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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

8 Comments

  1. Derek Robinson

    August 8, 2017 at 11:28 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      August 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      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

  2. John Williams

    John Williams

    August 8, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      August 8, 2017 at 1:46 pm

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

      • John Williams

        John Williams

        August 9, 2017 at 3:54 pm

        Thanks. Sometimes I have good thoughts. Lol.

  3. Cris de Campos

    August 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      August 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      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.

  4. Russ_Te

    August 10, 2017 at 1:05 am

    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.

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Star Blog

How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

The 2018 season was a two-part tale for the Dallas Cowboys. The first is the story of a mediocre 3-5 team that couldn't get it going offensively. The second part is about a football team that turned its season around, made the playoffs, got a win in the postseason and ultimately lost to the team that ended up representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams.

Surely, 2018 didn't go as planned. The storylines leading to last season are actually very different from the ones we're hearing today. Let's take a look at a few examples of how the tables have turned for the Dallas Cowboys.

The need for a true WR1

Last season, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys preached the philosophy of not needing a #1 wide receiver. While that could've sound encouraging at the time, once the season began the team was proven wrong. They did need a WR1. Fortunately, this season we won't have to worry about it. This year, Dez Bryant shouldn't be a discussion topic among Cowboys' fans.

Amari Cooper is in the house. And he's been pretty good since he started playing with a Star on his helmet. If we have conversations about the WR position, they will not be about who's the #1 guy. With Michael Gallup showing up late in the season, it probably won't be about who is #2 either.

How Cowboys Set up High-Stakes Division Meeting with Eagles at Home

Back on top of the NFC East

Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were not really the favorites to win the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles had just made history by winning their first Super Bowl ever and it seemed like the Cowboys would have to get a wildcard spot to play in January. Now it's the Cowboys back on top after sweeping the Eagles and turning their once 3-5 season around.

That of course, means a tougher schedule next season. However, it's nice to be back on top of the division. These two teams will surely have an intense race for the division title next season. Maybe we even see them both in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Sean Lee's uncertain future

I'm pretty sure no one expected Sean Lee to be considered a potential cap casualty for the 2019 season. Even if he was, it would've probably been anticipating an injury or something like that. No one would've imagined that Leighton Vander Esch would be so good to take Sean Lee's job.

The Cowboys' first round rookie truly earned the starting role as the defense's weak linebacker and he should keep it. With Sean Lee set to return to the field, I'm sure we didn't expect him to be a backup by now. We'll have to wait and see if the Cowboys decide to part ways with him. As a fan, it would certainly be painful. But we can't deny it would be a move that makes sense.

✭✭✭

It's a crazy franchise on a crazy league. Who knows how things will go from now on, but the Dallas Cowboys certainly look like a promising team heading into the 2019 offseason. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to update you with the latest on your favorite NFL team.

Tell me what you think about "How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys" 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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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Done Pursuing FS Earl Thomas? 1

El año pasado, Earl Thomas fue uno de los temas de conversación más frecuentes para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Después de que los Seattle Seahawks no le dieran su deseada extensión de contrato, Thomas se convirtió en un candidato a ser intercambiado de su equipo. Entre los favoritos estaban los Cowboys, quienes tenían una necesidad en su defensiva secundaria. Ahora que la temporada 2018 llegó a su fin, la misma necesidad por un safety de calidad está presente en Dallas.

Sólo que en esta ocasión, Earl Thomas no está bajo contrato con ningún equipo. Su último momento con el uniforme de los Seahawks fue en un carro de lesiones, donde salía lesionado en dirección a su vestidor. Esto mientras se despedía de su equipo con el dedo de en medio extendido hacia sus entrenadores y compañeros. Así concluyó su temporada y su carrera en Seattle.

Ahora, listo para cumplir los 30 años en mayo, Earl Thomas probará la agencia libre cuando comience en marzo. Y sin lugar a dudas, uno de los equipos candidatos a firmarlo serán los Dallas Cowboys. Es un equipo que a pesar de tener una de las mejores defensivas la temporada pasada, se vería muy beneficiada con la llegada de un profundo del calibre de Thomas.

A pesar de su edad y las lesiones, Thomas continúa siendo uno de los mejores en la liga. Su talento es innegable y tendrá toda la disposición de demostrar lo que vale cuando tome el campo la próxima temporada. Cuando llegue el momento, podríamos ver una guerra de ofertas entre varios equipos de la NFL para llevarse al veterano a sus respectivas ciudades.

