ARLINGTON, Texas – After a week of speculation, Terrance Williams will be inactive when the Cowboys take on the Lions on Sunday afternoon.
This completes what has been a strange saga for the veteran receiver. Williams entered this season as one of the Cowboys' most experienced players on offense, but he has played just 39 snaps in the first three games of the season.
There were reports as early as a week ago that Williams might be facing an NFL suspension, but the Cowboys have not commented on that. The team did sign Brice Butler last week, and Williams also did not participate in practice on Friday.
With Williams sitting out, Butler will be back in uniform for the first time since last season, when he finished with 15 catches for 317 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cowboys' full list of inactives is Mike White, Sean Lee, Travis Frederick, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Williams, Dalton Schultz and Maliek Collins.
Lee's absence is obviously notable, but the Cowboys have been aware they'd be without their All-Pro linebacker all week. Without him, they'll turn to Leighton Vander Esch to start in his place. The rookie linebacker has 20 tackles through three games, but Sunday marks just his 15th start in 11-on-11 football.
Collins is out with the knee injury he suffered in the Week 2 win against the Giants. To fill his place, the Cowboys will turn to Tyrone Crawford, Antwaun Woods and Daniel Ross. The club also signed Caraun Reid, who spent time on the roster during training camp, to provide depth.
Schultz is inactive for the third-straight week after playing in the season opener. With the rookie sitting out, Rico Gathers will once again be in uniform.