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.
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:
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.
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.