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Is Cole Beasley Looking At A Lesser Role In 2016?

I hate to keep bringing up the 2015 season, but it is the last reference point that we have to judge the production of the Dallas Cowboys and their players. In all honesty, I would like to wipe it from memory in hopes of forgetting all about the disastrous season last year, but since that’s not possible we just have to take comfort in the fact that a new season kicks off in the not so distant future. There has been one area of the Cowboys offense that has continued to haunt me ever since Dez Bryant went down with an injury early in the 2015 season against the division rival New York Giants. I knew then that the Cowboys wide receivers would struggle without Bryant in the lineup. There really isn’t another receiver on the roster that could step up and become that #1 WR, but there was one player that I thought might be able to take on a larger role.

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Is Cole Beasley Looking At A Lesser Role In 2016?

I hate to keep bringing up the 2015 season, but it is the last reference point that we have to judge the production of the Dallas Cowboys and their players.

In all honesty, I would like to wipe it from memory in hopes of forgetting all about the disastrous season last year, but since that's not possible we just have to take comfort in the fact that a new season kicks off in the not so distant future.

There has been one area of the Cowboys offense that has continued to haunt me ever since Dez Bryant went down with an injury early in the 2015 season against the division rival New York Giants.

I knew then that the Cowboys wide receivers would struggle without Bryant in the lineup. There really isn't another receiver on the roster that could step up and become that #1 WR, but there was one player that I thought might be able to take on a larger role.

A lot of people were hoping that Terrance Williams would hopefully step up and lessen the blow in Bryant''s absence, but the player I was expecting to see more from was Cole Beasley.

After nearly walking away from the game as a rookie, Beasley has really established himself as a player to look for in clutch situations.

I really thought that after Bryant went down with injury early in 2015, Beasley would be the player that quarterback Tony Romo would look to more often.

Of course, Romo himself ended up getting injured and forced the Cowboys into playing a number of backup QB's the rest of the season. That could possibly have had something to do with the production of the receivers.

Still, Beasley managed to have the best season of his career in 2015 and if you take a look at his statistics since his rookie year, you will notice he has improved each year.

Receptions Yards TD
2012 15 128 0
2013 39 368 2
2014 37 420 4
2015 52 536 5

Despite the fact that Beasley continues to be more involved in the offense each year, there is reason to believe he could be looking at a lesser role in 2016.

Let me try to explain why this may happen…

Reason #1-The return of Dez Bryant

Cowboys Headlines - Is Cole Beasley Looking At A Lesser Role In 2016? 1

(AP Photo/Matt Strasen)

I know what you're probably thinking. Why would the return of Bryant have any effect on Beasley's role?

Well, it's not just the return of Bryant, but also the emergence of Brice Butler.

I have a feeling that Butler will have a much larger role in the offense in 2016, which might actually help Bryant because they could play him more out of the slot to keep him away from the opposing defenses best cornerback.

If this is the case, then Terrance Williams and Brice Butler will more than likely be the two outside receivers with Bryant playing out of the slot, where Beasley has found a home for himself.

We all know that Bryant will be the number one target once he is back on the field, and I truly believe that Butler could possibly this year's breakout player. That leaves Beasley looking for targets wherever he can find them.

Reason #2- A dominant running game

Cowboys Headlines - Is Cole Beasley Looking At A Lesser Role In 2016? 2We all know that the Cowboys are going to return to the 2014 blueprint and place an emphasis on running the football.

They didn't invest the #4 overall draft pick on running back Ezekiel Elliott to put more emphasis on the passing game. They drafted him to become The Butcher and get all the meat off the bone.

If you've forgotten, Joseph Randle said last year that DeMarco Murray left a lot of the meat on the bone after the 2014 season, but Randle never even came close. Elliott however, will get every scrap of meat off the bone with the precision of a butcher, hence the nickname.

The Butcher, Ezekiel Elliott, will more than likely be the engine that powers the offense, so I'm thinking that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will probably want wide receivers on the field that can help block for Elliott down the field. That might lead Beasley watching from the sidelines a little more.

Due to Beasley size (5'8", 180), he is never going to be considered a physically imposing player and he might be one of the last wide receivers on the Cowboys roster that you would want blocking for your bell cow running back. I'm not saying he can't do it, but I do think that there are better options on the roster.

All in all, there is really no way of telling for sure if Cole Beasley's role in the offense will increase or decrease in 2016, but there are reasons to believe we could be seeing less of the diminutive wide receiver.

Where do you stand on Cole Beasley's role in 2016?

Feel free to use the comment section below or hit me up on Twitter @bmart0204 so we can discuss this topic further.



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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Randy Martin

    May 25, 2016 at 11:41 am

    The “emergence” of Brice Butler??? Because he is 6-3 and 215 and fast everybody automatically assumes he is going to be good. Lets not forget that he could not make it in Oakland when they were starving for receivers. And he had all of 12 catches last year and 8 of them came in the last two games. He was hamstring most of the season. Im on record saying there is more style than substance with Butler and folks should temper their expectations until he actually does something.

    • Mark Douglas

      May 25, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Oakland actually has a deeper WR corp than Dallas. Butler could no longer crack the top 4 in Oakland yet he is widely considered a good candidate to unseat Williams as the #2.
      Don’t sleep on him.

