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Is Terrance Williams Ready To Fight For His Job?

The Dallas Cowboys will have a lot of position battles that will be interesting to keep track of throughout the remainder of the off-season. One position battle that I know I will be keeping a close eye on will be at wide receiver. There is a lot of speculation that Terrance Williams might get demoted if Brice Butler steps up his game the way a lot of people are expecting. Butler showed quite a few flashes in 2015 that he can be a valued member on offense, but he also struggled with reoccurring injuries throughout the season. I’m actually looking forward to see what Butler can do with a full off-season with the Cowboys organization and hopefully a better chance to develop a bond with quarterback Tony Romo.

Brian Martin

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The Dallas Cowboys will have a lot of position battles that will be interesting to keep track of throughout the remainder of the off-season. One position battle that I know I will be keeping a close eye on will be at wide receiver.

There is a lot of speculation that Terrance Williams might get demoted if Brice Butler steps up his game the way a lot of people are expecting.

Butler showed quite a few flashes in 2015 that he can be a valued member on offense, but he also struggled with reoccurring injuries throughout the season.

I'm actually looking forward to see what Butler can do with a full off-season with the Cowboys organization and hopefully a better chance to develop a bond with quarterback Tony Romo.

There's something about Butler's game that is intriguing and I think that's one of the main reasons why a lot of people believe he could push Williams for that #2 wide receiver spot opposite Dez Bryant.

I don't expect Terrance Williams to go down without a fight and I'm not even sure if it will be that close of a battle.

Williams has a lot of things going for him that Butler doesn't. He has already established a good working bond with his quarterback and he has the experience and knowledge in offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's scheme.

Those things alone give him a huge advantage over Butler, especially since he already has that strong working bond with Romo and the trust between the two players can't be discounted either.

Cowboys Headlines - Is Terrance Williams Ready To Fight For His Job?Let's not forget the fact that Williams has been a really solid wide receiver playing opposite Dez Bryant since entering the league in 2013.

Here is a look at his statistics over his first three years in the NFL.

Season

Receptions

Yards

TDs

2015 52 840 3
2014 37 621 8
2013 44 736 5

A lot of teams around the NFL would love to have a #2 wide receiver with those kind of numbers. There's something to be said about consistency and you can't deny that Williams has been a consistent WR for the Cowboys.

I personally think that a lot of this talk about Terrance Williams is based on the unfair expectations that were placed on him when Dez Bryant went down with an injury in 2015.

Nearly everybody wanted Williams to be able to step up and fill the shoes left by Bryant, but that's simply not his game.

Terrance Williams isn't a #1 WR in the NFL, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. He has proven that he can be a dangerous enough threat so that Bryant isn't double covered the majority of the game and that is one of the underrated jobs of a #2 WR.

Another thing that I really like about Williams is that he is willing to do the dirty work in the running game and block down the field. That is something that could come in handy in 2016 with Ezekiel Elliott toting the rock.

In fact, the 2014 season was perhaps Williams best year and that's when the Cowboys were relying heavily on DeMarco Murray and the running game. I expect that they will get back to that blueprint in 2016 with Elliott.

If I'm being completely honest though, the only thing that really frustrates me about Williams' game is that he is a body catcher.

I can't tell you how much it irritates me to see wide receivers catch with their body instead of using their hands. Body catchers usually have to slow down and stop the routes to catch the ball, but hand catchers are able to continue running through their routes without having to slow down the majority of the time.

All in all, I don't expect Terrance Williams to relinquish the #2 wide receiver job without putting up a fight and if I know one thing about Williams it is that he's a fighter.

He comes to work every day with an attitude to improve and it's that attitude that has made the former third-round draft pick out of Baylor a valued member in the Cowboys passing game.

While Brice Butler tries to convince the coaching staff for  the Cowboys that he is ready for a large role on offense, Williams will continue to go about his business and do what he has done since entering the league.

This would definitely be a position battle to keep track of, but don't expect Williams go down without a fight.

You can credit head coach Jason Garrett for creating competition throughout the roster and the Williams and Butler battle is just getting underway.

How do you see this position battle shaking out?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and comments. I look forward to discussing this topic further.



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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BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

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Rico Gathers

Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.

Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.

The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.

While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.

The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.

Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.



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Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started

Matthew Lenix

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Antwaun Woods is just getting started

Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.

The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.

All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.

Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.

How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.

When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.

Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.

There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.

The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.



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Cedrick Wilson: Cowboys WR Could Shine After a Year Off

Matthew Lenix

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Cedrick Wilson could shine after a year off

The departure of Cole Beasley to Buffalo via free agency in March left a hole at the slot receiver position in Dallas. The team signed veteran Randall Cobb about a week later, but only to a one year deal. Names like Tavon Austin and Allen Hurns along with Cobb are looked at as the replacement for Beasley but don't forget about Cedrick Wilson.

Selected in the sixth round in 2018, Wilson was coming off an impressive and highly productive two-year career at Boise State. Tallying 139 receptions for 2,640 yards and 18 touchdowns in just 26 games.

When OTA's began last season, the rookie was already turning heads with his route running, ability to create separation and athleticism, but unfortunately, disaster happened not long afterward. Wilson would suffer a shoulder injury that placed him on injured reserve for 2018, the same shoulder he had issues with in college. A not so fairy tale beginning to an NFL career.

Although his time on the field was short-lived last summer, he definitely caught the eye of wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

"Ced's a savvy, smart football player. He picks things up really well. He applies them to the field. In terms of technique, he's one of the best if you watch him. His stance and start is really good. He comes off the ball with low pad level. He's eating up ground and then has a nack to make a big play over the top on a big post," Lal said.

Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb make up a very formidable receiving core, and adding a healthy Wilson to that could work wonders. His experience on the outside and the slot gives offensive coordinator Kellen Moore plenty of options. Slot receivers are usually harder to bump off the line with the extra few yards of cushion they get, giving them more options route wise seeing as they can go inside or out a lot easier than outside receivers. That's where Wilson's supreme route running can come into play. Also, with his ability to separate on the outside and beat corners deep, you can play him opposite Amari Cooper and put Cobb in the slot with a combination of either Gallup, Austin or Hurns in a four-wide receiver set, the possibilities are endless.

A setback can be a blessing in disguise if approached in the right manner. Wilson hasn't let the year off derail his focus on what he's trying to do in Dallas.

"Coming back off the rehab was tough in general. But definitely a year of just seeing how everything goes, the speed is definitely slowing down. Just getting back in the playbook and learning from older guys of what I need to do and doing what the coaches expect of me," Wilson said.

The competition won't be easy for Wilson, though, as other young up and coming receivers are fighting for roster spots as well. UDFA's (Undrafted Free Agents) Jon'Vea Johnson and Jalen Guyton will also be fighting for snaps during mini-camp, with the former already making waves during OTA's. Reggie Davis has also turned a few heads in the summer, a fellow UDFA himself trying to find a home after bouncing around the league between four different teams since 2017.

It's all about health for Cedrick Wilson at this point. Can his shoulder hold up enough to allow his skill set to make a contribution to the Cowboys in 2019? The talent is there, along with the praises of his position coach, now it'll be interesting to see if this potential diamond in the rough can shine under the bright lights of AT&T Stadium.



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