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Could Dallas Cowboys Release WR Cole Beasley?

Jess Haynie

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Cole Beasley

Could the Dallas Cowboys release fan-favorite receiver Cole Beasley in the next few months? As crazy is that may sound to some, there are legitimate reasons that it might happen.

The notion of Dallas releasing Beasley would have been unthinkable this time last year. He was the team's leading receiver in 2016 and seemed to be Dak Prescott's favorite target in clutch moments.

But 2017 saw a major decline in Cole's production. He went from 75 catches in 2016 to just 36 last year, and 833 yards to just 314. He was fourth on the team in receptions, trailing third-place Terrance Williams by 17 catches.

That alone isn't reason to cut Beasley. Much of the decline had to do with increased focus to get the ball to Dez Bryant and other options, plus defenses focusing more on Cole than they did the year before. He still has plenty of value.

Is Ryan Switzer Being Mistakenly Used By The Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer

The threats to Cole Beasley's job security are twofold; his own contract and the presence of Ryan Switzer.

Beasley will count $4.25 million against Dallas' salary cap in 2018, the final year of his contract. That isn't a bad number for a solid rotation player, but the Cowboys could get back $3.25 of that if he's released.

That's $3.25 million that can go to adding talent at other positions, or perhaps to keeping DeMarcus Lawrence around. Dallas has several needs this offseason, and they need cap space to address them.

The thought of losing Cole is made easier because of Switzer, last year's fourth-round pick who has been labeled as a Beasley clone from the moment he was drafted. Having already taken over as the return specialist on special teams, Ryan will be looking for a bigger offensive role in his second season.

If the Cowboys are confident in what Ryan Switzer could do with more opportunities, they will have a hard time turning down the cap relief from cutting Cole Beasley.

Dez Bryant, Jason Garrett, Cole Beasley

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett with receivers Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams.

One factor that could help Beasley is the uncertainty around Dez Bryant.

If the Cowboys do actually wind up releasing Bryant, which has been a hot topic as of late, they would be far less likely to lose another veteran from the receiving corps. Brice Butler is already likely to depart as a free agent, so that would leave the WR depth chart awfully thin.

But even in this scenario there is still concern with Cole. He turns 29 in April and was taken out of games last season. If Dallas did lose Bryant, they may need Beasley's money to work on acquiring a new franchise receiver.

Obviously, this isn't a fun topic. Cole Beasley has been one of our favorite players for a while now. He's one of many veterans we'd love to see be a part of the team's future success.

But the salary cap is cruel, and teams often have to make tough decisions on the road to success. This may be one of those times.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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12 Comments
  • Nick Russo

    I don’t see any reason for releasing cole. His upside will likely outweigh his $4.25 million hit for this season. If Linehan was smart, he would find a way to get both Beasley and Switzer on the field together. I’d much rather see us get cap space back on a Terrance Williams with Noah brown on the roster or with Dez, with the potential to draft a receiver like DaeSean Hamilton from penn state in a mid round. Dak’s success with Beasley was no fluke and having a similar receiver like switzer on the field at the same time will make the offense more dak-friendly and take away from some of Beasley’s double teams. There’s no way you should get rid of a guy that has shown the ability to get open and actually catch the ball when we have two higher cap hits that struggle with those attributes.

    • Travis Diggs

      Well put. I agree with everything u said

    • John Williams

      Williams isn’t going anywhere. He’s on a bad contract and releasing him would not be wise at this point. You can get out from his deal with less of a hit in 2019.

      Beasley is a good receiver, but is he the 2016 guy we saw or the guy that we saw before 2016?

  • dallas1966

    Jess. I think the Cowboys is one step ahead of you. I think the reason the drafted Switzer, was to move on from the Beas. Being 29, and no extra gear, qualify for the pink slip.
    I have a question. I ran an article, where the read o why the Patriots aren’t leading the league in penalties, is because, they prepare their game plan around the individual officiating crews tendencies.

