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Time For Cowboys To Sit WR Terrance Williams?

Brian Martin

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

After yet another devastating last-minute loss, the Dallas Cowboys now have to enter their bye week searching for answers about how they can possibly turn things around. The Cowboys can pretty much improve across the board, but this is also a great time to analyze individual performances. That is why I think it could be the perfect time to demote wide receiver Terrance Williams.

Demoting Terrance Williams certainly isn't something that has popped up all of a sudden. It's a discussion that has been ongoing for a few years now, but it might just have reached its peak this past weekend against the Green Bay Packers.

It has become increasingly obvious that Terrance Williams isn't the Cowboys #2 WR. He might have fallen even further down the depth chart after the tipped pass debacle that resulted in a a touchdown against the Packers. I hate to place the blame on one player, but I believe that one play cost the Cowboys the victory.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

It might be time to sit Terrance Williams. This isn't even close. https://t.co/7GqzfUKozd

As you can see, the pass from Dak Prescott was perfectly placed on Williams' back shoulder to shield him from the defender. This is absolutely a pass Williams should have caught, but instead he allows it to bounce off his hands into the hands of a Green Bay defender. That might've been the straw that finally breaks the camels back, resulting in less playing time for Williams.

Now, this is hard for me to write or admit, because I've gone to bat for Terrance Williams on more than one occasion. I've always thought that he is a valuable asset to the Cowboys offense due to the dirty work he does that goes unnoticed, but unfortunately he has pretty much disappeared in the passing game.

Terrance Williams

WR Terrance Williams

In five games this season, Williams only has 19 catches for 180 receiving yards. That's not very productive for a #2 WR in the NFL, but unfortunately it's even worse than that. In his last 37 starts, he only has 7 touchdowns and is averaging about 40 receiving yards a game. The production simply isn't there.

It makes you wonder if the Dallas Cowboys feel as if they made a mistake signing Terrance Williams to a four-year, $17 million contract this off-season. It's definitely a team friendly deal, but I'm not so sure the contract is matching the production.

As things stand right now, you can argue that Brice Butler has been the more productive of the two. Butler already has accumulated 207 receiving yards on just eight receptions and has also found the end zone twice this season. He definitely deserves more playing time and possibly should have received the contract extension over Williams. But, that's hindsight for you.

I could even make a case for rookie WR Noah Brown to see more playing time over Williams. Brown can do all of the dirty work Williams gets credited for and possibly be a more reliable WR.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I wouldn't be surprised at all if Terrance Williams gets demoted when the Cowboys take on the San Francisco 49ers after the bye week. I just don't see how the Cowboys coaching staff can justify keeping Williams on the field when he is being outperformed by WRs lower on the depth chart. But, only time will tell.

Do you think Terrance Williams should be demoted?



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.

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45 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    Terrance Williams is like the puppy in the litter you keep because he’s cute and you sell all the rest of them. And despite the fact he’s cute, he pees and poops all over the house. Ok maybe a stretch of an analogy but Williams has a history of doing some really good things, even things that help you win games, and yet always finds a way to do something boneheaded that just erases all the good. Williams is NOT a legit #2 WR and neither is Brice Butler. Despite the fact that Butler has great get off and can fly down the field he has a bit of the same characteristic as Williams in the bad over good trait. I was not in favor of inking that Williams deal and it’s abundantly clear to me that WR is a clear need in the first few rounds in the upcoming draft. And while we are talking about it, I’m not real sure on what we have in Dez anymore. He certainly isn’t the dominant pairing we saw with Romo. I think he still has big game and big play capability but the consistency is not there anymore. Maybe it’s still a matter of Dak and Dez finding that rhythm but still not sure. Nonetheless, I’m already looking at the receivers in the upcoming draft and James Washington is looking mighty good!

    • Brian Martin

      Randy, I think that the Cowboys could be looking at finding Dez Bryant’s replacement as soon as next season. You’re right about Bryant. He still looks like a dynamic WR, but has also dropped a lot of passes he typically catches. I would also like to see if Noah Brown could be that WR2. He can do all of the dirty work Williams gets credited for and possibly be more reliable/consistent in the receiving game.

