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Cole Beasley Must Step Up For 2018 Season

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cole Beasley Must Step Up For 2018 Season
James D. Smith/ DallasCowboys.com

There are many reasons to be excited about the 2018 Dallas Cowboys. The team is going into a whole new era, with many long-term starters (such as Dez Bryant and Jason Witten) now out of the picture. Changes are coming, specially on the pass-catchers side of things.

From Dak Prescott's main four targets in 2016 and 2017, only two remain on the roster. Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams are in very different situations, though. Beasley is making the roster for sure, while William's job might be in danger.

Williams had a tough season last year, failing to see the end zone all year, and hasn't shown the consistency one would desire from him. Dealing with a foot injury and missing offseason practices hasn't helped his cause. On top of it all, Terrance recently dealt with a public intoxication arrest which could result in a suspension down the road.

If a suspension does come, and the guaranteed money from his contract stops being guaranteed, the Cowboys might as well bid him farewell to give younger players a chance at a roster spot. And even if he ends up being one of the 53 Cowboys that'll play in 2018, who knows if he'll have a starting role.

Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, Cedrick Wilson and even Noah Brown have high probabilities of making the roster for the 2018 NFL season.

Hurns and Gallup will likely be day 1 starters for the offense, which shouldn't be bad at all. However, the lack of familiar faces for the team, specially for a young quarterback like Dak Prescott is a bit concerning.

Still over three months away from the regular season, let's have an improvised guess at the Cowboys' starting pass-catchers for week 1:

  • WR Allen Hurns
  • WR Michael Gallup
  • WR Cole Beasley
  • TE Blake Jarwin / Dalton Schultz

There's a big chance that Cole Beasley will be the only starting receiver that Dak Prescott has been familiar with during his short NFL career.

Beasley's 2016 season was his career-best, catching 75 passes for 833 yards. In 2017, he started facing double-coverage from opposing defenses and due to a lack of productivity from the rest of the offense, Cole's performance took a hit, getting only 36 catches for only 314 yards.

Heading into 2018, Dallas needs #11 to step up. If Williams is eventually released or sitting on the bench, Beasley needs to prove he can be Dak's best friend and the new "Mr. Reliable" for him.

Hopefully, the team's plans pan out. If these receivers' route-running abilities prove to be enough to get them open and Dak is able to spread the ball efficiently while the running game wears out defenses, Beasley will stop running into double-teams.

Dak Prescott, Cole Beasley

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and WR Cole Beasley (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

While hopes are on players like Michael Gallup to become the #1 receiver on the team, it's hard to picture him being ready for such a role from week 1. Scott Linehan & Co. must find a way to get Beasley involved and put him in a position to help Dak Prescott get accustomed to a new set of targets.

Of course, the Cowboys' offensive success will have to rely on Ezekiel Elliott and the running game as well as the rest of the other receiver's productivity. But look out for a big year from Cole Beasley. It's his time to step up.

Tell me what you think about "Cole Beasley Must Step Up For 2018 Season" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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1 Comment
  • Russ_Te

    Once defenses figured out they didn’t have to double Dez, things got rough for Beasley. Nothing so far suggests that will change for 2018. When the Cowboys know that attention is coming on CB the next play, I wouldn’t mind using Elliott’s speed against it. Let the secondary rotate down on CB and route EE right up the hash marks, see if they can deal with it. Tomlinson used to run that route. Without proven speed at WR, it’s worth exploring.

Game Notes

Monday Morning Hangover: Cowboys Dominate Jaguars Top-Ranked Defense

Brian Martin

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Monday Morning Hangover: Cowboys Dominate Jaguars Top-Ranked Defense 1

After watching the Houston Texans defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the Week 5, I decided to lower my expectations heading into this week's matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. After all, the Cowboys offense has been one of the worst in the league this season and they were going up against the top-ranked Jaguars defense. Boy was I surprised at what took place Sunday afternoon.

I don't know how you started off your football Sunday, but I decided to watch the Texans take on the Buffalo Bills. I didn't have much of a choice since I live in the Houston area and it was the only game on TV, but I still wanted to see how they played after beating my Cowboys in overtime a week prior. I was disgusted at what I saw and unfortunately took it out on my cold beverage.

The Texans looked nothing like the team we saw against the Cowboys. They were pretty much dominated by the Buffalo Bills, which I'm ashamed to say put me in a rather foul mood ahead of kickoff time in Dallas. I was expecting another sloppy performance, but what we all witnessed was anything but that.

The Dallas Cowboys offense pretty much moved the ball at will against the Jacksonville Jaguars top-ranked defense. I don't think anyone could have predicted that, especially considering the Jaguars were the best overall defense in the league and where the top-ranked in the passing game as well. I thought if the Cowboys were going to have any kind of chance it was against their 14th ranked run defense.

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

Well, the Cowboys ended up dominating on the offensive side of the ball and completely exploited the Jaguars defense both on the ground and through the air. Quarterback Dak Prescott, Running Back Ezekiel Elliott, and Wide Receiver Cole Beasley all raised the level of their game and were big contributors to the 40 points the offense put on the board.

Prescott may have thrown for little less than 200 yards, but he was able to connect with Beasley nine times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. With all of the struggles in the passing game for the Cowboys, these two need to continue to connect like this.

Where Prescott was the most impactful against the Jaguars was with his feet. He was really close to being the Cowboys leading rusher with 82 yards and a TD on just 11 carries, but Zeke ended up surpassing him in the end with 106 yards and a TD on 24 carries. Regardless, the Jaguars defense didn't have an answer for Prescott's feet Sunday afternoon.

