Last week weekend was a particularly charitable, and admittedly fun one, for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler.
It started Thursday, after the conclusion of Cowboys organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday with the team’s first summer youth football camp. It continued with his participation in Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball game on Friday. On Saturday, he was a coach at Michael Crabtree’s Crab5 Foundation Youth Football Camp at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Butler, who was acquired in a trade with the Oakland Raiders last season for depth after star wideout Dez Bryant went down with a broken foot against the New York Giants, was one of 10 NFL players at Crabtree’s camp, including Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller.
There was a sizeable Raiders contingent at Crabtree’s camp, including outside linebacker Khalil Mack. Even though Butler wasn’t originally on the list of Saturday participants, his appearance gave him an opportunity to check in with some former teammates and get involved in what is still somewhat of a new home base community.
“It’s always great, because we were those kids back in the day,” Butler said. “We get that sense of joy and fulfillment [from giving back]. As soon as we see those kids, we get energy. They bring it to us.”
Butler returns to his job with the Cowboys for the team’s mandatory mini-camp, which runs Tuesday through Thursday at Valley Ranch in Irving.
“[Quarterback] Tony [Romo]’s out there throwing the ball, so, for me it’s allowing me to be able to get some camaraderie with him,” Butler said. “And to learn the philosophies of the coaches, offensive coordinators and what coach (Jason) Garrett wants from his players, so it’s been great.”
Last season in seven games with the Cowboys, Butler caught 12 passes for 258 yards, including a 67-yard reception, the longest of his three-year NFL career, in Week 4 at New Orleans.
He saw limited action in the team’s next five games after suffering a hamstring injury on that play.
He’s expecting bigger things for himself and the Cowboys, who are coming off a 4-12 season.
“We’ve got great pass-catchers. With all those guys healthy and back on the field and with [Romo] at the helm, it’s going to allow for everything to be open, especially for guys like us on the other side of [Bryant] and [tight end Jason] Witten,” Butler said. “[Defenses] won’t be putting as much attention on us, so we can make big plays.”
Dallas Cowboys schedule
Saturday, Aug. 13 at Los Angeles Rams, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Friday, Aug. 19 vs. Miami, 7 p.m., (KTVT/11)
Thursday, Aug. 25 at Seattle, 9 p.m. (KTVT/11)
Thursday, Sept. 1 vs. Houston, 7 p.m. (KTVT/11)
Sunday, Sept. 11 vs. New York Giants, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Sept. 18 at Washington, Noon, (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Sept. 25 vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)
Sunday, Oct. 2 at San Francisco, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Oct. 9 vs. Cincinnati, 3:25 p.m. (KTVT/11)
Sunday, Oct. 16 at Green Bay, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Oct. 23 Bye
Sunday, Oct. 30 vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)
Sunday, Nov. 6 at Cleveland, Noon, (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Nov. 13 at Pittsburgh, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Nov. 20 vs. Baltimore, Noon (KTVT/11)
Thursday, Nov. 24 vs. Washington, 3:30 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Thursday, Dec. 1 at Minnesota, 7:25 p.m. (KXAS/5, NFL Network and Twitter)
Sunday, Dec. 11 at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)
Sunday, Dec. 18 vs. Tampa Bay, Noon, (KDFW/4)
Monday, Dec. 26 vs. Detroit, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, Jan. 1 at Philadelphia, Noon (KDFW/4)