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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?

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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.

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Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

The Cowboys have just one more game to get through without their star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Alfred Morris and Rod Smith deserve a ton of credit for the way they’ve been able to fill in out of the backfield for Zeke Elliott. Throughout the time Elliott has missed though, the Cowboys have lacked the explosive plays on offense that he can provide – until Rod Smith was given an opportunity last week at the Giants.

Smith complimented Morris exceptionally well, running with quickness and power to prove his case for more of a role on offense behind Elliott moving forward. It was the Ohio State product’s consecutive touchdowns of 81 yards through the air and 15 yards on the ground that sealed the game for the Cowboys in week 14.

Here is a closer look at Rod Smith’s performance from last week in this latest Sean’s Scout.

Smith3 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

The Cowboys offensive line was dominant as always against a tough New York defensive front, and this first play is a great look at their execution in space and on the move. Rod Smith’s decisiveness when hitting the hole with speed and balance was the first thing I noticed on the game tape.

The best thing Smith does on this play comes at the second level, where running backs can truly make a difference in Dallas. As RG Zack Martin rides his man out of the play entirely, he gets in front of Smith who is seeing the play develop straight ahead. With his long strides, Smith is able to smoothly get through traffic and continue accelerating up field through arm tackles for a big gain.

Smith2 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

These same traits are seen with Rod Smith as a pass catcher – something he does effortlessly to also help fill the void left by Elliott. Watch how quickly Smith commits to his angle up the field after catching this dump pass from Dak Prescott, attacking a defender that has the angle on him after the catch.

Rod subtly leans to the right just enough to make the defender hesitate long enough to allow his burst to evade him and gain extra yards falling forward.

Smith4 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

Smith essentially does the same thing without the ball in his hands here, on his 81 yard catch and run for a touchdown. Setting up the safety out of the slot to be beat across his face, Smith separates from him at the stem and then does a great job getting depth on his route into the vacated middle of the field. With blockers to help him reach the end zone, Smith turns this busted coverage by the Giants into the game’s biggest play.

Smith1 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

This last play I chose to show is probably the least well-blocked attempt for Smith out of the ones in this Sean’s Scout, but there is still a lot to like about what Rod does here with the ball in his hands.

The Giants might be a two-win football team, but they still have marquee players up front, particularly DE Olivier Vernon. Smith does well here to keep his feet moving as he cuts this play to the backside. Vernon does well to limit the potential gain on this play by staying away from the block of Jason Witten, as Smith is taken down by Darian Thompson.

The numbers the Giants had to commit to stopping the run was still a huge reason why Prescott had a career day throwing the football, and Rod Smith’s readiness to step in at RB was a deciding factor in getting Dallas to 7-6.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Proving to be one of the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players, considering his cost (under contract through 2018), and ability to contribute on special teams and offense, Rod Smith is the perfect RB3 for this team.

Smith is not elite in any one area, and is not a prototypical RB from a physical standpoint, but his contributions as a runner, pass catcher, and blocker could remain critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of reaching the playoffs behind this offense – even when Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Rod Smith Vs Alfred Morris: Who’s The Cowboys Real RB1?

Brian Martin

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Rod Smith Vs Alfred Morris: Who's Cowboys' Real RB1?

The Dallas Cowboys are less than a week away from welcoming back their talented Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott, but until then they still have a game to play against the Oakland Raiders. That means we will have one more week of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith handling the workload, but which RB is sitting at the top of the Cowboys depth chart?

Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of decision that can end up winning or losing a game. Both Alfred Morris and Rod Smith have had their moments during Ezekiel Elliott’s absence, but neither one of them have really distanced themselves from the other. So, should Rod Smith or Alfred Morris receive the majority of the workload against the Raiders Sunday?

A Case for Rod Smith

RB Rod Smith and QB Dak PrescottRod Smith might just have had is coming out party last week against the New York Giants. Against their divisional rival, in what was a must win game for the Cowboys, Smith rushed for 47 yards on six carries and added another 113 yards through the air on five catches. He also found himself in the end zone twice, once on a rushing touchdown and the other on a receiving touchdown.

You may or may not agree, but I believe that “Lightning” Rod Smith was largely responsible for igniting the Cowboys offense and helping them pull away from the Giants last Sunday. He accounted for over 160 total yards and two touchdowns by himself and didn’t receive the majority of his playing time until later in the game.

Rod Smith certainly has traits that make him a more desirable RB over Alfred Morris. First off, he is a more complete back. He is better in pass protection and at catching the ball out of the backfield. But, he is also starting to show up in the running game and is averaging 4.5 yards a carry this season. His size (6’3″, 235) also makes him a better short yardage back, although I wish he would deliver more of a blow at the end of his runs.

A Case for Alfred Morris

RB Alfred MorrisAlthough there’s nothing particularly special that stands out about Alfred Morris, he has proven time and time again he is more than capable of carrying the workload. He has received the majority of the workload during Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension and has performed pretty well. In fact, he is averaging 5 yards a carry this season, which is better than any other RB on the Cowboys roster, including Elliott.

Alfred Morris has looked pretty good this season and is playing with more of a spring in his step than I have seen from him in probably his entire career. Last Sunday against the Giants he received the the majority of the workload and finished the game with 19 carries for 62 yards. Not particularly spectacular, but the week prior he did rush for 127 yards on 27 carries in the victory over the Washington Redskins.

Like I mentioned earlier, Morris is a tried-and-true RB in the NFL and is at his best when he can continue to pound the rock and wear down opposing defenses. That is what he did against the Redskins, but he has his limitations as well. Despite his years in the league, he still struggles in pass protection and is limited in what he can do in the passing game. But, he does seem to have the trust of the Cowboys coaching staff.

✭✭✭✭✭

Personally, I would like to see more of Rod Smith this coming Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. I really like what I’ve seen from him in both the running game and in the passing game. I just think he is a more dangerous and versatile weapon then Alfred Morris. His presence on the field really opens up what the Cowboys can do offensively.

I don’t mean any disrespect to Alfred Morris at all. I just think that Rod Smith has proven he is a more dangerous offensive weapon of the two. I don’t know if the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff will agree or not, but I truly believe Rod Smith could once again be the X factor against the Oakland Raiders.

Of course, both Rod Smith and Alfred Morris will have to take the back seat once Ezekiel Elliott returns. So, this discussion really only has any credibility for this week in yet another must win situation against the Oakland Raiders.

Who do you like better… Rod Smith or Alfred Morris?

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La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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