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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

45 Comments

  1. Randy Martin

    October 10, 2017 at 10:05 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 10:35 am

      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

      October 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      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

        Brian Martin

        October 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm

        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

          October 11, 2017 at 5:24 pm

          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

            Brian Martin

            October 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm

            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

      October 11, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      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.

  2. Hobbes49

    October 10, 2017 at 10:39 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 10:52 am

      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

        October 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm

        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

          Brian Martin

          October 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

          Agreed

    • Russ_Te

      October 11, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      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

        Brian Martin

        October 12, 2017 at 10:02 am

        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.

  3. Joshua Tufts

    October 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 11:24 am

      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

        October 11, 2017 at 7:15 pm

        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

          Brian Martin

          October 11, 2017 at 7:37 pm

          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.

  4. Tuan Nguyen

    October 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 12:15 pm

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

  5. TreFKennedy88

    October 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Truth Brain butter fingers is too much of a body catcher

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm

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

  6. Rory Jones

    October 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      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

      October 11, 2017 at 4:53 am

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

  7. R.L.B.

    October 10, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      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.

  8. Sean Forbes

    October 10, 2017 at 5:43 pm

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

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 10, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      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

        October 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        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

          Brian Martin

          October 10, 2017 at 7:25 pm

          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

        October 11, 2017 at 4:51 am

        Good point

  9. dallas1966

    October 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm

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

  10. MLV

    October 11, 2017 at 9:39 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      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.

  11. Jon Rodriguez

    October 11, 2017 at 9:52 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      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

  12. Jordan Branham

    October 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 11, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      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.

  13. Jordan Branham

    October 11, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 11, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      Green-Beckham is definitely not the answer.

  14. MazzMan

    October 12, 2017 at 8:29 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 12, 2017 at 9:55 am

      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

  15. Cris de Campos

    October 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    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.

  16. eric jensen

    October 12, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    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,

  17. Charles Hancock

    October 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    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.

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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Star Blog

2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL's Top 10 Rookies

As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.

It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.

Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.

No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.5 Studs and Duds From the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season

This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.

There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.

Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.

Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.



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Star Blog

What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?

Kevin Brady

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.

Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.

They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?

Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.

Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.

Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.

Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.

Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.

This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.

The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.



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