Ezekiel Elliott (21) of the Dallas Cowboys. Photo by Sam Smith/Dallas Cowboys
Cole Beasley attended Little Elm High School, which is located in Denton County, Texas, just a few minutes down the road from the Dallas Cowboys headquarters in Frisco, Texas. He was a two-sport athlete in high school, playing both basketball and football. It was on the football field where Beasley made a name for himself, though.
Cole Beasley was an option quarterback while at Little Elm High School and led his team to the Texas UI L 4A playoffs in consecutive years. He was a district Co-MVP, and posted 1,184 rushing yards and scored 12 touchdowns on 157 carries. He threw for 1,570 passing yards and 12 touchdowns, while also intercepting three passes on defense.
Cole Beasley was rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com coming out of high school. He ended up receiving offers from both Southern Methodist University and the Air Force, but eventually committed to SMU.
Beasley had his jersey retired at Little Elm High School in 2012 and was in attendance to watch Little Elm beat Frisco Liberty 49-14.
“It’s an honor to have your jersey retired from any place really,” Beasley said prior to the ceremony. “It’s a great opportunity to go back to my high school, and hopefully they appreciate me a little bit more and don’t hate me.”
After finishing his high school career at Little Elm in Denton County, Texas, Cole Beasley decided to continue his football career and accepted a scholarship to Southern Methodist University. Although Beasley was an option quarterback in high school, the coaching staff at SMU decided to convert him from QB to wide receiver.
As a freshman in 2008, Cole Beasley played in 11 games and started seven of those contests. He ended the season ranked third on the team with 42 catches for 366 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
In 2009 as a sophomore, Cole Beasley once again started seven games and played in a total of 12. He ended the season ranked fourth on the team with 40 catches for 493 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Beasley’s contribution as a wide receiver helped the Mustangs win the 2009 Hawaii Bowl, which marks the first bowl invite since the so-called “death penalty” or “Ponygate”.
Ponygate refers to the incident in which the football program at SMU was investigated and punished for numerous violations of NCAA rules and regulations. These violations occurred from the mid-1970s through 1986. The severity of the penalty handed down to SMU by the NCAA is still one of the most severe penalties handed down to a Division I collegiate program.
As a junior, Cole Beasley started all 14 games at receiver and caught 87 passes for 1,060 receiving yards and six touchdowns. His 1,060 receiving yards was the fourth highest single-season total in school history, and his 87 catches rank second for a single-season in the program’s history. Beasley also returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the 2010 season. He ended up being named to the Second Team All-Conference USA based on his performance as a junior.
In 2011, Beasley’s senior year, he started all 12 games and led the team with 86 catches for 1,040 receiving yards (second on the team) and scored two touchdowns.
Upon the completion of his collegiate career at SMU, Cole Beasley unfortunately didn’t get to hear his name called in any of the seven rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft because of concerns about his size, or lack thereof. The Dallas Cowboys decided to sign him as an undrafted free agent and gave him his chance to continue his football career as a professional in the NFL.
In training camp, Cole Beasley left abruptly because of what he stated as having to deal with “personal stuff” and even contemplated retiring from professional football altogether. He ended up having a change of heart and returned to the team, eventually making the final 53 man roster.
As a rookie in 2012, Cole Beasley played in 10 games and made 15 receptions for 98 yards.
In 2013, he accumulated 39 receptions for 368 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns. He ended up having the highest completion percentage of any receiver in the NFL with more than 10 targets. Beasley became Tony Romo’s favorite target on third downs, which was contributed to Beasley’s precision route running skills.
In 2014, Beasley ended up finishing fourth on the team in both receptions (37) and receiving yards (420). He was also able to find the end zone four times.
On March 3, 2015, the Dallas Cowboys signed Cole Beasley to a four-year contract worth $13.6 million. He ended up having the best statistical season of his career, catching 52 passes for 537 receiving yards and scoring five touchdowns. His 52 receptions tied for second on the team and his five touchdowns led all Cowboys receivers that year.
Cole Beasley’s best statistical season — in 2015 — is largely attributed to Dez Bryant‘s ongoing battle with a foot injury, but is even more impressive considering he played with four different quarterbacks with varying degrees of knowledge of the offense.
Cole Beasley signed a four year, $13.6 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys on March 3, 2015.
Beasley received a $4 million signing bonus and $5 million in full guarantees. Cole Beasley’s 2016 salary becomes fully guaranteed if he is still on the roster on the fifth day of the 2016 season. He is also eligible for a $500,000 annual escalator. His contract makes him the 48th highest paid of 376 wide receivers in the NFL.
In 2016, Beasley’s base salary will be $2,356,000 and he will have a cap hit of $3,356,000. His base salary in 2017 will be $3 million and his hit against the cap will be $4 million. In the last year of his contract, 2018, Cole Beasley’s base salary will be $3,250,000 and his cap number will be $4,250,000.
The Cowboys will then have to decide if they want to sign him to a third contract or move on.
Profile written by Staff Writer Brian Martin