I have hope once again that this offense is clicking, but I've gone down this road once before. The Dallas Cowboys are still right in the mix of things in the NFC East division and will have a chance to distance themselves next week when they take on the Washington Redskins.

Now, here's the difficult part of all of this. The Cowboys now need to carry over this impressive offensive performance against the Jaguars into next week against the rival Redskins. We've all seen them riding on a high before this season, only to crash back down to earth the following week. They can't afford to do that with a division foe up next on the schedule.

What did you think about the Dallas Cowboys offense against the Jaguars?



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Game Notes

DAL 40, JAX 7: Cowboys Answer The Bell In Dominant Win

Kevin Brady

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DAL 40, JAX 7: Cowboys Answer The Bell In Dominant Win

It seems like a pattern is developing here during the 2018 Dallas Cowboys season.

For a team and an offense which has looked absolutely horrid on the road, the Cowboys appear to be one of the better teams in the conference when playing at home.

That trend continued today as the Cowboys dominated the now 3-3 Jacksonville Jaguars from start to finish, en route to a 40-7 home victory over last year's AFC semi-finalist.

Quarterback Dak Prescott had possibly his best game of the season, making up for his poor performance in Houston a week ago. While Prescott only threw for 183 yards on 17 completions, it was his 82 rushing yards on 11 carries which put this offense over the top. Plus, the Cowboys were in "kill the clock" mode for basically the entire second half.

The real story here was the offensive line, however. The o-line which has been heavily criticized by the fan base during the season, and has shouldered a heavy amount of the blame for the poor offensive production, finally stepped up and played to their standards this afternoon. Prescott had great pass protection all day, which was evident in his passing numbers and Cole Beasley's receiving performance.

Dallas is now 3-3 on the season, tied with the defending champ Eagles and a half game behind Washington for first place in the NFC East. Next week the Cowboys have a huge game in Washington with first place on the line.

Other Notes

  • Cole Beasley proved once again why he's worthy of the pay day he'll get (probably somewhere else) this offseason. Beasley caught 9 balls for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns, dominating man coverage all game long.
  • These linebackers are legit. Both Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith were all over the field today, anchoring a group which was impressive yet again.
  • Brett Maher simply can't miss, going 4 for 4 on field goal attempts including a 55 yarder in the second half.
  • Ezekiel Elliott went over 100 yards rushing again this week, and it was somehow still a quiet day for him in the grand scheme of things.
  • Byron Jones was the best cornerback on either team today, deflecting 3 passes and staying sticky to the Jacksonville wide outs all day. He's been incredible this season and Sunday's game was no different.
  • Oh, and Randy Gregory sack alert! Party!



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Player News

David Irving Ready to “Be Put Through Ringer” in First Action with Cowboys

Sean Martin

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David Irving Ready to "Be Put Through Ringer" in First Action with Cowboys
(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The Dallas Cowboys patience in Defensive Tackle David Irving is set to pay off on Sunday, as Irving will play in his first game of 2018 after being suspended for the first four weeks. Irving was eligible to play last week in the Cowboys overtime loss at the Texans, but did not make the trip to Houston as he dealt with off-field concerns.

The Cowboys defense has performed admirably without Irving, but in a needed game against the Jaguars, it could be up to this defense to win the game for Dallas - something a disruptive player like Irving has the ability to do on any given snap.

While the plan is for the Cowboys to ease Irving into this game, his impact from the DT position might be enough to leave him on the field as much as needed in a tight game.

Kate Hairopoulos on Twitter

Irving said the coaches want to play him 10-15 snaps Sunday. "That's what they say now but if it's a close game, I know good and well Marinelli is going to be sending me out there & putting me through the ringer. I'm ready for it.

Like a good left-handed pitcher in baseball or three-point specialist in basketball, the Cowboys have afforded Irving a long leash despite his unreliability thanks to a 6'7" and 290 pound frame that makes him a menace for opposing guards.

The 3T-DT position is a pivotal one in Marinelli's scheme, and one the Cowboys have afforded Irving every opportunity to fill, yielding results whenever the former Chiefs practice squad steal suits up.

Filling in for Irving through the Cowboys first five games of the season has been reliable veteran Tyrone Crawford. Expected to play at defensive end this season, Crawford has recorded 14 tackles and one sack from the 3T position.

With Irving back in the "Hot Boyz" rotation, it will be interesting to see if Crawford once again goes out to right defensive end, where Randy Gregory has struggled to make the most out of his own return from suspension.

Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli is not expecting similar struggles from Irving, prepared to put him "through the ringer".

Where Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard calls the Cowboys defense, Marinelli is still one of the most respected coaches at The Star, demanding a lot of his defensive line in particular. It's the pairing of Marinelli's motivation and Irving's intangibles that have the Cowboys defense on the brink of taking another step toward's one of the league's best.

With their own offense set to line up against perhaps the best overall defense in Jacksonville on Sunday, Irving's return is just in time. The NFC East is far from out of reach for the Cowboys, who will be at full strength on defense once Sean Lee returns as early as next week.

The Cowboys have never lost a game in which Lee, Irving, and Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence play at least 20% of the team's snaps on defense. Perhaps this stat will have to be adjusted to include rookie Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in short time, but for now the Cowboys are hours away from fighting for a 3-3 start to 2018, doing so with one of their most important defenders back in the lineup.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Ready to “Be Put Through Ringer” in First Action with Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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