    • TreFKennedy88

      Truth, Dez hasn’t had back to back 100 yard games since the 2012-13 season, it’s official he’s fallen off

      • Brian Martin

        I think that’s a little unfair. This offense is entirely different than it was back then. They have a run first mentality and a young QB who is still working on his relationship with Bryant. He has dropped a few balls he normally wouldn’t, but I don’t really think he has declined.

        • TreFKennedy88

          Brian this is 80% the same offense from 2014, it pains me to say this , hopefully Dez proves me wrong the next 11 games , but on his curent pace Dez is not even gonna get 1,000 yards in a full season smh

          • Brian Martin

            It is the same offense and same scheme pretty much, but the personnel is different. I love Prescott, but he’s not nearly as accomplished throwing WRs open like Romo was yet. I still think Bryant is one of the top WRs in the NFL, but like you said he really needs to prove it.

    • Russ_Te

      Butler is getting open deep, Dak is finding him and if that is the threat every down as a starter, it will loosen attention on Dez. Then Dez becomes mostly a possession receiver, the FS is back & worried about Butler, and I think Dez will exploit that.

  • Hobbes49

    It is time to move Butler to the #2 position. He has been able to make dynamic big plays for us in games this season, while Williams is just killing us. I would like to see more of Noah Brown to see what he can accomplish for us as well. Williams just makes too many critical errors at the absolutely worst times. It is time to move on from him, new contract or not.

    • Brian Martin

      Butler unfortunately has had his fair share of dropped passes as well, so I don’t know if he is the answer either. But, I would be willing to give him a chance to prove himself. I’m a big fan of Noah Brown and think he could handle the job. He can do all the dirty work Williams gets credited for and possibly be more reliable/consistent as a WR.

      • Dennis Boggs

        you know during camp right up until the last week , all we heard is the cowboys receiving core is the best in the league! well lets see it and dak has missed several wide outs badly. I hope this all corrects itself soon before its too late.

        • Brian Martin

          Agreed

    • Russ_Te

      Right, Williams implodes at the worst times. Opening night last year, stays in bounds as the clock expired on Dak’s bid to win the game.

      I like him overall, but I like the idea of trade value more right now, since Butler is probably an upgrade given his game in 2017.

      If you all still have your recording of the Ram’s loss, wind it to the last 4th down, the short catch by Elliott. Watch TWill stop, and not try to get #23 out of the play.

      • Brian Martin

        I would absolutely consider trading him. There has just been something off about him this season. I know he had an ankle injury against the Giants, but he just doesn’t look right to me.

  • Joshua Tufts

    Brice Butler absolutely needs to be promoted. He’s out played him every step of the way. Williams is just not producing. It’s possible that maybe a demotion will make him work harder. I think he has the talent to turn it around but it’s just not there right now.

    • Brian Martin

      Butler has had his problems with consistency as well, but I would give him a chance to prove himself. I still like Williams, but like you said, benching him might light a fire under him.

      • Marc

        I’ve read all your response and it just seems like you have it out for Butler. Why? You said Noah Brown can do all the dirty work. What work have you seen in an actual NFL game that gives you that notion? The only work I’ve seen is his illegal “bush league” hits that Cowboys know and understand they can’t afford especially during key playoff games. Butler is the fastest and best deep threat on the Cowboys team, period. Noah Brown is a 6 option who I believe should move to a tight end position. He has to clean up his act or he will not see the field. Butler has improved and will get better. I see his roll growing. Plus he’s a fan favorite.

        • Brian Martin

          First off, I’m a fan of Butler and would like to see him get a chance over Williams after the Cowboys bye week. Having said that though, he has also had his fair share of drops of passes that have bounced off his hands. He is not a very good blocker in the run game or as a WR down the field. That is where I believe Noah Brown is better and why the Cowboys value Williams so much. You say Butler has improved and will get better, but that’s what teams have been waiting for since he entered the league. I honestly believe that Noah Brown has more upside, but I think Butler definitely deserves a shot to become the Cowboys WR2 right now.

  • Tuan Nguyen

    Terrance Williams should have caught that ball and there is no excuse for not successful catching that ball. He needs to be benched for correction purpose and if he wants to go to other team, then ship him out as soon as possible.

