A lot has gone wrong for the Dallas Cowboys lately. In spite of that, through the spirit of Christmas or perhaps just the ineptitude of the NFC East, America’s Team can still win their division and - theoretically - go on to win the Super Bowl. That’s what Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, and co. are hoping for, at least.
When this season began, heck right when last season ended, there was hope that 2019 would involve confetti for the Cowboys. Looking back it’s easy to think that we were all duped and that this roster had us all thinking it was better than it was (according to Troy Aikman some NFL people actually do think this).
This roster is good, right? Right? I mean... it is... right? When you look at who plays every position, you’re left thinking that this is a group that should win more often than not, but often times it feels like the coaching staff gets in the way of that (the front office, too).
Are the Cowboys making roster decisions from wrong perspectives?
There are people who have been vocal about the coaching staff and front office being what’s holding the Cowboys back, and while it’s one thing to hear it from Johnny or Jake, it’s another thing entirely to hear it from someone who knows the intimate details of it all. Former Cowboys - and now Buffalo Bills - wide receiver Cole Beasley had some words about how he thought the team made certain decisions in the immediate aftermath of last season ending, and there were people who took exception to them.
Honestly, the front office pushes who they want to get the ball to. I haven’t been a huge priority in that regard. Maybe that will change but I’m not sure. More balls come my way in 2 minute drill where nothing is planned. https://t.co/ioih9BJJv1— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) January 22, 2019
We wrote about these comments here at BTB when Beasley initially said them and looking back at the comments, there is definitely a lot of discussion. There were people who agreed with him, some that disputed his words, and people who fell somewhere in between. Overall, it was assumed that Beasley would move on from the Cowboys and he did to the Bills.
Was Beasley fair in what he said, though? Saying that the front office pushes who they want to get the ball to is a big statement, and perhaps the best example of that sort of favoritism is Jason Witten. Plenty of people feel that Blake Jarwin should be playing more and while Witten is definitely playing less than he has in the past, it’s still a fair argument that he should inch even closer to the backseat.
Perhaps most interesting about the Witten detail with this team is that his return to it was announced well after Cole Beasley’s words. He had no idea how prophetic they would potentially end up being.
Beasley’s point about getting the ball when things weren’t planned raises questions about just that... the plan
Beasley was indeed very vocal against, for lack of a better word, his former team once he joined Buffalo. He talked about how the facilities there were superior and recently, when the Bills won at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, banged the drum again about how he appreciates his role with his new team.
“I’m just glad I’m in a place coaches believe in me, teammates believe in me and they give me opportunities to do what I do,” he said. “I was telling everybody before the game, I’m just glad I’m on this side while we’re here.”
Shortly after those comments, Beasley said on his podcast 17 Weeks that the Cowboys only utilized him in third-down situations. It’s hard to disagree with that and assuming that this was not only the result but in fact the mentality of the Cowboys, well, it’s pretty lazy of them.
Cole Beasley on the Cowboys usage of him: It was like ‘oh third down’s your deal’ and then it’s only some third downs. Whereas Buffalo they’re trying to get me heavily involved to help out the team.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 6, 2019
(via @uninterrupted) pic.twitter.com/1X3JQzTWmW
It does often seem like the Cowboys are at their best in two-minute situations when Dak Prescott can sort of figure things out on the fly as opposed to when the team is trying to execute the game plan that they had in place all week. Think back to the end of the Minnesota Vikings game for example when Dak Prescott cruised in the beginning of the drive that saw him go 6/7 for 79 yards before the Cowboys eventually got in their own way by running the ball... twice.
All in all, we are almost a year removed from this particular remark from Cole Beasley and he appears to be able to assess details about NFL rosters to a better degree than the Cowboys in some ways. He looked at Buffalo, saw an opportunity, and is now part of one of the better teams in the NFL. While Dallas might appear to have more talent on paper it seems as if too many people get in the way of how it should be utilized which leads to dysfunction.
That’s quite the problem.