It's hard to get excited about a wide receiver who caught 12 balls for 258 yards in his 4th season as a pro. However, there's intruiging upside regarding Brice Butler.
The wide receiver came to Dallas in a trade with Oakland during the 2015 season after Dez Bryant hurt his foot. Butler quickly passed Devin Street on the depth chart while learning a new offense, in a new city on a new team.
He showed flashes and started a few games down the stretch, but a full off-season at Valley Ranch is already paying off. With Dez Bryant still sidelined during Organized Team Activities recovering from foot surgery, Butler is getting a lot of reps and catching balls from Tony Romo. He didn't catch a single ball from No. 9 during the season because of the quarterback's collar bone injuries.
"That's two big points that he didn't have last year. You know, we just dropped him in there and the next thing you know he's running 9-pump," said Cowboys wide receiver coach Derek Dooley. "This [off-season] has been good for him because in some ways he's like a rookie, learning our offense from the ground up."
"Getting out there with Tony, learning the philosophy of the offense; obviously I wasn't able to do that [last year] when I was in Oakland," said Butler. "So, this is a pivotal moment for me to show the coaches that I can be a starter and be out there with Tony and all those guys."
Has he shown enough to be the No. 2 wide receiver behind Bryant and ahead of Terrance Williams? His position coach believes Butler has talent, but certainly recognizes what Williams has accomplished opposite Bryant.
"Terrance has three years of production and has proven to be a big play No. 2 in this league. Brice, and everybody beyond, is fighting like heck to make this roster," said Dooley.
"This whole off-season I've focused on being a more physical player. I'm 6'3, 215 pounds and here they cherrish guys who can go up and get the ball," said Butler.
The Cowboys are intruiged after Butler caught 8 balls for 134 yards in the final two games with Kellen Moore at quarterback. He'll have to outplay Williams during training camp and the pre-season to get significant playing time in 2016, but the Cowboys are going to give him that opportunity.