It has been some time since we’ve seen this amount of turnover on the Cowboys’ coaching staff, especially after back-to-back winning seasons. But, after a disappointing 9-7 season, the Cowboys decided to bring in multiple new coaches to try and get this thing back on track. Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal has been getting high praise from just about everyone on the roster since he was hired back in January.
Lal has been around the league since 2007 where he started his career with the Oakland Raiders. He spent time in Oakland from 2007-2011 before leaving the Raiders coaching staff to join the New York Jets staff in 2012. There he spent three seasons before leaving New York to spend the 2015-2016 season in Buffalo. He then landed with the Colts in 2017. After a short stint in Indianapolis, Lal is now with the Dallas Cowboys and from the sounds of it, the players hope he’s here for the long haul.
The Cowboys’ new receivers coach prides himself on teaching route-running technique and nuanced traits of the receiver position. Lal, 48, has coached some of the best young receivers in the game in T.Y. Hilton and Sammy Watkins; the Cowboys hope he can develop some of the new faces on the roster like he’s done in the past.
He is taking over a completely made-over wide receiver room in 2018 after familiar faces like Dez Bryant, Derek Dooley, Ryan Switzer, and Brice Butler were all either released, traded, or not re-signed after the 2017 season. Lal has plenty of talent, but not much experience to work with. One of the few veteran receivers on the team is already giving the new coach plenty of praise.
Cole Beasley a big fan of new Cowboys WR coach Sanjay Lal: It feels like the first time we’re actually being taught how to run routes instead of just naturally doing— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) June 12, 2018
Beasley: When you get to NFL and you’re supposed to know, stuff is assumed. Lal narrows down step by step, doesn't assume anything from basics. Beasley working to use speed for out routes too now, not just under https://t.co/qJ60RQxnmL— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) June 12, 2018
From the looks of this, it seems as if some of the Cowboys’ receivers may have been a little fed up with the way they were being coached by former receivers coach Derek Dooley. Cole Beasley has always been known for his ability to create separation due to his nuanced route-running-ability, if he can make even more improvements on his routes, that will do nothing but make him even more dangerous working out of the slot.
Guys like: Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cedrick Wilson, and Noah Brown could all improve on their route-running, and it sure seems as if they have the right man coaching them up. New addition, and likely the starting “X” receiver Hurns had this to say about coach Lal after signing with the Dallas Cowboys back in March:
It’s no secret that the Cowboys wide receiver corps has a lot to prove in 2018, but it sounds like everyone in that room, including the coach, is out to prove to everyone that they can still be successful, and maybe even better without Dez Bryant. The cards are currently stacked against them, but when some of the top veterans on the team are buying into a coaches message the way both Cole Beasley and Allen Hurns are, the young guys will follow in their footsteps.