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Terrance Williams: Roster Spot is Safe, for Now

John Williams

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3 Current Starters Cowboys' Fans Hate, But Shouldn't 1

Terrance Williams has been a popular whipping boy for Cowboys Nation over the last several years. Because of drops or mental lapses on and off the field -- like not getting out of bounds in week one of 2016 -- many feel that Terrance Williams' days with the Dallas Cowboys are numbered.

I've seen a lot of people around social media talking about moving on from Terrance Williams. Though that may seem like a simple thing to do, he still has value for this team.

If it wasn't for his contract situation, however, we'd view him differently. Much like Tyrone Crawford on the defensive side of the ball, they give you valuable snaps even if they aren't worth their contracts.

Before you go releasing Terrance Williams, let's talk about the type of player you'd be releasing.

Terrance Williams - The Player

Terrance Williams isn't and shouldn't be the second receiving option on your football team. His best seasons with the team were when he was the third or fourth option in the passing game.

In the first three seasons of his career, Williams averaged over 16 yards per reception. Even in 2015 when he had Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore, and Brandon Weeden throwing the football to him for 12 games. I know we look at 2015 and wonder how he didn't have a better season with Dez Bryant out for most of the year, but when you look at the roster of quarterbacks Dallas trotted out that year, it's understandable.

How he could come up with 800-yards receiving from those QBs is beyond me.

Over the last two seasons, he's caught 70% of his targets, which are his two best catch-percentage seasons.

For his career, he averages 14.6 yards per reception. That number dropped off in 2017 to 10.7, but also what they asked him to do changed as well. He was catching more passes underneath than he had in years past. 2017 was also the first season that he didn't have a touchdown reception. Prior to 2017, he'd averaged five touchdown receptions per season, topping out at eight in 2016.

For the fifth straight season, however, he was available for all 16 games.

He's available to you when you need him and that is a valuable asset. He's not the best wide receiver on your team, and you shouldn't view him as such, but he's a good player who can help you win. The downside is that Terrance Williams' contract doesn't leave you with many options as a team.

His blocking is a huge factor in the running game. Without getting too hyperbolic, he's one of the better run-blocking wide receivers in the NFL. He's relentless in his effort and is able to get great position on defenders to help create space for Cowboys runners. On an offense that runs the ball 47.9% of the time, that is just as valuable as what lands on the stat sheet. That is how the Dallas Cowboys win games.

Terrance Williams can help you win games.

Terrance Williams - The Contract

Inside The Star Staff Writer Jess Haynie did a nice job outlining Terrance Williams' contract back in May, after Williams was arrested for public intoxication.

During the 2017 offseason, Terrance Williams signed a new four year, $17-million dollar deal with $9.5-million guaranteed, a $5-million dollar signing bonus, and the first two years of his salary fully guaranteed. When it was signed last offseason, many who follow and write about the team thought it was a good deal for the team to get Williams at that number. And if we're just looking at the raw numbers compared to what wide receivers are signing for around the league, it is a good deal.

The fact that they are locked into his deal with little outs as they attempt to overhaul the wide receiver group puts that in a different light.

If they decided to move on from Williams at the end of training camp, they would eat all of that money as dead money on this year's salary cap, plus $1.25 million in dead money on the 2019 and 2020 caps.

Now, to defend the Dallas Cowboys' front office a bit, they didn't know that they'd have to go into 2018 beginning the overhaul of their wide receiver group.

Training Camp Decision

The Dallas Cowboys get zero benefit from releasing Terrance Williams this summer unless they feel like he isn't one of their best five or six wide receivers on the roster. There is a lot of competition for snaps in training camp this summer. The Dallas Cowboys have to figure out a way to get eight guys into five or six slots.

If we figure Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, and Tavon Austin are locks to make the roster, and Noah Brown is a valued piece for the team, then Terrance Williams could be facing a bit of a numbers game if Dallas decides to only keep five wide receivers.

It would take big training camps from Noah Brown, Deonte Thompson, Cedric Wilson, or Lance Lenoir for the Dallas Cowboys to feel like they could walk away from Williams.

The Decision

Before you cut Terrance Williams, remember the value he gives you as a blocking wide receiver.

As one of the more run-heavy teams in the NFL, having a wide out that can block as good as Williams is a valuable resource. With Dez Bryant gone, Williams is the outside receiver with the most experience on the team.

While we may look at the Terrance Williams situation and quality of play from the box score, and think he's expendable, the Dallas Cowboys don't think so and he'll be on the team in 2018.



Dallas Cowboys optimist brining factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

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4 Comments
  • Ethan Chazin

    good article, balanced, fair, objective and provides ammo for a possible release NEXT season. For now, add him to a unit with multiple options, maximize his productivity. Just don’t rely on TWill to be THE guy.

    • John Williams

      Thanks Ethan. Williams is a really difficult case study. Were this 2019, I think he would have been a cap casualty because aside from his blocking he doesn’t do anything that someone else on the roster can do. It’s absolutely plausible that they just bite the bullet and let him walk this year, but I’d say thats a 1% chance. I have him on the roster. Now that his legal thing has is resolving, he probably won’t get suspended, which means his contract will be difficult to void.

  • Chuck Wright

    As you pointed out, Cowboys stuck with him this season unless they trade him. Every snap he takes is a snap denied a player who can be part of the future.

    • John Williams

      Yeah, It would be really hard for me to see someone trading for TWill, but I got to imagine they’ve explored league interest.

