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Cowboys Offense: More Hot Sauce Needed From Cole Beasley

Brian Martin

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There very few players around the NFL that can do what Cole Beasley does when he's on the field. It's no wonder that he is one of the fan favorites around Cowboys Nation. But, for some reason or another the Dallas Cowboys have failed to really get him involved in the passing game as much as they probably should.

There is no denying that Cole Beasley is a special talent. No, he's not the biggest or strongest wide receiver in the NFL, but he is one of the few who is virtually impossible to cover one-on-one by any defensive back. That is why I believe we need to see much more of Beasley and his signature hot sauce celebration.

I completely understand there are many mouths to feed on the Cowboys offense and everybody wants to be more involved, but Cole Beasley is really the only one I believe needs to see more targets in the passing game. I know some of you may disagree, but give me a chance to try to explain myself.

WR Cole Beasley and QB Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott (4) and Cole Beasley (11) celebrate a touchdown scored on a passing play by Beasley in the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) 

Cole Beasley = Security Blanket

You may or may not have heard of the term "security blanket", but it basically refers to someone who is reliable play after play in the NFL. That's what Cole Beasley needs to become once again for Dak Prescott, like he was a season ago.

It's easy to forget that Beasley was the Dallas Cowboys leading wide receiver last season. He caught 75 passes for 833 yards and scored five touchdowns in 2016. Unfortunately, that success hasn't carried over into this season, but that has a lot to do with the fact he's not as involved in the offensive game plan as much this year for some reason.

Cole Beasley and Dak Prescott need to become best friends once again in the passing game, especially with Ezekiel Elliott not in the lineup. Prescott needs a reliable target to depend upon and with how quick and shifty Beasley is, he's the most logical choice since he is almost always open.

WR Cole Beasley

Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) runs the ball against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY

An Extension of the Running Game?

One of the many problems the Dallas Cowboys had against the Atlanta Falcons was that the offense was continuously in long down distant situations. This allowed the Falcons pass rush to pin their ears back and get after Dak Prescott. Without a reliable running game to depend on, the offense needed to turn to the passing game to create favorable down in distant situations.

Enter Cole Beasley.

The Dallas Cowboys offense absolutely has to find a better way to create favorable down the distance situations without Ezekiel Elliott. To me, this is where Cole Beasley needs to be utilize the most. He is at his best at the short to intermediate routes, which means he could be used as an extension of the running game.

The New England Patriots are the masters at using their WRs in this fashion. The Patriots don't really have a reliable running game, much like the Cowboys now, but they use their receivers to pick up the slack. Tom Brady gives his WRs a chance to pick up yards after the catch on the short/intermediate routes. That's something the Cowboys need to incorporate into their offense with Cole Beasley.

Until the Cowboys running game is reliable once again, they need to use Cole Beasley and possibly Ryan Switzer in the passing game to create better down and distant situations. This takes a lot of pressure off of Prescott and also builds his confidence at the same time. It also keeps the opposing defenses pass rush from being in attack mode all the time.

Will we see Cole Beasley add a little more hot sauce to the Cowboys offense?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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9 Comments
  • oneputter

    we have to win on first down, we certainly didn’t against atlanta.

    too many penalties have hurt us as well.

    time to get one of these bigger wr’s in the slot, dez, butler or brown, create mis-matches. get 10 out there running up the seam clearing out the middle of the field. intermediate to deep crossing routes…..

    i will say this again and again, dak needs to get the ball out faster, he is holding onto it way too long. he has gotten away from stepping up into the pocket, instead he leaves it all together. read the defense, step up and make the throw.

    • Brian Martin

      Very well said and I completely agree with you.

      • Michael Barthel

        I read a article that said no team has been penaltilized in last 26 quarters for offensive holding against Dallas. I don’t see how when we have Irving and Lawrence playing out their minds. The refs missed so many calls in that Atlanta game it’s like the nfl are taking it to Jerry and Dallas for this whole him suing thing. It’s funny Jarvis Landry had same situation as Elliott and he got no games and Elliott got 6. Anyways they missed so many facemask calls on dak, dez and Beasley getting knocked down running route no flags. The refs job is to protect the qb and if it was tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers they would have called that facemask in a heartbeat. I think they are trying to screw us and Dallas fans will feel it the most

        • Brian Martin

          I actually wrote about the entire officiating fiasco earlier this week. It does seem like the NFL is out to get the Dallas Cowboys, but unfortunately I don’t see anything changing anytime soon.

  • Russ_Te

    I believe secondaries are rotating down on Beasley more & treating him like the key receiver to stop. Last year he was the beneficiary of extra help on Dez.

    I agree there are ways to get him the ball regardless. But this passing game does seem to have a missing link – i.e., nobody who opens the floodgates like Dez used to with his presence & downfield threat.

