FRISCO, Texas – Unlike most players around the league, Brice Butler doesn't need his four pro seasons in the NFL to understand the business side of things.
Many players have to experience things firsthand to get a firm grasp of the reality of professional football.
But there aren't many players in this league who grew up around it such as Butler, whose father played 12 seasons in the league.
Bobby Butler, a savvy cornerback for the Falcons from 1981-92, has seemingly taught his son well in many aspects.
Not only did he pass down his talented genes to his son, who enters his fifth season in the league, but he's also taught his son some valuable lessons about job security.
"Oh, nothing is given in the NFL," Butler said. "You have to work for your job every year. Every day. If you stop, someone is going to take it from you."
This past March, Butler experienced all sides of the business aspects, when he got the sense just before the start of free agency that his best option would be to re-sign with the Cowboys for one season. He didn't expect Terrance Williams to re-sign and he thought the Cowboys would add one receiver in the draft.
"I knew they were going to draft receivers because they told my agent that," Butler recalled. "When we signed Terrance, I didn't expect it, but I still knew they would draft a receiver. But I didn't know they would draft two. After they took Switz I was done watching the draft. But then they took Noah. I was like 'alright. That's part of it.' When you get in here, they're looking for someone to take your spot."
And Butler knows that is certainly the case if a player doesn't perform to the highest standards. Butler was sixth on the team in receiving yards with 219 and tied for sixth with just 16 catches. But he did tie for fourth with three TD receptions.
"Last year, I had a good year. But I had some plays I could've made," Butler said. "So they're up there looking for someone coming out that can make those plays."
That's probably one reason why Butler came out this past summer with a strong set of practices, both in the OTAs and minicamp.
"He had a very good offseason," wide receiver coach Derek Dooley said of Butler. "I think he leaned up a little bit. He probably felt a little better. We'll see how he does in training camp. When you put the shoulder pads on, it changes a lot of things."
Butler attributes a better offseason to his comfort level in both the offense and the quarterback.
"I think I was making more plays this year," Butler said. "I was still sort of l earning the offense last year. And I was still learning Tony. But I know Dak and I know Kellen. I felt like this was a better offseason for me all around."
Butler also said he doesn't mind taking more of a leadership role, even to the guys he's competing with.
"My dad always told me about guys that helped him when he was in the league. And he did the same thing when he was older," Butler said. "He was better than the younger guys on the team. My thing is to help the guy that helps push the room. If he makes the team and you make the team, too… you want them to ball. So I'm trying to help everyone around me.
To me, I've always had the mindset that if I handle my business, it doesn't matter what happens around me."