One Way Or Another, Cowboys Know They Must Address WR Position

MOBILE, Ala. – The vast majorities of the questions about the Cowboys' roster this offseason are going to focus on the defense – and understandably so.

The Dallas offense isn't without its issues, though. Most notably, the wide receiver position is intriguing, with two of five wide outs – Terrance Williams and Brice Butler – facing free agency.

"Obviously that outside receiver spot is one that we've got to keep our eye on with Brice and Terrance being up," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday.

Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley have secure futures in Dallas, as they're under contract until 2020 and 2019, respectively. No. 5 receiver Lucky Whitehead also has another year left on his undrafted rookie deal.

But Williams and Butler were the Cowboys' top options at the aforementioned outside receiver spot. Jones said he'd like to have both players back in the fold for 2017, but – as usual – for the right price.

"They'll be guys that we're looking at and we'd love to have them back, both of them, and it's just how we manage the economics in the business of their situations," he said.

Williams finished his fourth season with 48 catches for 662 yards and four touchdowns, capped off by a four-catch, 62-yard outing against Green Bay in the playoffs.

Butler was flashy but inconsistent in his second season since being acquired in a trade with Oakland. He caught 16 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns, though he was also penalized four times for 45 yards on the year.

Only time will tell if the finances allow for either player to return, but the Cowboys' presence at the Senior Bowl this week is a timely reminder that the NFL draft is a great place to find receiver production. Williams played in the college all-star game back in 2013 and earned a starting spot as a rookie, drafted No. 74 overall. Butler was a fifth-round pick in the same draft class.

Perhaps the Cowboys manage to hold on to the duo – but the draft always seems to be a suitable option.

"It's obvious to anyone who looks at the roster with both Terrance and Brice being up we've got to, if not them -- and we hope it is -- if not them, we've got to have some outside receiver help," Jones said.

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