak Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a 15-yard touchdown pass in overtime, thus covering the 3 ½ point impost that oddsmakers hung on Dallas.

The Cowboys have now won five consecutive games, with three of those over divisional opponents Philadelphia (twice) and Washington. But before we celebrate, we must consider that there's still a mathematical possibility of either Philadelphia or Washington stealing the division crown away from the Cowboys.

The Giants' only hope is an outside shot at a wildcard berth if they win outright but they've been eliminated from contending for a division title due to their 1-4 record against NFC East teams.

Essentially, all the Cowboys must do is win one of their three remaining games in order to celebrate a division crown. If Philadelphia or Washington loses any of their three games they will be out due to tie breakers that go in the Cowboys’ favor.

As of this moment, the Redskins are a disaster with no one under center to captain their rudderless ship, and the Eagles must defeat the Rams in LA, which would be considered a stunning upset seeing as any reputable online sportsbook is offering the Rams as 9 ½ point favorites as of this writing; then they must win at home against Houston and on the road against the Redskins.

Of course, the Cowboys are counting only on themselves to reel in the division title and with games at Indianapolis, home against the Bucs, and wrapping their season in New Jersey against the Giants, at least one win seems likely.

The addition of Amari Cooper to the Dallas offensive arsenal has been a game-changer as the former Oakland Raider hauled in 10 of 13 targets for 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner last Sunday against Philadelphia. He was the top-tier receiver Prescott had been lacking and his presence on the field improves both the passing game and running game by virtue of his dynamic playmaking abilities. Ezekiel Elliott has eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards in four of the six games since Cooper has been on the Cowboys roster.

Furthermore, Dallas has averaged 24.4 points per game over their last five wins with Cooper in the lineup, which is more than five points improved from where they were prior to their winning streak without him in a Dallas uniform.

In addition, Prescott has morphed from a game manager at 202 passing yards per game to a game breaker as evidenced by his 285.7 passing yard average in six games with his new target at his disposal.

Ultimately, the Cowboys will be tasked with turning all of this good mojo into a deep run into the postseason. We can now confidently say that there is one other team to consider besides the Rams, Bears, and Saints as this year’s NFC entrant into the Super Bowl. However, Dak Prescott will need to eliminate turnovers and interceptions if Dallas is truly going to contend against the powerhouses they will face in the playoffs.

Last Sunday, Prescott caught fire in the fourth quarter and ended with 455 yards passing, connecting on 42 of 54 passes with three touchdowns, but his two interceptions were converted into nine points by Philadelphia. As we move forward, Prescott will need to lead right from the get-go and understand that one poor decision can cost his team what is now a realistic shot at a championship season.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Sí, Amari Cooper Lo Valió

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Revenge Against Atlanta Hinges on These 3 Key Matchups 1

Cuando los Dallas Cowboys sorprendieron a la NFL mandando una selección de primera ronda por el receptor Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, la respuesta fue muy dividida. Al final de cuentas, Cooper estaba pasando por una temporada bastante mala junto a su equipo. Sus números iban en decline y muchos habían perdido la fe en la ex-estrella de la universidad de Alabama y cuarta selección global en el NFL Draft del 2015.

Pero sorpresa, sorpresa. Desde que se unió a las filas de los Dallas Cowboys, Amari Cooper ha demostrado que la decisión que tomaron los Jones fue una muy buena.

En esta liga, es muy complicado justificar el deshacerse de un pick de primera ronda.

Estamos hablando de la oportunidad de tomar a un novato joven con muchísimo potencial para convertirse en un jugador calibre All-Pro en algún punto de su carrera. No es fácil renunciar a una posibilidad así en esta liga. Sin embargo, Amari Cooper no ha hecho más que justificar el trade por parte de los Cowboys. Si continúa así, al final de la temporada podríamos estar hablando de que Dallas pagó de menos por él.

Es importante recalcar que Amari Cooper tiene 24 años de edad. Para el NFL Draft del 2019, los mejores prospectos en esta posición tienen a lo mucho cuatro años menos. A.J. Brown de Ole Miss tendrá 21 años cuando pise el emparrillado por primera vez en la NFL.

Y no, ninguno de estos receptores está cerca del nivel de talento con el que cuenta Cooper.

#DALvsPHI: Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott Key to Clipping the Eagles Wings?

¿Qué tan grande ha sido el impacto de Amari Cooper?

Desde la semana 9, cuando los Cowboys consiguieron a Cooper, este ha tenido 30 recepciones. 23 de las cuales han resultado en un primer down o en un touchdown. Es el receptor con más atrapadas en tercera oportunidad. Podríamos hablar de las grandes estadísticas que el wide receiver ha conseguido vistiendo la estrella individualmente. Pero realmente, ha tenido un impacto en la ofensiva entera.

Desde su llegada, los Cowboys son el tercer mejor equipo en porcentaje de pases completos, el segundo en yardas después de la recepción y el tercero a la hora de convertir terceras oportunidades y mover las cadenas.

Simple y sencillamente, ha tenido un impacto que ningún otro novato del 2019 hubiera tenido en este equipo. Si, los Cowboys tendrán que pagarle una extensión cara en el futuro, pero cuando este sea el caso, lo habrá valido.

Amari Cooper es el ejemplo perfecto de porque la NFL es un deporte de equipo. Con los Raiders, todos lo tachaban como un jugador que ya no era bueno e iba para abajo. Pero bajo los Dallas Cowboys, se ve como un jugador que promete mucho para esta joven franquicia que necesitaba un verdadero #1 en la posición de wide receiver.

La ofensiva de los Cowboys tiene mucho talento. Es cuestión de mejorar en zona roja para que Dallas sea una amenaza bastante considerable en los playoffs de la NFL.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Sí, Amari Cooper Lo Valió" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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