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Linehan Says “Butler Has Had a Good Camp”, But Will He Stay?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Linehan: "Butler Has Had a Good Camp", But Will He Stay?
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver is one of the positions we really shouldn't be worried about. The 2016 Cowboys starters were a very good group and heading into 2017, the Cowboys have that same squad... and more.

After Terrance Williams decided to stay with the Dallas Cowboys, WR stopped being a position of need. He will remain -- along with Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley -- as a starter on Dak Prescott's offense.

Behind these three, the only player who really has a guaranteed spot is rookie Ryan Switzer. He was a fourth round pick, has a place on special teams, and has had a good camp so far. Lock.

After these four, no one is guaranteed anything so they'll have to fight for it.

Lucky Whitehead is probably gone. He hasn't produced on special teams and now that Switzer is here, the Cowboys can let him go. Trust me, they'll find a way to run a jet sweep without him if they wish.

Noah Brown has a good shot of making the team; he's an excellent blocker. Maybe he can bring a little bit of what Vince Mayle did in 2015, plus some upside as a receiver. He'll have to fight Brice Butler for the spot.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the possibility of the Cowboys keeping six wide receivers on the roster. This may happen, but let's talk about Brice Butler.

This is what Scott Linehan said of him after the second day of Cowboys minicamp via Dallas Cowboys. 

“Brice has had a good camp. We felt like since he’s been here, since we brought him in two years ago that he gives you that big-time needed outside insurance. And now that he’s got such a good background in our offense he’s able to be more versatile and move around. So he creates matchups for us.“

It's good to hear that from Linehan, but remember what time of year it is. It's June, all around the league we see these kind of comments about any other player.

Having said that, I think Brice Butler has a very good chance of staying. And it all hinges on what Linehan said about him being "outside insurance." That is what he brings to the table.

We have a good WR2 in Terrance Williams, but if Dez has an injury somewhere in the season, he should stay as WR2. Butler replaced Dez in 2016 when he was injured and while it wasn't ideal, it was this team's best option.

In 2015 -- with or without Dez -- we were still destined to have a bad season after losing Tony Romo. In 2016 we made it through the first part of the season without problems. But looking at the 2017 schedule, games won't be as easy.

And if Dallas loses Bryant this season, even if it's for just one game, they can't afford not to have an option at outside receiver.

It is an uphill battle for Butler. Since outside insurance is probably the only thing he brings to the table that another player can't, it will be difficult. But I feel he has a very good chance of making the cut.

Do you see Brice Butler making the roster for 2017?

Let us know in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly  live show Primero Cowboys!

Tell me what you think about "Linehan Says “Butler Has Had a Good Camp”, But Will He Stay?" 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Travis Diggs

    June 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    They might be forced to keep 6 receivers. If Noah Brown and Brice Butler show out in preseason, You keep both and go 6. Why not?? You gotta account for Dez injury history. We’ll be good with 6

  2. Russ_Te

    June 20, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Take 2, to see if it’s deleted again ~

    No way Butler is even with Brown, behind Switzer and it’s an uphill battle for him to stay on the team. Just wrong.

    Butler has produced in games, they have not. They have to have big camps to not get cut. If Butler has a big camp – more likely than not since he knows the system totally now – Williams will lose his starting spot to Butler, who is taller and faster.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Mauricio Rodriguez

      June 21, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Hi Russ, I disagree with you in Butler being better than Williams as a WR2. Not as an outside insurance as I say in my article though.
      Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown haven’t produced in games, you’re right about that. Because they are rookies. Brown is not a clear-cut player to make the cut but Switzer most certainly is. I truly believe Butler has an uphill battle. You mentioned the rookies need to have big camps to not get cut. The way I see it, Butler must have a BIG camp to not get cut too.

      PS: I didn’t get the “to see if it’s deleted again” part of your comment, I did not delete any comment from you or anyone else. Thanks for reading!

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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