    • Brian Martin

      I doubt we see him playing for another team anytime soon, but benching him might light a fire under him.

  • TreFKennedy88

    Truth Brain butter fingers is too much of a body catcher

    • Brian Martin

      This is nothing new, but it seems to be coming a problem.

  • Rory Jones

    How about a trade? How about we find a way to get a receiver that can blow the top off the D. Dallas is one deep threat away from being amazing. If they can get that 8th man out of the box and force that safety to respect the deep pass this offense will destroy teams. The issue is Dez is too slow, Beasley is too short and Williams is worthless. Teams are not scared of the deep ball. The only deep throws Dak will throw is when he is running. Where are the seven step drops? the play actions? This line is good enough for them. Its the receivers that are not.

    • Brian Martin

      I doubt they would trade Williams after he took a hometown discount to stay in Dallas, at least not this season. WR could be a top priority in the draft next year though. Bryant’s replacement? I would like to see the Cowboys move the pocket more. That is when Prescott is at his best and it puts defenses in a bind because of his mobility. It also helps the WRs. I’m hoping we see that more after the bye week.

    • Chaz #1 Cowboys Fan

      I totally agree with you and I have been saying this for a couple of years now!!! Please trade this young man ASAP!!!!

  • R.L.B.

    Brian, I’m not usually one to take one specific play and point to it being the single cause for an L. But this one. This one. It certainly was a killer. Ugh. I wasn’t surprised that it went the way it did. You do say when responding to a description of “body catcher”, that this isn’t something new and is becoming a problem. This is the problem. He has poor technique, and for the most part he’s always been a body catcher with but a few exceptions with hands on sprinkled in. Think Seattle in 2014, tip toe sideline grab for a crucial conversion. That’s it. He’s earned his way down the receiving depth chart. T-Will: Invasion of the body catchers. Look ma, no hands. That’s him. Butler, Brown, Switzer, Beasley, and wtf Lance Lenoir from the practice squad. There are other options. Point is, Williams is a liability which is so terribly pointed out in the clip above.

    • Brian Martin

      I agree. I’ve actually been a fan of Williams, but enough is enough. The Cowboys have WRs who can step right in and probably be just as productive if not more so. I would give Butler a chance to prove himself. They can always go back to Williams and see if a demotion lighted a fire under his butt. In all honesty, I think Noah Brown could do just as well also. Unfortunately, the Cowboys coaching staff really likes him so I doubt anything happens.

  • Sean Forbes

    I think Romo made williams much like he did Austin, laurent robinson, crayton guys like that.

    • Brian Martin

      I think Romo made all of his WRs better. Prescott still hasn’t really learned how to throw his receivers open yet. It’s something he’s getting better at, but I think that’s how Romo made his WRs better.

      • Sean Forbes

        I also think dak last year was a lot of smoke and mirrors behind a great line and running game. Play action misdirection and bootlegs, easy schematic throws and underneath routes.

        • Brian Martin

          Something I think they need to get back to until he becomes a better pocket passer. He is much more accurate on the move and puts pressure on opposing defenses because of his mobility.

      • Chaz #1 Cowboys Fan

        Good point

  • dallas1966

    I wholeheartedly agree!! He is a body catcher, and fails to catch the back into his hands.

  • MLV

    Look, all of these guys are supposed to be professional wide receivers, it’s amazing non of theses guys are proven passs catchers with their hands, are they not being taught? At some point as coaches you demand better or you move on, Its that simple, I’ve seen better catching fundamentals in youth football than these guys!

    • Brian Martin

      Some WRs are naturally just going to want to catch them all with their body. It’s a bad habit and nearly impossible to break.

  • Jon Rodriguez

    Am I the only person that thinks Williams doesn’t know how to catch with his hands. He tends to bring the ball to his chest as soon as he gets it. Not saying you shouldn’t secure the ball, but like on the Cowboys-Redskins touchdown grab where he tiptoed, he positions himself to have the ball connect to his chest. He basically caught the call with his hands and shoulders instead of his hands.

