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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.

Player News

Is Terrance Williams Roster Spot Safe with Dallas Cowboys?

Sean Martin

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Is Terrance Williams Roster Spot Safe with Dallas Cowboys?

This will hardly be the last article written about the wide receivers of the Dallas Cowboys entering the 2018 season. However, we can only hope it's the last off-field incident that will factor into the difficult decisions the Cowboys will make on their final depth chart at WR. Yesterday, veteran Wide Receiver Terrance Williams was arrested for public intoxication after leaving the scene of a crash involving his Lamborghini.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams released a statement on his recent arrest detailing several facets of the incident: "I have always been an upstanding citizen and handled the situation the best way I know how.

Details concerning the severity of the incidents that led to Williams arrest remain somewhat unclear. His on-field production certainly has not been though, putting himself in an expendable position by failing to catch a touchdown in 2017 and only going for over 100 yards once.

Handling this Terrance Williams situation in whatever the "right way" is will be yet another critical decision the Cowboys make under Head Coach Jason Garrett. A team that has clearly valued continuity under Garrett, there is precedent for the Cowboys keeping a now-troubled player like Williams if the void he'd leave behind is too large.

It is widely believed that this is a Cowboys coaching staff working to keep their jobs in 2018. Losing Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Terrance Williams in one offseason may very well be too much.

Already dealing with a broken foot that expects to keep Terrance Williams out of football activities until training camp though, it is becoming increasingly easier for Williams to become forgotten about in new WR Coach Sanjay Lal's room.

New additions to this unit include FA signings Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, along with rookies Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson. Joined by the likes of KD Cannon, Lance Lenoir, and Malik Earl, all of these receivers are going to stake their claims for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys before Williams even catches another pass from Dak Prescott.

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Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Once perceived to be fighting for positions below Hurns, Williams, and Cole Beasley as locks on the final 53 man roster, Williams' arrest is the epitome of "next man up" in Dallas. Even if Williams remains with the team in 2018 - as cutting him would only make moral sense for the Cowboys, not financial - his days as a starting receiver may very well be numbered.

As mentioned, this won't be the first look we have at the status of the Cowboys receivers. I'm already on record having high expectations for Michael Gallup, and believe Cedrick Wilson was one of the steals of the draft for the Cowboys in the sixth round. The unproven nature of this pass catching unit (through to TE with rookie Dalton Schultz) is going to make for fascinating training camp battles, competing for spots in an offense that could still be one of the league's best.

Tell us what you think about "Is Terrance Williams Roster Spot Safe with Dallas 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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Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams Arrest: Salary Cap Impact if Released

Jess Haynie

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3 Current Starters Cowboys' Fans Hate, But Shouldn't 1

The news of Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrance Williams' arrest yesterday sent a shockwave through an otherwise quiet mid-May news cycle. Many fans are wondering what the team might do, and what effect decision could have on Dallas' salary cap.

Unfortunately, moving on from Terrance won't bring the team in cap relief. But given their current cap space and where we are in the offseason, the Cowboys should have the freedom to cut the receiver if they choose to.

Depending on who you ask (OverTheCap, Spotrac), the Cowboys have somewhere between $5-$9 million in current cap room. If they release Williams before June 1st, his cap hit accelerates from $4.75 million to $7.25 million in dead money. That means he counts $2.5 million more off the team than on it.

If Terrance is cut on June 1st on later, the 2018 dead money is $4.75 million for a net-zero wash. That extra $2.5 million counts against 2019.

While that may sound cost-prohibitive on the surface, you have to remember where we are in the offseason.  May is very different from March when you're talking about cap space.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Free agency is essentially over. The Cowboys don't need to worry too much about their 2018 cap room at this point, so they can absorb Williams' dead money if they want to cut him loose.

Helping matters should be the eventual new contracts for Guard Zack Martin and Defense End DeMarcus Lawrence.

Martin's 2018 cap hit is currently around $9 million. Once he signs his new long-term deal, which is almost sure to come before training camp, that number should go down significantly. Dallas can do an immediate Year One restructure and potentially create around $6 million in cap space.

That alone would facilitate cutting Terrance Williams, but then they also have the hopeful new deal for Lawrence. The $17 million that Lawrence currently counts as a franchised player will go way down with a long-term contract. If Dallas can get that done, they may not have to touch Martin's deal.

The point here is that while cutting Williams is not a financially beneficial move, the money shouldn't stop the Cowboys if they don't want him around anymore.

If Terrance has proven anything during his five years in Dallas, it's that he doesn't have the talent to step into a primary role. With new arrival Allen Hurns and Cole Beasley both showing they can produce at a high level at times, plus exciting rookie Michael Gallup now in the mix, the Cowboys' season hardly relies on Williams' presence.

Of course, the Cowboys have a history of sticking by their guys during times of personal problems. Josh Brent did way worse than Terrance and remained supported by the organization.

But each situation and player are different, and the coaches may have already soured on Williams after a lackluster 2017. They may have only kept him because of those cap numbers we discussed before.

Terrance's latest dropped ball may have been the final straw, though. If so, the salary cap shouldn't stop Dallas from cutting him.


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Player News

BREAKING: Terrance Williams Arrested For Public Intoxication After Car Accident

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams is in jail after crashing his car, a Lamborghini, into a light pole, per the Star Telegram. The incident occurred approximately at 3:00 AM, according to the reports and Williams, who fled the scene was arrested two hours later. He was arrested for public intoxication and was also charged for leaving the scene.

According to Clarence Hill, Williams was still in jail as of 11:30 AM.

Kate Hairopoulus, from SportsDay, reported that according to Frisco Police, the Lamborghini was found without a driver. After determining that the car belonged to the Cowboys' wide receiver, they proceded to arrest Williams near his residence, where he was riding an electric bicycle.

This certainly explains why T-Will wasn't arrested for DUI instead of public intoxication. Hairopoulus also reported that Williams has been released on a $369 bond.

Without much more details, Terrance Williams' future with the Cowboys doesn't look very promising as of right now. After hauling a lot of receivers during the offseason, the WR room in Dallas will feature a lot of competition.

Williams, who's recovering from a fractured foot and missing the offseason programs, has something to prove. Certainly, an accident like this doesn't help much his cause.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with more details about Terrance Williams' arrest.

Last updated at 2:20 PM CDT.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: Terrance Williams Arrested For Public Intoxication After Car Accident" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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!


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