La pregunta es: ¿estarán los Dallas Cowboys en esa guerra de ofertas?

Los Cowboys tienen espacio en el tope salarial. Sin embargo, este no durará mucho considerando que DeMarcus Lawrence está esperando su merecida y cara extensión después de jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia en 2018. Además, jugadores que aún están bajo contrato también estarán buscando ofertas este offseason.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, y Byron Jones están en la lista de quehaceres de la administración. Eso sin mencionar a Cole Beasley, cuyo contrato ya expiró y podría llegar a la agencia libre en marzo.

A pesar de esta complicada situación, los Dallas Cowboys deberían buscar conseguir a Thomas. Siendo sinceros, la defensiva tiene mucho talento y podría mantener su nivel en 2019. Pero hace falta un jugador en la posición de safety para llevar a esta unidad a otro nivel. Un nivel realmente capaz de ganar en postemporada enfrentándose a cualquier tipo de ofensiva. Sin importar que tan explosiva sea. Y además de esto, un jugador que sea capaz de robar el balón y hacer jugadas de impacto constantemente.

Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a Seahawks en temporada regular, Thomas dio un buen ejemplo de esto interceptando en dos ocasiones a la ofensiva de Dak Prescott.

A pasos de un equipo de campeonato, un movimiento agresivo para obtener a Earl Thomas sería algo genial para Dallas. Vimos como los Rams de Los Angeles fueron agresivos al construir su equipo y llegaron hasta el Super Bowl este febrero. Quizá es tiempo de que Jerry Jones y compañía sean igual de agresivos y vayan por ese safety elite que la afición lleva pidiendo desde el offseason del año pasado.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas" 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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Star Blog

Slot Machine: Amari Cooper in the Slot Could be Even More Dangerous

Brian Martin

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Slot Machine: Cole Beasley Out, Amari Cooper In?

Amari Cooper was a dangerous man with the Dallas Cowboys after he arrived via trade from the Oakland Raiders last season. He was one of the big reasons why they were able to turn around a season that looked as if it was circling the drain and I don't think anybody would argue the point. But, I think he could be even more dangerous in 2019, especially if Cole Beasley departs via free agency.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you pretty much know the topic of the Cowboys offseason so far has centered around Cole Beasley and his future with the organization. He has been invaluable in Dallas since arriving as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but it's looking more and more as if he could be taking his talents elsewhere in 2019.

With Beasley more than likely moving on, the Cowboys will need to find someone who can replace his production in the passing game, especially in the slot. Everybody assumes Dallas needs to go outside the organization to find that player, but I'm not so sure. I think they already have a wide receiver more than capable of stepping in, and he just so happens to be there first-round draft pick this year.

In case you haven't figured it out already, I'm talking about Wide Receiver Amari Cooper. He has mostly been used as an outside receiver in his professional career, but he does have the skill set and route running ability to be a really dangerous out of the slot. I'm not talking about a full-time move into the slot or anything, just a marginal increase in snaps.

Amari Cooper

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

According to Rotounderworld.com, only 12.6% of Amari Cooper's snaps in 2018 were out of the slot. For comparison sake, Cole Beasley's snaps in the slot was 85.9%, the highest of any receiver in the NFL last season. That's a huge difference, not one the Cowboys should try to match with Cooper or any other potential slot WR replacement.

Personally, I'd like to see Cooper's snaps playing out of the slot increased to around 20%. That would put him in Odell Beckham Jr. territory (19.9%), and we all know how difficult he is to cover all over the field. It would likely do the same for Amari Cooper.

I just really like the idea of him having the entire field to work with and the favorable matchup it creates with slot/nickel cornerbacks around the league. Can you imagine opposing defensive coordinators trying to figure out how to contain a player that has the kind of speed and route running ability that Amari Cooper has? They better stock up on Tylenol, because that is a surefire way to get a headache.

This is course is just speculation at this point, especially since we don't know what the Cowboys offense will look like with Kellen Moore taking over the playcalling duties. But if it was me, I'd be doing everything in my power to get the ball in the hands of my best WR, Amari Cooper, and that might mean increasing his snaps out of the slot.

What do you think about using Amari Cooper out of the slot more often in 2019?



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