    • Brian Martin

      Catching the ball with his hands is definitely not Williams strong suit. He was a body catcher coming out of college and is still that way now. Some bad habits are hard to break and I don’t think anything will change

  • Jordan Branham

    Yes. Sign Josh Gordon and let him compete with Butler. See what we can get.WON’T HAPPEN, but it would be cool

    • Brian Martin

      I’ve actually been saying this for a few years now. Unfortunately, Josh Gordon hasn’t been reinstated by the NFL and might not be.

  • Jordan Branham

    Or a less controversial free agent if you want less of a risk-reward guy. DGB still a free agent? I like his size-speed combo.

    • Brian Martin

      Green-Beckham is definitely not the answer.

  • MazzMan

    Terrance Williams body catches almost everything…Then we wonder why he can’t handle a pass that wasn’t throw at his body???

    • Brian Martin

      It wasn’t a surprise to me at all. What surprised me is that they were throwing to him and that type of situation. He is not a surehanded receiver

  • Cris de Campos

    I felt like Butler should have been promoted to #2 at the end of last year. To me all this has been fairly obvious. It’s too bad I don’t get a chance to have a job where this is useful to know. That’s what I get for tackling things like medicine rather than coaching high school football, I guess, or however these people get their jobs.

    The only explanation for them not getting a long-term contract with Butler done is that perhaps (and this may sound crazy) he may want to get paid much closer to a #1 than a #3. The situation in which a player comes into the NFL is a very tough prison to break out of, and has little to do with your potential. Opportunity has to find the player and then they have to capitalize.

    If you look at Butler’s combine numbers there are not many WRs the size,power,speed combination like him to come into the NFL in the last few years… maybe Kevin white? Bounced around in college, ended up with a dysfunctional raiders organization, eventually swooped up by Dallas, savvy. We kept seeing the glimpses of potential but then the (reports) of inconsistency. Where they totally missed the boat is in not appreciating the upside and the value Butler had to offer them. At the MINIMUM, despite any inconsistencies, he’d force a defense to be a lot less in attack-mode on the other 10 players because he has always provided the ability to hurt you big, with a simple short crossing route or a 60 yard bomb that he’d come down with. This preseason James jones was raving about how Butler has dominant WR1 potential, he played with him in Oakland.

    Now they’re in a real pickle. But honestly, if I was him I wouldn’t take any less than what should be expected for a high WR2. Dallas wasn’t willing to pay up and he bet on himself. They maybe hoping they could keep his potential suppressed and been able to get him next offseason. But there are too many other teams that will be willing to pay for the Butler’s services. Their best play at this point is probably to get him a lot more opportunities and be able to exchange him for draft picks soon (how nice would a trade with NYG be right now?). Unless they can get something for Williams, but it seems like they’d have to cover some of what they offered Williams in order to move him.

    We will see.

  • eric jensen

    Yes ,demoted, he fumbles all time !! He catch some times ,very few!! He should be #5! j.witten #1, Beasley #2 ,dez #3 , Butler #4,

  • Charles Hancock

    Well Rory, the play action hasn’t been there because lets face it, and like you said, there is no respect for the passing game and they are basically stacking the line against the run . And lest we not forget that Dak has run for more yards this season already than all of last year. So yes, we definitely need to get the running game going for play action to be successful.

Star Blog

Next Day Rant: NFL is Killing Football to Protect Quarterbacks

Jess Haynie

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Next Day Rant: NFL is Killing Football to Protect Quarterbacks
Shaban Athuman/The Dallas Morning News

Over just three weeks of the 2018 season, the NFL's new rule about hitting quarterbacks has stirred up as much controversy and angst as any amount of anthem kneeling ever did. Tyrone Crawford and the Dallas Cowboys can now add themselves to the list of perplexed victims of the league's misguided legislation.

On the Seattle Seahawks' first offensive series yesterday, Crawford made what in past years would have been a clean, textbook hit on Russell Wilson just as the ball was released. But out came the flag, claiming that Tyrone didn't make enough effort to avoid putting all his weight into the quarterback as he brought him down.

This flag came on a 3rd-down play with Seattle backed up on their own 12. Instead of punting, and likely giving Dallas excellent field position for their next series, the Seahawks got to continue the drive and eventually punt it from midfield.

