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Sean’s Scout: RB Trey Williams Potential Big-Play Candidate For Cowboys

Sean Martin

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The Cowboys' recent roster shuffle saw changes on both the defensive line and offensive backfield, as the release of RB Darren McFadden and K Mike Nugent led to the signing of DL Datone Jones and promotion of practice squad RB Trey Williams.

After scouting what Jones brings to the Cowboys right here, I decided to study Williams - who just like McFadden may very well be stuck behind Alfred Morris and Rod Smith for the time being.

Studying the journeyman running back in Williams was a struggle in itself, as the Texas A&M product carried the ball once this preseason - his first action since 2015 with the Redskins.

Trey WIlliams' preseason film with the Washington Redskins in 2015 remains the best sampling of his abilities at the NFL level, as he is now on the Cowboys' roster in his second stint with Dallas.

The Cowboys have been aware of Williams' ability for some time now, signing him off of the Redskins' practice squad in 2015 and again earlier this month, leading to his promotion now.

Here is his scouting report in another edition of Sean's Scout.

Trey Williams Vs Ravens - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

As mentioned, Trey Williams may still be a long way from getting on the Cowboys' game day roster, but he could bring the loose play ability that is sorely missed on Scott Linehan's offense right now.

Williams, an effortless glider with quick decision-making ability, can react to holes opening up as fast as he's able to hit them and turn up the field for big gains.

While he may trust his eyes to a fault at times and not allow blocks to set or plays to develop fully, Williams has the easy speed to turn the corner on linebackers and get to the edge - even on broken plays.

Trey Williams Vs Lions - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Williams runs with limited power, although he does his best to fall forward for extra yards pushing between the tackles. Where he does excel as a change of pace back is in his ability to find a second and third gear hitting the open field rapidly.

By the time Trey Williams hits the line of scrimmage in the above clip (red line), look at just how many Lions defenders are out of the play already. Even the safety coming down is losing the angle on Williams, who beats the linebacker in front of him for a splash play.

For the most part, Williams has desirable balance in the way he carries the ball, although there were some snaps where his knack to run upright forced him to square his shoulders to shake defenders - often going down on first contact in these situations.

Trey Williams Vs Lions (2) - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

When he is at his best, Williams is hitting the first crease he sees and attacking with his long strides up the field. This is a player that can stop on a dime, in space, or when surrounded by defenders to find positive yards.

As a pass catcher, Williams is able to run routes with an above average understanding of the space he has to work with. Creating these "loose plays", I was also impressed with Trey Williams' ability to chip against rushers and compete as a blocker when firing out into the pattern.

Trey Williams Vs Browns - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Any good scout will tell you that a player that has only speed essentially has nothing when it comes to taking their game to the next level, and there's no hiding that speed is what Trey Williams' game is predicated on.

Bouncing around to four different NFL teams along with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL following his first stint with the Dallas Cowboys, Williams has not found any footing in this league and faces an uphill battle doing so in this current Cowboys backfield.

Should they have an active roster spot for him though, the Cowboys could do well to dress Williams and look to get the ball in his hands once or twice against the Redskins on Thursday.

Without Ezekiel Elliott, watching the Dallas offense work methodically to have most of their drives stall has become increasingly and understandably frustrating for Cowboys Nation. Just maybe, Trey Williams can change that on one carry or reception.

At the very least, Williams is a more versatile replacement at the "insurance back" spot the Cowboys are holding until Elliott returns thanks to his complete game at RB and potential special teams contributions.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: RB Trey Williams Potential Big-Play Candidate For Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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4 Comments
  • Suave Freddie

    Anything is better than what the Cowboys have right now. You have to try different things and hope things work out for the good of WINNING games. Just CAN’T be predictable anymore. NEED to become an EXPLOSIVE team. Too many teams knows Cowboys game plans.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Thank you for reading, and well said all around here. This team is in playoff mode the rest of the way out now, must win Thursday to have any chance.

