The Dallas Cowboys turned in a stellar second-half performance on Monday night. One particular bright spot was the play of Brice Butler.
After seemingly every fan of the Dallas Cowboys pressing the panic button after a dreadful Week 2 performance versus the Denver Broncos, Dallas helped appease everyone’s doubt with a second-half shellacking of the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
Ezekiel Elliott returned from the dead, and the entire Cowboys’ offense came along for the ride. The Cowboys are a completely different team when they can effectively run the football, and the play action passing game noticeably benefits from a stout ground game. One player who benefited greatly was fifth-year receiver Brice Butler, who has proven to be a legitimate deep threat for Dallas.
Butler was the Cowboys leading receiver Monday night with 2 catches for a whopping 90 yards. One catch went for 53 yards, the other, 37 and a TD. It’s clear Butler has the ability to stretch the field– something Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams have failed to do thus far in the season. It’s fair to wonder if Butler will receive more opportunities as an outside receiver going forward.
Dez Bryant isn’t getting younger. Granted, he’s been going against an elite cornerback in each of the three weeks, but his lack of down-field explosion is somewhat troubling. He appears to be better at receiving short passes and muscling his way through defenders like he did on his 15-yard score. Bryant still remains one of the best run after the catch receivers, as well as a legitimate touchdown vulture. But the jury is still out if he’s still an effective deep option.
Terrance Williams, who has a nice rapport with Dak Prescott, is a similar case to Dez, and is also hobbled by an ankle injury. While he’s also a solid run after the catch receiver, going deep isn’t necessarily his forte either.
But for a legitimate deep threat for the Cowboys, it appears Butler is the best option at the moment. With solid chemistry with Prescott, especially on broken plays, Butler is primed to be the guy that can stretch the field for Dallas. If there’s one knock against Prescott, it’s his inability to get the ball downfield, but that clearly wasn’t the case on Monday, mainly because of the play of Butler.
Thus, the argument can, and should be made for Butler to receive more snaps going forward. The Cowboys’ offense is reliant upon a big-play receiver to keep defenses on their toes, and safeties out of the box. If Butler continues his strong play, he can become a valuable weapon for Prescott down the stretch of a long NFL season.