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    Could Dallas Cowboys Release WR Cole Beasley?

    Could the fan-favorite receiver 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 '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 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 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

    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' 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 around. Dallas has several needs this , 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 , 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 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. is already likely to depart as a , so that would leave the WR 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.

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    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    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

    12 Comments
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    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.