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Cowboys' Cole Beasley: Second Chance Makes The Difference

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Remember when that rookie WR out of SMU quit the team and went home to Texas? There were a lot of folks who felt that he should not have been welcomed back. I wonder how many people may have had a change of heart?

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Dateline Oxnard, California; August 3, 2012 WR Beasley Quits Team; Moved To Reserved/Left Squad List

The local boy from Little Elm who had stayed at home to play his college ball at SMU and then was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys was well on his way to making the team's final roster when he suddenly had a change of heart. The mothership gave us the full details, or at least what little was known.

Cole Beasley did not practice on Friday and it doesn't appear he will be playing anymore with the Cowboys.

Beasley, a rookie from SMU who had a good chance of making the team, has decided to quit the team for personal reasons.

One team source said Beasley's "heart isn't in football right now" and added he didn't expect the rookie receiver to change his mind.

Initial reaction from Cowboys fans was most effectively summed up by a question that my friends with a military background would refer to as "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot". Why would anyone walk away when they had their dreams within their grasp?

It did not take long for rumors to circulate that the Dallas Cowboys wanted the diminutive wide receiver back in camp, and soon enough Cole Beasley would return to Oxnard. That return to camp triggered a round of debate around Cowboys Nation, including right here at BTB. There were more than a few who felt that Bease had his shot and walked away from it so he should not get a second chance. After all, Coach Garrett was preaching the RKG mantra at every step of the way, and the right kind of guy was not the type who would quit on his teammates.

Be that as it may, Cole survived that first training camp without a meeting with the Turk and he went on to play in ten games during his rookie season. His numbers were nothing that would impress in the box score, 15 catches for 128 yards, but the undersized slot receiver did start showing up on film. Cowboys fans soon saw why the team was so enthusiastic about getting young Beasley back into the fold. While his fellow rookie Danny Coale was supposedly wide open, every time the Bease got an opportunity on the gridiron, he actually was wide open. There was something about that trait that was quite appealing to the Dallas quarterbacks and they began to look his way.

Beasley did not suffer a "sophomore slump" in 2013. Due to his ability to run precise routes, Beasley became a receiver that Tony Romo began to look for in critical situations. There was something about the former SMU Mustang. He always seemed to come through in the clutch; in third down situations it was Cole who was making the critical catch to extend the drive. He finished his second professional season with 39 catches for for 368 yards and two touchdowns. Not too shabby for a team with so many different options in the passing game. He also earned a reputation for playing much bigger than his 5'8" 180-pound size. Cole Beasley had found his niche in the NFL.

2014 saw "Beastly" take another step forward. Under new offensive play-caller Scott Linehan, Dallas began to experiment with new ways to get the emerging receiver involved. These efforts included using him outside, rather than in the slot where he was normally assigned. Success had made Cole enough of a ball-catching threat that opponents had to respect his talents enough to where he could be used as a decoy to allow Dez Bryant to move into the slot and take advantage of mismatches.  His abilities were enough to allow the Dallas offense to add another wrinkle that teams had to consider. Still Cole was at his best on the inside.

The 2014 campaign has been another successful one for the Denton County native, he has caught 37 passes on the season and gained 420 yards while finding the endzone four times. He put up these numbers despite the Dallas offense riding a record-setting year for DeMarco Murray at running back. Even though there are not enough touches to go around for the many offensive weapons in Dallas, the coaching staff has made sure that Beasley has gotten a share. Good things happen when Cole gets the ball.

The playoff game against the Detroit Lions may have been one of his best yet. Beasley did not find the endzone on Sunday, but he was critical in the Cowboys comeback success. Cole had four grabs for 63 yards, most critical was the one where an extra 15 yards were added after Beasley took a blow to the head after a key catch. In spite of his small size, Bease jumped back up from the brutal hit, clapped his hands, and went about his business as usual. Many feared that he was too small to survive at the game's highest level, but the former Little Elm Lobo is determined to prove them wrong. That is the trait that stands out the most to his head coach.

"I thought the play he made yesterday where he runs inside and gets hit in the head, the way he bounces back up and is ready to go again, tells you a lot about who he is, but we've known about who he is for a long time, he's a damn good player." - Jason Garrett

There is a lot to be said about second chances. There are those who insist that a player should only get one shot at the brass ring. Some of those are in the Dallas Cowboys camp. It leads me to wonder, knowing what we know now, how many of them would still be against giving Cole Beasley a second shot? This was a topic that my colleague, Tom Ryle, and I discussed yesterday. In the discussion Tom raised an interesting question which I will now pass on. He asked "How much did Cole Beasley taking advantage of his second chance play in to the Cowboys being willing to offer Roland McClain another chance to revitalize his career?"

It really makes you wonder, doesn't it?