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Time For Cowboys To Sit WR Terrance Williams?

Brian Martin



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.

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.

  • 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


    • 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

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

Sean Martin



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

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

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

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

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

LB Joe Thomas: Strengths

Thomas1 - Streamable

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

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

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

Thomas2 - Streamable

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

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

LB Joe Thomas: Weaknesses

Thomas3 - Streamable

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

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

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

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

LB Joe Thomas: Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Star Blog

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

Brian Martin



Could Special Coach Help Dez Bryant's Route Running?

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

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

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

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

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

Dez Bryant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?

Brian Martin



Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?

Since becoming the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, Rod Marinelli hasn't had too many of his former players follow him to Dallas. In fact, I can only think of one… Henry Melton, and we all know how that turned out.

I don't know about you, but I found that a little strange. It's pretty common for coaches to try to bring some of their players with them when they accept a new job. Familiarity goes a long way in the NFL and former players can also help make the transition easier for everyone.

Strangely enough, Rod Marinelli hasn't really been afforded that luxury, whether it was his doing or not. But, there is a free agent who played under Marinelli's tutelage in Chicago who might make sense for the Dallas Cowboys, linebacker Shea McClellin.

Rod Marinelli was the defensive coordinator in Chicago when the Bears decided to draft Shea McClellin 19th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Marinelli likely had a big say in that decision, and if he still feels the same, a reunion could be in order.

Shea McClellin started his career in the NFL as a 4-3 left side defensive end playing opposite Julius Peppers, but was also viewed as a potential Brian Urlacher replacement. He showed flashes of becoming a solid defensive end his first few years in the league, but was eventually moved to linebacker, where he seemed to find a home for himself.

Shea McClellin

New England Patriots LB Shea McClellin

After his contract expired with the Bears, the New England Patriots decided to bring him aboard to help with their linebacker depth. He only ended up starting four games for them in 2016, but made some memorable plays to help the Patriots become the Super Bowl champions.

Unfortunately, the 2017 season wasn't very kind to him. His entire year was wiped out due to a concussion, which probably had a lot to do with why they recently released him.

This of course could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys. They currently need some depth at the linebacker position and Shea McClellin could provide that, if he's healthy. The healthy bit here is key, because he has had problems with concussions in the past.

If McClellin is indeed healthy, he could bring a versatile skill set to the Cowboys defense. His best spot is probably at strong side LB (SAM), but I think he could play middle linebacker (MIKE) as well. He also could provide depth at defensive end, the position he played to start his NFL career.

With the LB depth a concern, Shea McClellin makes quite a bit of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, his past history with concussions is a red flag, but it also drives down his asking price. I think he would definitely fall into that "bargain shopping" mentality the Cowboys have been using these last few offseasons.

He probably wouldn't be viewed as a very important signing, but you still need these types of players on your team in order to succeed in the NFL. Let's see if the Dallas Cowboys agree.

Do you think a Rod Marinelli and Shea McClellin reunion is in order?

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