    Moreover, it can use any boost available right now. The Eagles are 4th in total offense and score 31.4 per. If the Cowboys don’t get a fix at LT & most of the running game back, it’s over anyway. But it’s time for new stuff on top of that. Get the W this week, still alive in 2017;

    a) I’m not leaving Butler on the bench. If that means 3 WR and not 2 TE, and handoffs out of that formation, so be it. Or he starts in the 2/2/1 base. Hit him deep once and the defense changes.

    b) I’m not losing games because of Heath and Brown. Start Woods at FS and move Jones to CB. It’s drastic but it has a lot of upside potential, relative to what is happening right now in the secondary. At SS it’s Frazier, or poach somebody from a practice squad.

    c) I’m dressing Gathers and getting him some game reps, then pretty soon some targets. Like Butler, it’s a mismatch against defenders which the Cowboys need right now.

    d) Chaz Green looks like an interior OL player only. Again, poach somebody from a practice squad and give the guy a chance if Smith remains out at LT

    • Brian Martin

      There’s a lot of information here to digest LOL. I personally believe the Cowboys need to scheme ways for Beasley to get more involved. It helps both Prescott and the running game, while also opening things up on the outside for Bryant.

      I’m also keeping Byron Jones at FS, but playing Woods opposite him. Woods continues to play really well and deserves more playing time. Awuzie should be back this week and I would rotate him with Brown.

      I don’t think we are going to see Gathers this season. Yes, he may be a mismatch, but unless there’s an injury at the TE position I don’t see them activating him.

      I’m hoping that Chaz Green just had a really bad game last week. He has filled in for Tyron Smith before and done just fine. And, he has better at tackle then OG.

      • Russ_Te

        I presume there is not a good OT prospect on a practice squad right now, or that signing would have happened. If Tyron Smith or Collins can’t go, there needs to be better depth options IMO.

        Of course it will be academic at 5-5. At 6-4 it will be time for the team to address it.

        Skeptical of Woods at SS, or to flip Jones to it, but will stand corrected. Clearly it’s time for Woods to start somehow. If that is the move made, then we have to hope Awuzie is finally able to give something. I haven’t given up on Anthony Brown but he may not be a starting CB. Had a good rookie year for a 6th rounder, but he may be a nickle and depth CB in the NFL. Woods as a 6th rounder, was more clearly a steal IMO.

        Moreover Garrett – after looking good going from 2-3 to 5-3 – now looks like the guy who won’t make any adjustments. That doesn’t portend well for another win streak right now – again will be happy to stand corrected if he does.

  • John Williams

    Totally agree Brian. Getting Beasley involved while Ezekiel Elliott is out is going to be paramount to Dallas’ success the rest of this season.

    If they struggle to get the running game going, which they probably will this week, it needs to be Beasley in some quick option routes or bubble screens. Gotta start picking up the 5 or 6 yards in the passing game on a regular basis. Especially if Tyron Smith’s injury lingers.

    • Brian Martin

      It doesn’t necessarily have to be Beasley, but he is their best short to intermediate option in the passing game. They just need to find ways to create better down and distance situations. Unfortunately, the Cowboys coaching staff hasn’t really shown this season they are capable of making those kind of adjustments. Hopefully though that changes.

Game Notes

Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys are 0-3 on the road this season. Not only do you already know this, but they do as well, needing to build off a 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 6 at AT&T Stadium to claim first place in the NFC East at the Washington Redskins.

Although the Cowboys were given Monday and Tuesday off, they are focused on addressing one alarming reason why the team has struggled so much on the road -- particularly on offense.

Running Back Ezekiel Elliott pointed out the Cowboys lack of communication in early season losses at Carolina, Seattle, and Houston. "Seeing the same thing," was the issue Elliott addressed when discussing the Cowboys knowing their assignments in hostile territory.

Yesterday, Quarterback Dak Prescott told the media of a meeting between players and coaches that addressed this specifically.

David Moore on Twitter

Dak Prescott said players & coaches held a meeting before today's practice to "address the elephant in the room," which is poor communication among the offense on the road. "I know we'll take a lot from that conversation," The QB said.

Unlike Prescott's remarks about new "wrinkles" in the Cowboys offense prior to a 26-24 home win over the Lions, this has a tangible sign of progress for an offense that made scoring 40 on the Jaguars look impossibly easy. The Cowboys season high in total yards remains the 414 amassed against Detroit, after which Prescott confessed that he simply tells the media "things" that aren't necessarily true.

The Cowboys didn't necessarily do anything new against the Lions, but they most assuredly will this week against the Redskins, at least by way of signaling and remaining in sync on offense.

Prescott and Elliott's leadership is on full display here, and their on-field impact can be attributed as closely to the Cowboys successes or failures as any duo in the NFL.

Missing is a similar impact from Center Travis Frederick, who remains sidelined as he deals with GSB.