    Do coach garrett and his motley coaching staff, do they prepare their game plan around the individual officiating crews tendencies, as well? Maybe that could be an area of emphasis starting in OTA’s through the playoffs run to the ultimate game, the Super Bowl.

    Thanks.

  • Russ_Te

    Not every team has a talented slot WR and if Beasley were a FA he’d get good offers I’m sure. He and Williams should both have some trade value, even if it’s conditional picks for them.

    I’m all for WR churn because the unit was a top problem last year. It’s not known if Switzer can match Beasley’s ability to find the soft spots in the zones, but he brings a lot more straight line speed and it’s worth that risk if there is value available for CB.
    Much rather move on from Williams than Butler. This unit badly needs speed, and just drafting 1 WR who has it is probably inadequate.

    This is a career crossroads year coming up for Dak, and they have to give him a potent receiving corps. Which involves Gathers IMO also.

    • John Williams

      TWill’s contract will prohibit any teams trading for him. Beasley on the other could work for a team that wants to help out a young QB like San Fran or Cleveland. Given his expiring contract after this season, it wouldn’t be much of a risk for a team.

  • Homer Price

    Sure lets get rid of all our veteran players making over 3-4 million a season. Let’s get rid of Dez , he’s got to be the problem. Seems like getting a big contract from Dallas is the kiss of death now a days. Let’s get rid of our entire defensive backfield, we don’t need any veterans. There were several reasons the Cowboys lost last year. 1. Dak Prescott is inaccurate and not the quarterback of the future. 2. Zeke Elliott was suspended because Roger Goodell is a dictator! 3. Our young defensive backfield played better at the end of the season but blew several halftime leads. Sometimes they were in total disarray. 4. Shawn Lee was out 6 games and the Cowboys were 1-5 in those games. The Cowboys were 9-7 because Derick Carr fumbled the ball into the Dallas’ end zone trying to score the winning touchdown. If he just goes out of bounds Raiders are first and goal on the 1/2 yard line. In the last 8 games Dallas was 4-4 and scored 12 points or less in 5 of those games. 5. Jason Garrett is a mediocre coach 67-53 since he took over in 2010. All good teams have a good coach, quarterback and defense, the Cowboys will not win a Super Bowl without all of these elements.

    • Brandon Dixon

      So Dak isn’t the QB of the future because of a sophomore slump? Not having as solid run game is going to make the defense defend the pass more often, Dak had smaller holes to throw to thus leading him to be innaccurate on a lot of throws.

      As for Beasley, if he leaves Dallas I could see New England snagging him on a low deal and making him into the Wes Welker he was always known as.

      • Homer Price

        They had a good run game between Rod Smith and Alfred Morris filling in for Zeke. Dak can’t move the sticks and he is not going to get better next year. “Dream On”

        • Brandon Dixon

          Good run game? One time in the 6 games did Morris or Smith hit 100+ yards, if you combine their rush stats 112 yards against Philly, 109 against the Giants and 154 against the ‘Skins. Those aren’t numbers that are going to make a defense respect the run.

    • John Williams

      It’s not about whether they are good or not, it’s about managing the cap. And while there are ways to work the cap to keep everyone under contract, if you think that Switzer, who is younger, cheaper, and offers a similar skill set to Beasley, can be the slot guy, you take a chance and save $3 million. Switzer caught 96 passes in the ACC his senior year with 6 touchdowns. He’s a dynamic player who can beat teams in a variety of ways.

  • John Williams

    I think you’re onto something.

    2016 seems to be an aberration. Aside from 2016, Bease had only topped 50 catches 1 time. He also had topped 500 yards only once.

    HIs 2017 looks like he fell back to earth after his incredible 2016. Is he one of the best Slot receivers in the league, or did we overrate him because teams were so focused on stopping the run and Dez Bryant.

    I don’t know if they should move on from him, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

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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