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Did Terrance Williams’ Big Game Quiet His Critics?

Brian Martin



Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Terrance Williams catches a lot more than passes as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He catches a lot of grief that a lot of times is unwarranted. It could be argued he is the most hated player currently on the roster. But, did his big game against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday finally quiet his critics?

The Dallas Cowboys put together an impressive four quarters of football last week against the Kansas City Chiefs and Terrance Williams' performance was definitely one of the bright spots of that game. You may have forgotten already, but Williams caught a career-high nine passes for 141 yards.

Watching Terrance Williams play like one of the best wide receivers on the field in any given game isn't something a lot of Cowboys Nation is accustomed to. In fact, Williams is typically catching flak from Cowboys fans.

WR Terrance WilliamsI think we can all agree we've all been guilty at one time or another about giving Williams grief or shouting a four letter word in his direction. He has become everybody's favorite whipping boy and I know a lot of us wondered what the Dallas Cowboys were thinking by re-signing him to a four-year contract.

It may or may not be that much of a surprise to you, but Terrance Williams definitely hears all these things spoken about him.

"It's kind of hard when you're just standing there being the [butt] all the time of people's jokes and people always talking bad about you," Williams said.

I don't know about you, but that would make it difficult for me to put my best foot forward week after week when I know I'm going to be criticized regardless. But thankfully, Terrance Williams' performance against the Kansas City Chiefs might just keep his critics at bay for a while.

It's sometimes difficult for Cowboys fans to grasp why the coaching staff value Williams so much. He doesn't hardly ever show up in a big way on the stat sheet. His contribution to the team typically goes unnoticed. But, the coaching staff loves the effort he puts forth blocking down the field in the running game and the weapon he can be in the receiving game when targeted.

Yes, we all know that he is a "body catcher" and sometimes drops passes that hit him right in the hands. But, he is still capable of breaking a game wide open. Look no further than what he did against the Chiefs Sunday afternoon.

WR Terrance WilliamsNow, don't expect Terrance Williams to go off and continue racking up 100 yard receiving games. He has only hit the 100 yard receiving mark two other times in his career. Once in 2015 when he caught eight passes for 173 yards against the Washington Redskins with Kellen Moore at QB. The only other time was in his rookie season against the Denver Broncos (four catches, 151 yards, 1 TD).

Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff don't expect Williams to rack up continuous 100 receiving yard games. He is their WR2, but probably the third maybe even the fourth option for Dak Prescott in the passing game. His targets will be few and far between. He just has to capitalize on his opportunities, which is exactly what he did against the Chiefs.

Whether or not Terrance Williams was able to quiet any of his critics with his big game against the Kansas City Chiefs doesn't really matter. He just has to continue to keep his head down and capitalize on his opportunities when the ball comes his way.

Be reliable. Period. It's as simple as that.

Do you think Terrance Williams quieted any of his critics?

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.

  • Fatfan

    I’ve always been a fan of T W. I heard him say that too, (your quote above), and even after such a stellar performance, wow. I could feel the pain in his voice.
    Sure he body catches, and drops a few… Our supposed superstar wr catches with his hands, and drops his share of passes too. However TW would be even better if Linehan used him to his strengths. TW, even at Baylor, was most dangerous catching the ball on the run, and heading to the endzone. Why he’s not used on crossing routes more, and out routes and sideline routes less is beyond me. Let him catch on the fly and his yac will rank among the NFL’s best.

    • Brian Martin

      I’ve been a fan of T-Will as well. Yes, I get frustrated with him when he allows a pass to bounce off his hands that should have been easily caught, but you’re right he’s not being utilized correctly. Crossing routes, deep in, and even slants are his best route combinations. The strength to his game is catching the ball on the move and picking up yards after the catch. Linehan needs to do a better job of putting him in those type of situations, much like he did against the Chiefs.

  • Fatfan

    Hopefully, Linehan has caught on, and the game against the Chiefs was not an accident by Linehan. Please shall soon find out

    • Brian Martin

      We are all hoping that is the case.