Joe Looney's play at center has been good enough to pave the way for Elliott's 586 rushing yards so far, second to Todd Gurley at 623 yards, but his ability to call checks for the offense is understandably much more limited.

Looney deserves all the credit in the world for his strong play in place of Frederick. The Cowboys have never asked for him to be anything he isn't, a reliable depth option that earned a second contract and with it the starting center job for the time being in Dallas.

He has the full support of his teammates, Frederick included. All of this is lovely to put down in writing until Looney and the Cowboys have been forced to step on the field with the crowd against them and attempt to sustain a drive, something Frederick will unfortunately not be a part of for a long while.

If the Cowboys offense isn't going to unveil new wrinkles in the scheme, there is one wrinkle worth mentioning that's new to the team's communication on offense this season. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan up in the box, his play calls are sent down to first-year Quarterback Coach Kellen Moore, who has been in the ear of Prescott ever since playing with him from 2016-17.

Sure, these are things that could've been addressed before the Cowboys managed only eight points in week one, turned the ball over three times in week three, or punted away their best chance at victory in week five. The best teams in the league likely already have these things down to routine, and few would consider the Cowboys anywhere near the upper echelon of the NFL.

Following sixty minutes of football at a division rival they've won four in a row against, with an even more impressive five game win streak at the Redskins, the Cowboys could control their own path atop the NFC East.

That feels truly incredible for such a young team faced with a steep learning curve early in the season, adjusting to it on the fly as they prepare to leave everything on the field before a bye week.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Game Notes

#WASvsDAL: Why This Game Holds Increased Importance

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Pass Rush Better than They're Given Credit For
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

It feels incredibly cliche to call the week 7 match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins a "must win." Especially for someone like me who values statistics, logic, and analytics in sports.

But when the analytics agree with the narratives, those narratives do tend to get my attention. And this week that would appear to be the case.

According to Brian Burke of ESPN, the Cowboys's week 7 game has the highest playoff probability leverage in the entire NFC, and is second to only the Houston Texans' big game with Jacksonville around the entire league.

Brian Burke on Twitter

Playoff leverage for week 7. DAL, WAS, PHI, CAR, MIN, CHI with a lot on the line in the NFC. HOU, CIN, and JAX in the AFC.

What does this mean? Well playoff probability leverage is pretty intuitive. Basically it is the difference between a win this week and a loss this week in terms of probability to make the playoffs.

For the Cowboys that number is at 27%, with a win over Washington catapulting their playoff probability over 50%. On the other hand, a loss would take a big hit to their playoff hopes just 7 games into the NFL season.

As you might expect, this game means a lot to the Redskins' playoff probability as well. Their playoff leverage this week is at 14%, but a win would mean "more" to Dallas than Washington based on the probabilities.

Fellow NFC East foe, the Philadelphia Eagles, also have a lot to gain/lose this Sunday, with their leverage sitting at 22%. According to Burke's model, the Eagles and Cowboys have the best chances of making the playoffs at this point, but if each team wins Sunday the Eagles will still have a higher percentage.

Of course a lot can and will change week to week, despite what the metrics say. The Cowboys still have two games remaining with the NFC East favorite Eagles this year, and will get another crack at Washington at home later in the season. Plus the Cowboys have a few NFC wild card and playoff contenders remaining on their schedule, such as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. (Yes, the 2-4 Falcons are very much alive in this crazy conference).

Still, the difference between 4-3 (2-0 in the division) and 3-4 (1-1 in the division) is huge, as is shown by Brian Burke's playoff probability leverage metric.



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Player News

Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

A groin injury sustained last week against Jacksonville won't send Tavon Austin to injured reserve, at least for now. The Dallas Cowboys receiver has elected to forego surgery at this time, giving him a chance to return to action in 2018.

There was concern that Austin could land on IR initially following the Jaguars game, but he sought a second opinion this week. It appears that this new information was enough for Tavon and the Cowboys to decide that surgery can wait.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Sounds like WR Tavon Austin will not have surgery at this time after getting a second opinion on his groin injury. He could miss a few weeks, however. #cowboyswire

Austin should miss this Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins. He has been the team's punt returner this season and a useful tool on offense, playing mostly receiver but also lining up the backfield at times.

Despite his limited opportunities, Tavon is tied with Cole Beasley for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns in 2018.

How long Austin will remain out is unknown at this time. After the Washington game, Dallas will have their bye week and then host the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.

Both of these are games that the Cowboys, feeling good after a blowout victory over Jacksonville, should be able to win without Austin. But they would certainly like him back for the Week 10 road game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Tavon's absence, Cole Beasley will likely field punts. We may see more of Deonte Thompson in the speed routes that Austin ran on offense, though Dallas could also finally see what recently returned Brice Butler has to offer.

With an expiring contract this year, Tavon will likely want to get back soon and trying to improve his stock for the 2019 offseason. Hopefully, he can still have a positive impact on his value and the Cowboys season in the weeks ahead.



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