Cowboys future focus: LB Victor Butler


Position: Outside linebacker

Height: 6-2. Weight: 246

College: Oregon State

How acquired: Fourth round pick, 2009 (110th overall)

What he did in 2010: Butler was active for all but one game -- Dec. 12 vs. Philadelphia because of poor special teams play. He played mostly in the nickel and dime packages and only for brief spells to give DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer rest. He finished the season with 20 tackles, two sacks and four quarterback hurries. On special teams he had 10 tackles.

What to look for in 2011: As he enters his third year, Butler remains something of an enigma but the coaching change could help his cause. On a per-snap basis he is extremely active and makes plays. Playing behind Ware and Spencer he just doesn’t get many snaps. With Rob Ryan in as coordinator and a new linebacker coach coming, Butler will have a chance to make a new impression. While it’s not likely he would beat out Spencer for a starting spot, his ability to rush the passer could help him be more of a factor on third down. At 6-2, 246, he is not the prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker, but he can be a situational pass rusher for Ryan, who likes to bring pressure.

Quotable: He’s an athletic pass rusher that will make some plays just on his athletic ability. He needs to get stronger and better against the run but has to do better against the run. He has upside but you want to see him do it more than every once and a while. –- NFL pro scout

Bryan Broaddus’ Scout’s Eye: Every time Victor Butler got to play, I thought he was productive. The guy shows good technique in getting of blocks. He has a good feel for how to get to the football and get to the quarterback and make plays. I would’ve liked to have seen him play more during the season because the times he did play he was productive. He’s always around the ball. He plays with great effort and plays with a lot of quickness.