  • Russ_Te

    There has been some justified consternation when Williams stays inbounds as the clock expires, or muffs a catch and it tips up INT in a game the team goes on to lose. But on balance he is a positive force, and he was the guy last week. KC did not have a coverage for him.

    Certainly good value from a 3rd rounder, legit #2 WR who can make plays. My bigger issue right now is the rise of – and / or shackles on – Butler, and what kind of added offensive pop we can probably get if he starts. He has better ability to get open deep than any WR on the roster, and in turn that could free Dez up underneath with defenses being unable to load up on him.

    There is another corner or two for Butler to turn to consistently pull the double coverage to him and off Dez, but IMO he can’t do that unless he is starting.

    So my position is unchanged by TWill’s big game last week. The nice thing is that these guys do have a team ethic in which the main goal of each, even Dez, is to win. They’re not carping at each other and they accept the role they are assigned in the offense. Which is how it works on winning teams.

    • Brian Martin

      I’m personally kind of torn about Butler. He is just so inconsistent to be trusted as a starter, but he does provide that deep threat element to the offense. I completely understand why the coaching staff continues to start Williams, but they have to continue to utilize him to his strengths like they did against the Chiefs. We might see both of them more this week with Dez Bryant banged up. Hopefully they can both step up their games.

  • dallas1966

    Can T Williams, be consistent, on weekly basis, instead of every blue moon, especially, with Dez lower leg issues, that may further eradicate the speed that Dez did have, that’s the question?
    Can T Williams, continuously, catch the football with his HANDS, that’s another question.

    If he can answer both of those questions, in the next six games, while Zeke is on the shelf, this Cowboys offense will be more dangerous than before.

    • Brian Martin

      Those are excellent questions. I think if Linehan plays to T-Will’s strengths then 83 can be more consistent. T-Will is at his best when he can catch the ball on the run on crossing routes or slants and then pick up yards after the catch. He is always going to revert back to catching the ball with his body, but he does work hard on his own time to improve his hands. We will have to wait and see how things work out though. I’m personally hoping for the best.

Star Blog

What’s the Next Move for Cowboys in Free Agency?

Brian Martin



Cowboys Headlines - The Dallas Cowboys And The 2016 Free Agency Dance 2
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

After sitting out the first wave of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys finally dipped their toes in the free agent pool and signed linebacker Joe Thomas and wide receiver Deonte Thompson.

Signing these two free agents will be viewed as somewhat insignificant moves by the majority of Cowboys fans, but it does prove that the organization isn't sitting on their hands. In fact, they have been bringing in a number of free agents for visits, but haven't been able to close the deal with any of them as of yet.

We are still about a month away from the start of the 2018 NFL Draft, which means the Dallas Cowboys will more than likely sign a few more free agents. They would like to fill as many holes as possible heading into the draft so that they aren't pigeonholed by any specific position.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the next move the Dallas Cowboys could make in free agency and the positions they could be targeting.


Tre Boston

San Diego Chargers FS Tre Boston

It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are interested in upgrading the safety position. There is a definite hole to fill now that Byron Jones is moving back to cornerback and I wouldn't be surprised if Jeff Heath's job is secure either.

This is why the most popular topic of discussion this offseason has centered on the possible acquisition of Earl Thomas. Unfortunately, the Seattle Seahawks asking price is simply too high and likely means the Thomas and Cowboys union is nothing more than a pipe dream.

But, there are still several free agent safeties who they could show an interest in and could upgrade the position. Tre Boston, Kenny Vaccaro, and Eric Reid are all still available on the open market and could come in and be immediate upgrades for the Cowboys.

Personally, Tre Boston is the safety I would target if I were the Dallas Cowboys. He had a breakout season in 2017 as a member of the San Diego Chargers in Gus Bradley's defensive scheme. Bradley's scheme is similar to the way Kris Richard will use the Cowboys secondary players.

Offensive Line

Cameron Fleming

New England Patriots OT Cameron Fleming

The Dallas Cowboys have already brought in several offensive lineman free agents, which would indicate they are serious about not only finding a new starting left guard, but adding some much-needed depth. Their lack of depth really hurt them in 2017 and they definitely don't want that to happen again moving forward.