That consequence may not sound like a big deal, but it robbed the Cowboys of their earned opportunity to get points on the board early. It changed the tone of the game early, and who knows what ripple effect that had the rest of the way.

The real issue here, though, is that that call can even be made. The NFL has finally taken QB protection too far, to the point that defensive players are left with no logical or physically possible way to do their jobs.

Next Day Rant: NFL is Killing Football to Protect Quarterbacks 1

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews has become the poster boy for the NFL's new hit rule.

Before the Dallas game came on, I watched as the Packers' Clay Matthews got flagged yet again for the same type of call. It was the second time in as many games that Matthews has been given a foul for a clean hit.

Matthews' frustration after he saw that flag was clear. He looked disheartened, and part of me wondered if he might just walk right out of the stadium. In fact, I almost wanted him to pull a Vontae Davis just to help make the point to the league.

The NFL wants the best of both worlds. They want these players to go max effort when the rules allow and then pull it back in very specific, split-second situations. It's more than the human mind and body can do.

You can't ask these defenders to use everything they've got to get through a blocker, and then immediately rein it in once they get their hands on the quarterback.

You can't ask them to avoid going high on the QB, and then always know when the ball has been released. They don't have eyes in the top of their heads.

You can't ask them to come full force on a blitz or rush and then cool their jets within a second or less. Forget mind and body, even the basic laws of inertia don't work that way.

The NFL is asking for the impossible; a safe form of violence. That's like asking for non-toxic poison.

5 NFL Rule Changes That Need to Happen

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

I understand the league's current global dilemma. They are looking down the barrel of rising CTE awareness, lawsuits from former players, and the diminishing participation in youth football. They're trying to save the game from extinction, or at least from falling off the throne as America's modern pastime.

But this rule isn't about that. This is about trying to keep star quarterbacks healthy so that fan engagement and TV ratings don't go down when an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady gets injured.

The NFL is in the entertainment business, so I get their concern. Quarterbacks are the lead actors of the sport. You'd be disappointed if the next Mission Impossible movie was mostly Ving Rhames.

Protecting quarterbacks, given their vulnerability at times on the field, has its place. Some of the rules make sense, even if at times they lead to frustrating penalties.

But now they're messing with the core formula of football. If the Colonel got rid of one of his eleven herbs and spices, KFC chicken might not taste the same anymore. Coca-Cola might suddenly be worse than Pepsi (hard to imagine, I know) if they started changing the syrup.

The NFL isn't tweaking here. They're changing games and putting the burden on defensive players, in the heat of battle, to try to have machine-like precision.

Again, they're asking for the impossible.

Tyrone Crawford

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford

Tyrone Crawford is no Vontaze Burfict. He's not a loose cannon. He's one of the genuine good guys in the NFL, who does everything the right way on and off the field.

You can only imagine his frustration right now, or that of Clay Matthews and anyone else hit with one of these penalties. Imagine what some of these guys, who aren't a Crawford or Matthews, might do if that frustration boils over.

You could hear it even in the commentary yesterday. Troy Aikman and Joe Buck were clearly disgusted by the calls, both in the Cowboys-Seahawks game and what's been happening so far this year. This was FOX's premier broadcast team openly bashing the NFL in a nationally televised game.

And if you think the players and commentators are frustrated, imagine how that translates to fan response.

The league is trying to avoid losing viewers from quarterback injuries. In the process, they may lose a lot more by damaging the game we love.

Playing football is an accepted risk. Players get it. Fans get it.

The NFL has to get it, and soon, before this conversation takes over in a way that past controversies haven't. The anthem kneeling was an overblown, media-driven story that never hit the bottom line they way they wanted you to believe. None of it mattered once the ball was kicked off.

But now the game is being damaged. Football is becoming less fun; a game of rules and penalties rather than action and intensity.

If something doesn't change, the NFL's self-preservation efforts just might lead to its demise.



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Seahawks’ Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

John Williams

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Seahawks' Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

The Seattle Seahawks are in need of a big win this weekend to stay a game or two back of the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams. The Dallas Cowboys hope to extend their one game winning streak to two, but to do that, they'll have to win certain matchups on both sides of the football. One player that the Dallas Cowboys will have to be aware of and contain is rookie Tight End Will Dissly.

