Cowboys receiver Brice Butler made 15 catches in 2017. He has 73 in his five-year career.
Yet, Butler says only lack of opportunity held him back, declaring he would have produced better than Dez Bryant this season if given Bryant’s 132 targets. Further, Butler, who becomes a free agent in March, gave the Cowboys an ultimatum while making the rounds at Fox Sports 1 on Thursday.
“With Dallas, the situation has to be right for me to go back,” Butler said on The Herd, via the Dallas Morning News. “I have to be a starter. If I’m not starting, I’m not going back.”
Butler, 27, played 261 offensive snaps, fourth among the team’s wide receivers, and Dak Prescott targeted him only 23 times in 490 attempts.
“I think in this league, when you think about the business aspect, you’ve got to follow the money trail,” Butler said on Undisputed. “Both of our starters made money. Terrance [Williams] just got paid last year. So there were times where I was like, ‘I’m making plays, aren’t we trying to win games? Why am I not on the field?’ But that’s the only thing that I can really think of.”
The Cowboys will have change at the position next season. Cowboys receivers coach Derek Dooley left for the University of Missouri; the team likely asks Bryant to take a pay cut, and Butler apparently will seek a chance to be a starter elsewhere.
Bryant made 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns, and Butler said he’s “100 percent” confident he could have had bigger numbers given the same chances Bryant had.
“Because I’m ready. It’s my time,” said Butler, who led the team with a 21.1 yards per catch average. “I’ve been there for three years. I feel like me and Dak have a really good relationship. We work on routes. There’s times that we might not have completed a square-out throw in practice, and we’re taking that time out in practice to actually work on it. So I think that’s why when you saw us in the game, he tried to come to me, and most of the times we produced.”