Marcus Martin, Cameron Fleming, and LaAdrian Waddle have all reportedly met with the Dallas Cowboys. Martin and Fleming are currently still free agents, but Waddle recently re-signed with the New England Patriots.

Both Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming makes sense for the Cowboys and would be a welcomed addition to the roster. Martin would likely take over Joe Looney's role as the backup center/guard, but could compete for the starting LG position. Fleming could start at right tackle, but would also be an immediate upgrade at the swing tackle position

There are other options still available, but hopefully something can materialize with Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming.

Defensive Tackle

Bennie Logan

Kansas City Chiefs DT Bennie Logan

The Dallas Cowboys currently have enough bodies to deploy along the defensive line if the 2018 season were to start today, but they could definitely stand to upgrade the 1-technique. It's one of the reasons why Vita Vea has been mocked to the Dallas Cowboys as a potential first-round pick on a regular basis.

The Cowboys have shown in the past that they don't particularly value the 1-tech position very highly, which means they will likely be bargain shopping in free agency and possibly wait until the middle rounds to draft one.

There are a few free agent DTs who I believe they should target, Jonathan Hankins and Bennie Logan. Both players would definitely be an upgrade over what the Cowboys deployed last season and probably won't break the bank to acquire.

Unfortunately, they might not be very high on Hankins since he wasn't even on their draft board back in 2013, but he still makes sense nonetheless. I believe they had a third-round grade on Logan however, so they could still be interested in bringing him aboard. Regardless, finding another big-bodied/space eating DT in free agency could be a priority.


Navorro Bowman

Oakland Raiders LB Navorro Bowman

The Dallas Cowboys already added some much-needed depth by signing Joe Thomas, but I don't think they should stop there. Thomas is more of a weak side linebacker, but the Cowboys could still definitely use someone to backup the middle and strong side positions behind Jaylon Smith and Damien Wilson.

Unfortunately, the linebacker position has been depleted significantly already in free agency. The only option that really makes sense is Navorro Bowman, who the Cowboys showed interested in bringing aboard last season after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers.

If the Dallas Cowboys were somehow able to convince Bowman in signing, then they would likely have already improved not only the depth, but talent from last season. Add another rookie LB at some point in the draft, and the weakness suddenly becomes a strength.

The Cowboys are reported to have an interest in Bowman, but that's as far as it's gone so far. It might be time to make something happen before someone else snatches him up.

Which position or player would you like the Cowboys to target next in free agency?

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Star Blog

Sean’s Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Cowboys D

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Dallas Cowboys Defense 1

It took some time, but the Dallas Cowboys have their first outside free agent of the offseason, signing Linebacker Joe Thomas to provide depth at a position where Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber have already signed elsewhere.

The fifth-year pro has played exclusively with the Green Bay Packers, but the Cowboys do have some familiarity with Thomas as he spent part of 2015 on their practice squad.

Joe Thomas has served as a core special teams contributor and sub-package LB for the Packers out of South Carolina State, and will now look to bring these services to a Cowboys team in need of play making ability on both defense and special teams.

Using film from this past season, here is Joe Thomas' full scouting report.

LB Joe Thomas: Strengths

Thomas1 - Streamable

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Joe Thomas lined up at all three LB positions for the Packers, taking the majority of his snaps on defense at MIKE or WILL. The WILL position is where Thomas should fit best in Dallas.

Not overly physical with a shorter but square frame, Thomas is a rangy player with light feet and fluid movement ability. Shifting laterally along the line of scrimmage to "pick through trash" is not a problem for Thomas, nor is flipping his hips and running to the football.

It may take Thomas more effort than it should to get in position on most plays, with false steps and late reads being an issue, but once he establishes his sight on the point of attack this is a downhill missile of a player.

Thomas2 - Streamable

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Joe Thomas uses his length well to disengage from blocks and finish off plays, doing a nice job of not allowing blockers into his chest consistently.

With Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith expected to be the Cowboys' primary starters at WILL and MIKE respectively, Thomas could supplement these two physical, well-rounded players extremely well given his athleticism.

LB Joe Thomas: Weaknesses

Thomas3 - Streamable

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There is a reason a player with the raw traits of Joe Thomas goes un-drafted, and in this case it is because of awareness and anticipation issues in Thomas' game.

Far too often on tape, Thomas is forcing himself to recover from false steps against the blockers in front of him. I would have loved to see a player with this movement ability get more clean opportunities to finish at the football, but it was simply not there for Thomas.

When Thomas wasn't late to the ball against the run, he was getting caught flat-footed in space trying to compensate for this reactionary ability. This led to Thomas' fair share of missed tackles, where the LB failed to break down correctly.

Overall, Thomas did a decent job of avoiding blocks and disengaging, and does play with better-than-expected stopping power. The strength and technique to shed blocks was rarely seen though, relying on his quickness to outrun opponents to the spot.

LB Joe Thomas: Summary

Sean's Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Dallas Cowboys Defense

This is a player that should help the Dallas Cowboys in two phases of their game this season.

Signed for both 2018 and 2019, the Cowboys have clearly seen enough from their former practice squad linebacker in Green Bay to bring back an athletic ST ace with upside on defense.

Joe Thomas shouldn't be taking Lee or Smith off the field regularly this season, but at his best he will factor into Rod Marinelli's defense on passing downs.

Thomas gives a unit predicated on flowing to the ball even more speed on the field, and is an ideal depth signing with the versatility to cover punts and kickoffs.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Cowboys D" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Star Blog

Could a Special Coach Help Dez Bryant’s Route-Running?

Brian Martin



Could Special Coach Help Dez Bryant's Route Running?

Dez Bryant's career with the Dallas Cowboys may be in limbo, but that's not stopping him from trying to improve his game and on-field performance.

Bryant will reportedly train with personal wide receivers coach David Robinson, who specializes in route-running, according to reporter Jane Slater of NFL Network. This should come as good news to a lot of Cowboys fans, because Dez Bryant has often been criticized throughout his professional career for his route-running.

If anything, this news should indicate that Dez Bryant is more determined than ever to rebound from his disappointing 2017 season and prove his critics wrong that he is no longer one of the top receivers in the league. I for one am not going to bet against him.

Bryant's work ethic and passion for the game have never been questioned. His desire to be the best is evident anytime you turn on his film, whether it is in a game situation or on the practice field. He takes the "practice like you play" mantra to heart.

Everybody should be encouraged that at this point in his career, Dez Bryant is still looking at ways to improve his game and seek help. Hopefully, working with a well-known receivers coach like David Robinson can take Bryant's game to the next level.

Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)

You may not know who David Robinson is (I certainly didn't), but he is well respected around the league and has helped other receivers under his tutelage. Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jordan Reed, and even Cowboys former WR Brice Butler have all benefited from Robinson's coaching.

Dez Bryant has always been regarded as one of those types of receivers who is always open regardless how tight the coverage is around him. His ability to go up and snag the ball out of the air is arguably his best trait, but he could become more dangerous if he can create separation on his own with better route-running.

Unfortunately, Bryant is entering the stage in his career where age becomes a factor and some regression is to be expected. This is why improved route-running could improve any deficiencies Bryant maybe dealing with.

But, what exactly will David Robinson be working on with Dez Bryant?

Robinson told Jane Slater that in his workouts with Dez Bryant, he will concentrate on the expansion of Bryant's route tree, shaking defenders at the line of scrimmage, and improving footwork technique to compensate for any natural loss of speed due to age.

I don't know about you, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing how Bryant responds to Robinson's coaching, hopefully still as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

We all know that Bryant's status with the Cowboys is unknown, at least to those of us on the outside looking in, but I don't see him going anywhere in 2018. There just aren't any vet WRs or rookies who I can see replacing his production. Of course, I could be wrong.

One thing is for sure though, Dez Bryant isn't going to sit on his hands while he waits to find out what his future holds.

Do you think improved route-running will help Dez Bryant's game?

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