Dallas Cowboys

Maliek Collins Activated From PUP, Cowboys’ Front 7 Looking Great

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Cowboys Defense Have Young Foundation Players To Build Around
Ken Blaze / USA TODAY Sports

There are tons of reasons to be excited about the Dallas Cowboys' defense with the regular season less than a month away. The most recent one is Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is coming off the PUP list after passing his physical and is now activated and practicing.

After suffering another foot injury in May, Collins had to undergo surgery and his return to the roster before the season began was questionable. But things are looking good now as the Cowboys expect him to be ready for week 1 versus the Carolina Panthers.

David Helman on Twitter

On the same day he was taken off PUP, Maliek Collins is participating in pre-practice walkthrough. Not sure what that means for his practice regimen, but that's a positive sign #cowboyswire

Collins missed quite some time, so one has to wonder how fast he will be reincorporated to the defense and whether or not he'll get back his starting role or not. The defensive tackle room seems to be loaded with various talent that should be capable of at least giving #96 a tough competition before he can reclaim his spot as if he hadn't been missing any practices.

David Irving may not be a factor on the roster until he comes back from suspension prior to week 5's match-up against the Houston Texans, but there are other young players Collins should be expecting to fight for the starting role.

Antwaun Woods, Jihad Ward, Brian Price and Datone Jones will provide this team with an interesting debate going forward. But even if not one DT emerges as a clear-cut starter above the rest, the Cowboys have serious depth at the position.

To be honest, the entire front seven is very exciting. Not only do the Cowboys count with good DTs, but just take a look at the defensive end room. Led by 2017 second-team All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence, there is also a deep group of DEs.

Randy Gregory is coming back after a long comeback journey and should earn a lot more snaps as the season progressing. Taco Charlton has made a ton of progress and fourth-round rookie Dorance Armstrong isn't far behind. Not to mention captain Tyrone Crawford, who despite being criticized by many due to his huge contract, is a more than decent DE.

Now, let's talk about the linebackers for a moment here. Before the 2018 NFL Draft, this was seen as one of the weakest units on the team. Fast forward to mid-August and this should be one of the most exciting groups on the team.

Sean Lee will be playing alongside a Jaylon Smith that we've never seen before. Smith is doing things that he wouldn't been able to do a season ago. What he's shown in training camp and through one preseason game should have any Cowboys' fan eager to watch him play in a regular season game. The Jaylon Smith the front office envisioned when taking a risk on him in the 2016 NFL Draft has arrived.

Also in the mix is first round pick Leighton Vander Esch. We haven't been able to watch a lot of playing time from him but we'll sure do pretty soon. He's a week 1 contributor who will play behind what could be one of the best LB duos in the entire NFL.

And just like in the defensive line, the depth seems to be great. Joe Thomas and Damien Wilson have shown what they're capable of and they could be more than special team bodies when needed.

The Dallas Cowboys shouldn't be very concerned about their front seven going forward. It's loaded with talent and even if they rotate their players a lot, this seems like a group that will give any offense a big headache.

Tell me what you think about "Maliek Collins Activated From PUP, Cowboys’ Front 7 Looking Great" 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 Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Sign WR Darren Carrington Following Workout in Oxnard

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Sign WR Darren Carrington Following Workout in Oxnard

The Dallas Cowboys have signed another one of the six players worked out on Monday in Oxnard, adding to their already deep group of wide receivers. Most recently with Utah, Pac-12 Wide Receiver Darren Carrington has signed with the team.

Carrington began his college career at Oregon, where he was on track to make it to the NFL before being dismissed from the Ducks for a DUI. This led Carrington to Utah, where he played as a graduate transfer and put up a team high 908 yards and six touchdowns on 70 receptions last season.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys signing former Utah WR Darren Carrington, per source.

At 6021 (6' 2 1/8") and 199 pounds, Carrington is yet another athletic target with long speed for the Cowboys to work into their new-look offense. He joins Ricky Jeune as the second receiver added to the team in training camp, bringing the number of WRs on the roster to 11.

Marchie Murdock, who had two catches for the Cowboys in their preseason opener, was waived (with an injury designation) prior to these roster moves.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign WR Darren Carrington Following Workout in Oxnard" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Workout 6 Players, Sign OL Jacob Alsadek

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Workout 6 Players, Sign OL Jacob Alsadek
(Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys did not receive good news on first-year offensive lineman Marcus Martin, as his injury suffered in San Francisco will likely require season-ending surgery. Martin was signed this offseason as a backup guard/center, and without him the Cowboys have a need for further depth up front. Working out six players at positions of need today, the team has signed former Arizona lineman Jacob Alsadek.

DEC Management on Twitter

Congratulations to #TeamDEC client @jacobalsadek on signing with @dallascowboys

This is Alsadek's second stop in the NFL, as he spent most of May with the Green Bay Packers before being released. Alsadek was the cut when the Packers signed former Cowboys Tackle Byron Bell.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Players Cowboys worked out today: Darren Carrington, WR Jacob Alsadek, OL Daronte Bouldin, OL Dominick Sanders, S Ryan Murphy, S Deron Washington, S

The 6'7", 312 pound guard went undrafted in this year's AT&T Stadium hosted draft. He was set to play in the Alliance of American Football League, with an inaugural season scheduled for February.

Now, he's a member of America's Team with a real chance to compete for a backup spot on the best offensive line in the league.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Workout 6 Players, Sign OL Jacob Alsadek" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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