With Doug Baldwin injured in week one and out week two, other players have had to step up in their lead wide receiver's absence.

Brandon Marshall and Tyler Lockett are the names that most everyone will recognize, but Dissly, is the name that Cowboys Nation should keep an eye on come Sunday.

Dissly, drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Washington, came into the season with a reputation as a blocking back. Dane Brugler, of The Athletic, had Dissly ranked 98th overall and as the ninth ranked tight end in the draft. Just one spot behind Dallas Cowboys rookie Tight End Dalton Schultz.

Here is what Brugler had to say in his 2018 NFL Draft Guide.

"A one-year starter at Washington, Dissly spent his first two years at Washington on defense and his final two years on offense, lining up inline and wing in the Huskies’ offense. He was a blocker-first and receiver-second in college, which was a role he embraced with his hard-nosed toughness and competitive edge. Dissly uses his upper body power and base strength in unison to control the point of attack, displaying the core flexibility and length to keep defenders busy. While he flashed reliable hand/eye coordination and run power after the catch, he lacks the route-running experience or athletic deception to consistently uncover. Overall, Dissly is a project as a pass-catcher, but he will contribute early in his NFL career as an inline blocker and sixth offensive lineman."

Dane Brugler - Dane Brugler's 2018 NFL Draft Guide

To say that it comes as a surprise at Dissly's start to his rookie campaign would be a huge understatement. A Brugler notes, there was a chance he'd contribute early as a blocking specialist, but was thought to be a project in the passing game. He's been a big play threat in the first two games of the season, already taking the lead in Seattle Seahawks TE snap distribution at 65%.

Among tight ends, Dissly's is tied for 12th in the NFL in targets with 10, tied for 17th in receptions with six, fourth in the NFL in receiving yards, tied for first with 2 touchdown receptions, third in yards per reception at 24.5, third in yards after the catch with 90, is tied for fifth with five receptions for first downs, sixth in yards per route run, and hasn't dropped a pass this season. He's averaging five targets, three receptions, 73.5 yards, and a touchdown per game. He's been targeted twice out of the slot and has two receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown while playing 46% of his snaps from the slot.

When Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted his rookie tight end, he has a passer rating of 143.8.

He's been way more than they could have hoped.

Here's what SB Nation' Seattle Seahawks blog Field Gulls had to say about Will Dissly after the Seattle Seahawks week one loss to the Denver Broncos.

"Hot damn! Who saw that coming? Was that Will Dissly or a prime Jeremy Shockey? 3 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown for someone drafted primarily for his blocking abilities. Seattle has a new weapon on offense, and I doubt anyone saw that coming."

Mookie Alexander - Field Gulls, SB Nation 

It's likely that nobody, including the Denver Broncos or the Chicago Bears, saw Dissly's breakout coming this soon. Now with it on tape, the Dallas Cowboys will have their eye on Will Dissly.

Russell Wilson doesn't have a ton of established -- or still good -- wide receivers at his disposal, but Will Dissly looks like a fourth round steal for the Seahawks.

The Dallas Cowboys' linebackers will be tested on Sunday.

Four of Dissly's six receptions have come against linebackers, including a 34 yard reception (19 yards after the catch) against Chicago Bears' Linebacker Danny Trevathan and a 66 yard reception (52 YAC) against Denver Broncos Outside Linebacker Bradley Chubb.

The Dallas Cowboys seem fully capable of matching up with good receiving tight ends as Jaylon Smith showed on Sunday. Smith showed an ability to run with Odell Beckham Jr. in coverage on Sunday. No small task. We know that Sean Lee is good in coverage. Leighton Vander Esch's best trait coming out of Boise State is his coverage ability. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Dallas Cowboys matchup Xavier Woods and Anthony Brown with the athletic tight end when he's lined up in the slot.

How the Dallas Cowboys defense does in coverage against the rookie tight end could be a major key to the game. With names like Brandon Marshall, Tyler Lockett, and Rashad Penny to keep an eye on, someone like Will Dissly could be easily forgotten.

You're going to hear his name called on Sunday. Let's just hope it's more for what he did weeks one and two.