  • John Williams

    i wonder if he can fit in best in the two-minute drill or in passing situations where they need to dump the ball of and try and get some big plays in check downs.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Nightmare flashbacks to Lance Dunbar at the Giants last year…but yes he could be that type of player

Star Blog

The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle Heating Up 1

Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.

The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.

As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.

Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.

Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.

Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.

Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.

I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.

All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.

How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?



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Star Blog

Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?

Brian Martin

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Decision not to Play Dan Bailey against the 49ers a Concern? 1

With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.

Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.

I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.

I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?

Dan Bailey

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.

Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.

Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.

Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?



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Star Blog

Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

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Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

Let me start this article with a strong opening statement: The Cowboys will be better in 2018 than they were in 2017. There's been a lot of talk about the lack of a true No. 1 receiver. But when we break it down, the current setup will most likely play out better for Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

The Dak Stats

Certain quarterbacks shine when they have that go-to playmaker. We're talking about guys like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Calvin Johnson, Ocho Cinco, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and Dez Bryant. But other QBs do better at reading the defense and quickly adapting to what is given. Dak Prescott is the latter breed of QB.

Let’s do a quick numbers exercise to prove this.

When Prescott is targeting 8 or more receivers throughout the game, his passer rating jumps from 86.1 (targeting less than 8) to 104.5. He passes for almost 50 yards more per game and his touchdown to interception ratio drastically improves from 21-13 to 24-4.

Most importantly, when he targets at least 8 different receivers, the Cowboys are 14-2. When he targets less than 8, the team is just .500 at 8-8.

Without a doubt, Prescott is much better at adjusting to what the defense is giving him. He just isn’t one of those guys who can successfully "force" the ball (like Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees). Not feeling the pressure of having to get the ball into the hands of the star playmaker will give this offense a new kind of depth in 2018.

Yes, losing Jason Witten hurts, much more so in my opinion than not having Dez.

Questions Still Loom

This is still the Cowboys' biggest concern on offense. There is some great depth. We have Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin, Geoff Swaim, and the young stud out of Stanford, Dalton Schultz. But between the three who have any NFL experience, there are only 9 catches between them. I must say that Dalton, with his 4.75 40-yard dash, has a legitimate shot at seeing a lot of playing time in his rookie campaign and could become an impact player with his size (6’5”, 244-lbs) and speed.

But despite the battle for TE being wide open, and debates about whether or not the team needs a No. 1 receiver, the Cowboys are still expected to give the Eagles a run for their money in the NFC East. Here are the odds on the defending NFC East champions and how (although early) it is expected to shake out:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles -167
  2. Dallas Cowboys +350
  3. New York Giants +650
  4. Washington Redskins +750

NFC East Week 1 Predictions

The Cowboys open the season in a difficult road game against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been listed as 2.5-point favorites (follow the Cowboys NFL Odds here all season long) which isn’t surprising considering they are a tough team playing at home. You might be thinking, "crap, we're opening up as underdogs?" Don’t worry too much; it actually bodes fairly well because the lines-makers generally give a 3-point advantage to the home team. This means that they actually handicap the Cowboys to be a half-point favorite on a neutral field and a 3.5-point favorite in Arlington.

The Redskins open their season in Arizona against the Cardinals. The line is set at a pick ‘em (meaning there is no point spread; it's anyone's game). But, looking at the 'Skins and Cardinals, I think Washington gets disappointed in Week 1 and starts their season with a loss.

The Giants get to test their new offensive line and see if they were right in continuing to place their faith in Eli Manning against the best defense in the league. The Jags are 3-point favorites at MetLife stadium. This means the Jags are actually 6-points better. I do think that the Giants will be vastly improved this season, but they are also going to open with a loss.

The Eagles don’t have it easy either, but they will probably pull out the win at home as 4-point favorites against the Dirty Birds on Thursday Night Football. Their defense is just too good. Atlanta's road offense scored just 21 points per game last year while Philly scores 28 on average at home. The Eagles' home defense has been downright nasty, only allowing 12 points per game in Philadelphia.

This will be a two-horse race for the division between the Eagles and Cowboys. And even if the Eagles win the East, the Cowboys will wildcard into the playoffs.



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