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Xavier Woods Among Cowboys with Something to Prove in Seattle

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

When Woods went down with his hamstring 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 last year. He was especially good when asked to play in the slot early in the . 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 who has something to prove.

Two Wide Receivers

The Cowboys added another this week when they resigned free agent Brice Butler. I agree with 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 , and yet, they’ve failed to have much of an impact in either of the two games in the .

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 has found himself as a favorite target of 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 and , Terrance Williams may have already found himself as the odd man out. complicates things further for Williams and may eat into Allen Hurns snap count as well.

Now it looks like Terrance Williams is facing a . 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.

If he comes back. 

Defensive End Making a Comeback

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

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

In his place, emerged as an impact player on the right side of the . Charlton has played the most defensive snaps of any defensive end through the first two games of the season; 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 wants to get him on the field.

This doesn’t even begin to mention the contributions by rookie fourth round pick , 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 , 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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Written by John Williams

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

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