    • Mark Douglas

      May 25, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      The most prominent factor that will likely lead to a drop in Beasley’s production is the emergence of Lucky Whitehead who can play the slot and now go outside due to his offseason work in the weight room which has packed on 15 lbs.
      Whitehead is much faster and reliable with the ball in his hands. ( no turnovers)

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        May 27, 2016 at 5:42 pm

        I don’t see Whitehead as an outside receiver. I think if he challenges anybody for a more involved role on offense it will be Lance Dunbar. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan started using Whitehead similar to the way he was using Dunbar towards the end of the 2015 season. I think we might see that continue if Dunbar can’t return fully healthy at the beginning of the season.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 27, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Butler had some encouraging moments in 2015, but wasn’t really able to fully display the type of receiver I think he can become because he battled with a reoccurring hamstring injury. I don’t disagree that we should probably temper our expectations, but I think given the opportunity he will provide a skill set that isn’t currently on the Cowboys roster at receiver.

  2. Jess Haynie

    Jess Haynie

    May 25, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    One offsetting factor could be Jason Witten’s slow decline. Beasley seems a good candidate to get more of those short-range, underneath catches as Witten’s ability to get open wanes.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      I think I can agree with that assessment. Witten has probably slowed down just a little, but he seems to make up for it with his veteran saviness. I think Beasley’s role will mostly depend on Butler’s contribution though.

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Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.



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BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Takeaway Tuesday: What We Learned From Cowboys Loss To Packers
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.

Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.

David Moore on Twitter

Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.

After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.

The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.

While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.

While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.

The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.



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A Lot Had to Happen for Amari Cooper to Join the Cowboys

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper was a game changing player from the moment he showed up at The Star in Frisco, Texas. In the first game against the Tennessee Titans, you could just tell that this was a different kind of player. The Cowboys hadn't had a wide receiver with his mixture of size and skill.

Cooper to me showed off the brilliant route running of Cole Beasley, in a body similar to Dez Bryant. Oh, and with 4.4 speed.

Electric.

But Amari Cooper's presence with the Dallas Cowboys may not have happened in 2018 if any one of a number of dominoes didn't fall during the 2018 offseason and regular season.

Shunned by Sammy

Early in the free agency period, it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys had brought in Sammy Watkins and made him a lucrative offer that would have paid him around $16 million per year, but as Patrik Walker from 247 Sports discussed, he ultimately signed with the Kansas City Chiefs for more guaranteed money.

I recall first the feeling of dread when I heard about the pursuit of Sammy Watkins, immediately followed by relief when I saw that he signed with the Chiefs. I was in the midst of a government mandated internet blackout.

Don't get me wrong, Sammy Watkins is a fine player, but he isn't a $16 million per year player. Aside from his athleticism and size he doesn't really bring much to the table. He was pretty much a younger, and similarly injury prone -- at their respective points in their careers -- as Dez Bryant.

In 2018, Watkins only played in 10 games for the Chiefs and barely passed the 500 yard mark while catching only three touchdowns. Now, he's not the top priority in the Chiefs passing game, but he's not a player that can be relied upon to lead an offense.

Had the Cowboys signed Watkins last offseason, it's highly unlikely that they would have traded a 2019 first round draft pick to add another wide receiver in Amari Cooper.

Dez Bryant Goes Bye-Bye

The next thing that happened that may not have, was the release of long-time Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant had been with the team since 2010, when the team made him their first round pick that season. After post really good numbers from 2012-2014, Dez had a drop off in production, mostly due to injuries in the 2015-2017 seasons.

Dez Bryant, a fan favorite, was a player that relied upon his superior athletic ability, physicality, toughness, and ability to get passes in the air that made him special. Injuries to his legs and feet started to rob him of his athletic ability. Combine that with the fact that he and Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott could never really get on the same page when it came to fade routes, traditional or of the back shoulder variety.

Had the Cowboys not made the decision to move on from Bryant, the Cowboys offense would have probably been better the first seven games of the season. They may not have necessitated allocating a first round pick to acquire Cooper and it's possible he gets traded somewhere else or stays in Oakland altogether.

Poor Starts to the Season

The Oakland Raiders went into the 2018 season having made a lot of noise by signing Jon Gruden out of the broadcast booth and trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. After a 1-5 start to their season, the fire sale continued as they put Amari Cooper on the trade block.

The Dallas Cowboys started the season 3-4, but looked much worse on offense than what we could have anticipated. We knew they would take a bit of a step back in the passing game as they were trying to work in new faces, but it was bad for the first seven, and really eight weeks of the season.

The Cowboys went into the season with a plan to use their wide receiver group as a committee to try and fill their needs with several players of varying skill sets. Sounds good in theory, but in practice it was a debacle. Receivers not named Cole Beasley, struggled to get open and the offense was listless through the first two months of the season.

Had either team been better than they were to start the season, the chance of a trade taking place would have been small. Teams like to think they can get by with what they have. Had the Cowboys been 4-3 instead of 3-4, they may have thought they could get by with Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, and Michael Gallup as their lead receivers.

Trade Compensation

It was rumored that prior to the Dallas Cowboys sending their 2019 first round pick to the Oakland Raiders that the Philadelphia Eagles offered a second. The Raiders, who were looking to stock pile picks to rebuild, held out for the first they desired for their former 2x Pro Bowler.

Had the Raiders took the Eagles offer as the best offer on the table at the time, the Cowboys would have missed out on Cooper and likely missed out on the division and the playoffs in 2018. On the flip side, we know how much the Cowboys value their draft picks. We've seen them pass on game changing player who would have cost much less because they value their draft picks and believe in their ability to find difference makers in any round.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Dallas Cowboys were really fortunate to end up with Amari Cooper. If any of the above things goes differently, it's extremely unlikely that he's wearing a Cowboys uniform in 2018 at all. Now, coming off a 1,000 yard season -- in only 15 games -- and a Pro Bowl appearance, Cooper is set to get paid some big money by the Dallas Cowboys front office. As they get ready to pay Cooper upwards of $16 million a year or more, they should have only one thought on their mind for the good fortune that brought Cooper to Dallas;

Thankfulness. 



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