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Xavier Woods Among Cowboys with Something to Prove in Seattle

John Williams

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The Earl Thomas trade rumors have been relentless this offseason. We've heard about them. I've written about them, and for better or worse, they just won't stop. No doubt Dallas Cowboys Safety Xavier Woods has heard them as well.

When Woods went down with his hamstring injury and as Earl Thomas continued his hold out, the clamor for Thomas grew louder and louder.

Per reports, it looks like Woods is set to make his 2018 debut. With a good game against the Seattle Seahawks, he can put a silence to the trade rumors.

I've been a proponent of making the deal for Earl Thomas all offseason. From the time he came running down the tunnel toward the Dallas Cowboys locker room, I've been all aboard the Earl Thomas hype train. Opportunities to add All-Pro players don't come along very often and if you're hoping to win football games in the short term, like the Dallas Cowboys are, you make the move.

My opinion isn't a knock on Xavier Woods, who was good as a rookie last year. He was especially good when asked to play in the slot early in the 2017 season. It has more to do with Woods still being a bit of an unknown and Thomas being a known quantity.

Xavier Woods has shown potential to be a really good safety in this league. In college, he played a lot of single high safety and played it very well. He has a knack for making plays on the football and can be a game changer for the Dallas Cowboys.

If the Dallas Cowboys can come away with a victory in Seattle, facing the player that the Dallas Cowboys have been linked to for months, and Woods has a good game in the process, then all of this will go away.

Heading into Sunday, Xavier Woods isn't the only player on the Dallas Cowboys roster who has something to prove.

Two Wide Receivers

The Cowboys added another wide receiver this week when they resigned free agent Brice Butler. I agree with Inside The Star Staff Writer Jess Haynie that adding Butler doesn't make a ton of sense, but it definitely adds question marks to the wide receiver room, in particular wide receivers Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns.

These two wide receivers were expected to be the starters on the outside and the primary targets, aside from Wide Receiver Cole Beasley, and yet, they've failed to have much of an impact in either of the two games in the 2018 season.

Take a look at their stat lines.

  • Allen Hurns: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards, 0 touchdowns, on 55% of the team's offensive snaps.
  • Terrance Williams: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards, 0 touchdowns on 25% of the snaps.

Those two are tied for fifth in receptions through two weeks of the season. Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson has found himself as a favorite target of Quarterback Dak Prescott through the first two games and has seven receptions for 60 yards.

With now seven wide receivers on the roster, there are less snaps to go around and with the increase in playing time for Tavon Austin and Michael Gallup, Terrance Williams may have already found himself as the odd man out. Brice Butler complicates things further for Williams and may eat into Allen Hurns snap count as well.

Now it looks like Terrance Williams is facing a suspension. If the suspension comes down before Sunday, he's going to really have a hard time finding a role on this team when he comes back.

Brandon George on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/of11Xlb7wD via @sportsdaydfw

If he comes back. 

Defensive End Making a Comeback

Things started out really well for returning Defensive End Randy Gregory. During the preseason he flashed the tools that made him a highly coveted player before his failed drug test at the NFL Combine.

Unfortunately the start of his 2018 season was derailed due to a concussion early in the Carolina Panthers game forcing him to miss week two.

In his place, Taco Charlton emerged as an impact player on the right side of the defensive line. Charlton has played the most defensive snaps of any defensive end through the first two games of the season; DeMarcus Lawrence included. Taco went from a 73% snap share in week one to an 83% snap share in week two. It's obvious that he's earned his snaps and the coaching staff wants to get him on the field.

This doesn't even begin to mention the contributions by rookie fourth round pick Dorance Armstrong, who like Charlton, saw a 10% snap increase from week one to week two and played really well when in the game.

This is a bit of a problem for Randy Gregory. Yes, he flashed in the preseason and early in the Carolina game, but the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and Gregory hasn't done much of anything in the regular season, yet.

Coming into the Seahawks game, Gregory is going to have to earn back some of those snaps. By all accounts he has a chance to be an elite defensive end on the right side of the Dallas Cowboys defense, but he has to prove that he can stay on the field and effective when on it.

He needs to shine in week three.

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Who are your players with something to prove heading into the week three matchup with the Seattle Seahawks? Let us know in the comment section. 



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