My best friend has a tradition for the day that follows Monday. In the summer time, it’s Tank Top Tuesday, and in the workplace it’s Tie Day Tuesday.
Today at Inside The Star … it’s Terrance Williams Tuesday.
It’s a general rule of thumb that the third year for NFL wide receivers is when they either will become the star that they’re going to be…or they just don’t. Seeing as the swash-bucklin’, swag-struttin’, epic play-making Terrance Williams is entering that pivotal third year, I wanted to see how his first two measured up to some other Cowboy greats.
We’re going to go year-by-year here. First things first we’re going to compare T-Will’s rookie season to four other Cowboy rookie years. I chose some of the most prolific pass-catchers in recent memory. I decided not to go too far back in history as the NFL has become far more of a passing league than it was when the likes of Roger Staubach roamed the gridiron. I also picked players who shared a quarterback so that was another common denominator among these guys. Let’s do this damn thing.
Looking at these rookie years alone it’s pretty easy to be excited about Turn Up Time 83. He comes second in catches, first in yards and is tied for second in touchdowns. If you’re playing along at home don’t worry, I’ll unveil who these mystery players are a little later on, but if you guess them right I just might let you advance to the Showcase.
*Player A was injured a majority of his actual 2nd year, 1990 is technically his 3rd year in the NFL
With a full year of NFL experience under these guys’ belts most of them improved. Player B improved marginally while players C and D took some big steps towards becoming star receivers in the NFL. Terrance, like Player A, took a small step backward in both catches and yards, but still found a way to make his catches matter as he turned in more touchdowns.
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
Surprise! Michael Irvin, Alvin Harper, Terrell Owens, and current Cowboy Dez Bryant are the mystery players in our game show. And you know what? They ALL made a significant leap in their third year:
Michael Irvin took what is easily the largest step. He almost quadrupled his yardage output with almost five times as many catches, and he got into the end zone more times than he had in his career. Now to be totally fair his “sophomore” season wasn’t too spectacular as he was coming off of an ACL tear, he was still gelling with quarterback Troy Aikman, and the Cowboys’ were just finding their offensive mentality.
Alvin Harper is a really common comparison that people make with T-Will. People tend to liken Dez Bryant to Michael Irvin and just sum up the rest to, “Oh well Terrance makes a lot of big plays like Harper did.” While that’s certainly true, they’re more alike than that. Their sophomore seasons are damn near identical, with Terrance having twice as many touchdowns as Alvin.
Harper represents the closest emulation as he played almost the same role in the offense as Terrance does…wide receiver numero dos.
Ok, so I cheated a little here. Terrell Owens’ first three years actually came in a San Francisco 49ers uniform, but the point still stands.
T.O. will one day be in the Hall of Fame, and as of two years Terrance’s numbers can hang with him. He had a better rookie year than T.O. and averaged more yards per reception his sophomore season while still tying T.O. in touchdowns. T.O. was the first big-play receiver in the Tony Romo era and served as great experience for #9 getting acclimated to a more down-the-field passing attack.
Terrance Williams had a more productive Cowboy rookie year than Dez Bryant. Yeah, he did! To be fair Terrance’s rookie year probably benefited from the presence of Dez on the field in 2013, but facts are facts.
While Dez’s sophomore season is far and away better than Terrance’s it’s important to let all of this digest. For crying out loud, Terrance only had two less touchdowns in his first two years combined than Dez did. Seeing as Dez Bryant is one of the premiere red zone targets in the NFL this bodes well for Terrance’s future.
So what does all of this mean? Terrance Williams stacks up very well next to some notable Cowboy receivers’ careers over the last twenty or so years. Not only does he stack up well against them, but also he stacks up well against guys in similar situations and fellas who ran routes for the same quarterback that he does.
Remember his first career touchdown? With 7:08 left in the third quarter and down by 15, Terrance hauled in an 82-yard bomb from Tony Romo, dashed for the end zone, and reignited the Cowboys’ hopes in the game. Terrance has made big plays just another part of a day at the office in two years. He seems to always be around the ball when it matters most. He had iconic moments against the Texans, Seahawks, and Detroit Lions just last year.
Keep in mind that Terrance Williams has gotten in more work with his starting quarterback in the offseason before his third year than any of these guys did, seeing as Dez Bryant has been absent for much of the OTAs and minicamps.
Terrance is on the verge of truly breaking out as an NFL receiver. He has all of the physical attributes (he’s 6’2” so he can certainly go up and get it), surrounding talent in Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, the full confidence of Tony Romo, and Terrance now has plenty of experience to draw on.
Expect a lot of big plays from T-Will in 2015. Get excited because #TWillTuesday is going to be going on every Sunday this fall.
Cowboys Offseason: Landon Collins Cleaned Out Locker, Set to be FA
It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2019 offseason looking to upgrade at the safety position on a defense that finished inside the top 10 in 2018. With much of the focus on Earl Thomas, New York Giants Safety Landon Collins has become the center of attention in the last couple of days.
Per a report by Josina Anderson, Collins cleaned out his locker on Wednesday as he gets ready to go into free agency for the first time.
I'm told that Giants S Landon Collins cleaned out his locker today at the team facility and said his goodbyes to teammates, coaches and trainers. It doesn't seem like Collins expects to be a Giant for much longer, per sources.
After Paul Schwartz attempted to assert that there was no claim to the report...
Attention those who care about the New York Giants: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Repeat: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Go about your business and have a nice day.
And Landon Collins had this to say...
If cleaning out a locker is any kind of evidence, then Collins is prepared to hit the market when free agency opens on March 13th. He joins a loaded safety group that includes Thomas, Houston Texans Safety Tyrann Mathieu, Los Angeles Rams Safety LaMarcus Joyner, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix formerly of the Green Bay Packers, but most recently of the Washington Redskins, and several others who could find new homes this offseason.
The Cowboys are very familiar with Landon Collins, as they've seen him nearly twice a year over the last four years. The three time Pro Bowler was one of the best players on the Giants defense. They would line him up in the box and at time use him to cover Cole Beasley.
Collins ranked first in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus in run stop percentage at 7.2%. Meaning on running snaps, he made a tackle that rendered the running play ineffective 7.2% of the time.For further reference, Jeff Heath made a run stop on 4.2% of his run plays, which was 15th in the NFL among safeties.
The only positions to have more of an impact on the running game were linebackers and the defensive line. Even if you include linebackers, his run stop percentage was 31st in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch led the Dallas Cowboys with a run stop percentage of 11.3%, which was third among linebackers. Collins number nearly matched the run stop percentage of Jaylon Smith at 7.6%.
Add Collins to a defense that stops the run as well as the Dallas Cowboys did last season and you take your team to another level against the run.
Landon Collins will probably get the most money this offseason. He's only 25 and has had success in the NFL. Many teams will be reaching out to Collins when free agency opens and the Dallas Cowboys should certainly be one of those teams. Collins would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys defense and would allow Xavier Woods to stay in his role as the free safety.
We're just under three weeks away from the start of NFL free agency and the drama will only get bigger as the Cowboys look to add to their team.
Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans
The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.
Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.
Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw
Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.
The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.
The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.
But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.
Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.
It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.
Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.
BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.
Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.
Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.
After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.
The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.
While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.
While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.
The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.
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