Cowboys: Cole Beasley
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Coale suffered the injury in a late-season practice, capping a rookie season that did not go well. He suffered a stress fracture in his foot and missed most of the offseason and early part of training camp. Once in camp he was slowed by a quadriceps strain. He was among the final cuts and was re-signed to the practice squad.
Coale, a fifth-round pick last year, is eligible to take part in this weekend’s mini-camp but is focusing more on his rehab.
“You look at the year and yeah I had some injuries and setbacks but I remember being in their shoes, coming in, digesting the playbook and going out there and trying to compete,” he said.
When he gets on the field, he will face significant competition with the Cowboys drafting Terrance Williams in the third round this year and the end-of-season performance from Dwayne Harris in 2012. Cole Beasley earned a backup role last year as an undrafted free agent. Tim Benford, Jared Green and Carlton Mitchell are also in the mix for a backup spot.
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"It's a whole different mindset going in," Bryant said. "No more games. No more wondering. I know what I'm doing. I got to come in and do what I did at the end of last year, and I hope to build on that."
Bryant was a dominant force in the passing game for the Cowboys in 2012. He compiled career-highs in catches (92), yards (1,382) and touchdowns (12). Bryant had five games with more than 100 receiving yards, including a 224-yard performance against New Orleans in December. He caught a touchdown pass seven consecutive games, only to have the streak snapped in the regular-season finale at Washington.
Bryant's maturity away from the field has also been noticeable. Those around Valley Ranch hope it will lead to bigger things on the field.
The Cowboys receivers are led by Bryant and Miles Austin and also include Dwayne Harris, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Danny Coale. The Cowboys will fill out the receiving corps with an array of younger players.
"I feel like we have a great receiving corps," Bryant said. "We're good if someone goes down. We have great enough receivers who can go in and contribute and make plays for this team."
Last year, Cole Beasley, Ronald Leary and Ben Bass spent time on the active roster.
Here is the up-to-date list:
LB Brandon Magee, Arizona State
QB Dalton Williams, Akron
S Jakar Hamilton, South Carolina State
RB Kendial Lawrence, Missouri
CB Devin Smith, Wisconsin
CB Dustin Harris, Texas A&M
LB Cameron Lawrence, Mississippi State
WR Greg Herd, Eastern Washington
FB Paul Freedman, Virginia
LB Tank Reed, SMU
DB Jeff Heath, Saginaw Valley State
K Spencer Benton, Clemson
WR Eric Rogers, Cal Lutheran
CB Xavier Brewer, Clemson
LB Deon Lacey, West Alabama
Interesting to note the Cowboys did not sign an offensive lineman. Perhaps some could come in on a tryout basis for the May 10-12 rookie mini-camp. One tryout player, who is expected to sign is tight end B.J. Stewart from Cumberland.
How do the Cowboys look at wide receiver and what still needs to be done?
Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant broke out in a huge way in the second half of his third NFL season and finished the year with 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. If he can keep himself in one piece, he's one of the top wideouts in the league. Miles Austin is the perfect complement on the other side -- good enough that defenses have to pay attention to him but not the kind of guy who's going to complain if Bryant gets more catches. Austin has to keep his hamstrings healthy, and if he does the Cowboys have a top one-two wide receiver combo. Dwayne Harris came on strong last year as a No. 3 wide receiver, and guys such as Cole Beasley and Danny Coale could provide intriguing depth. Dallas could look to add a veteran wide receiver to its mix heading into training camp in case the young guys don't produce, but it's not a high-priority issue.
To see what the other NFC East teams look like at WR, click here.
Derek Dooley impresses: While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is impressed with his new defensive coaches, he praised new receivers coach Derek Dooley in his chat with reporters Tuesday. Jones said he loves the ideas Dooley brings and says he has a fresh set of eyes for the offense.
"I like the fact Dooley is coming in here with college ideas, been around a lot of that fast-moving college game," Jones said of Dooley, who was fired after three seasons as the head coach of the University of Tennessee. "Jason (Garrett) has a lot of respect for him. He’ll end up having a lot of input in our passing game."
Slot receivers catching Jones' eye: Jones was asked if he regretted letting Danny Amendola go in 2008 when the Cowboys cut the slot receiver and re-signed him to the practice squad. Amendola eventually ended up with the St. Louis Rams and last week signed a five-year, $31 million deal with the New England Patriots to replace Wes Welker.
"No, I just see Welker. I regret Welker," Jones joked.
Jones, however, did praise young receiver Cole Beasley, who is built like Amendola and Welker and has the potential to become a good slot receiver. "Beasley's got some of that," Jones said. "You know Amendola and you know Welker, and he's neither of those two, but he can really create some problems for those guys over on defense. (Tony) Romo thinks a lot of him. He's got a shot for us."
Training camp dates: The Cowboys are still in the process of finalizing the training camp schedule. The veteran minicamp is tentatively scheduled for June 11-13. Training camp would start July 20 in Oxnard, Calif. After three preseason games, the Cowboys would return to Valley Ranch possibly on August 17 or 18, depending on the date of the third preseason game.
Safety working out for Cowboys: University of Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro tweeted he's going to work out for the Cowboys on Wednesday. Vaccaro is projected as the best safety in the draft and, with the Cowboys selecting No. 18 overall, there's a good chance he might be around. The Cowboys currently have Barry Church and Matt Johnson as their starting safeties, but the team is open to bringing in a veteran or drafting a safety. Jones said the Cowboys are not drafting for need, but for best player available.
Paying a franchise quarterback: The Cowboys are in the process of sealing a deal with Romo. Team officials won't go into specifics about how much it would cost, but you could assume Romo's new contract will average between $15 million to $18 million a season. It's a steep price at one position. Just ask the Baltimore Ravens, who signed quarterback Joe Flacco to a six-year deal for $120 million. "I’d say it’s a good problem to have," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It’s the problem everybody wants to have. When you’ve got the young quarterback and you just drafted them and he’s playing well ... When you look at some of the teams that have the young quarterbacks, their cap situation is really good because they’ve got a player for a couple years that’s not going to be making top dollar. But you get to the fifth year of that contract and now it’s time for some of those things to change. We’re very willing to do what we need to do. It’s the nature of the league to have a quarterback like Joe Flacco."
Wes Welker left the New England Patriots and signed a two-year deal with the Denver Broncos.
The Patriots found his replacement before Welker got his new deal when they signed Danny Amendola from St. Louis.
The Cowboys haven't really had a typical No. 3 slot receiver with the body type of Welker and Amendola.
Patrick Crayton, Kevin Ogletree, Laurent Robinson and Dwayne Harris were No. 3 receivers who played in the slot, but didn't have that small frame.
Last year, the Cowboys found one in Cole Beasley, a player who fits Welker's and Amendola's body type. Beasley is 5-foot-8, 177 pounds. In his rookie season, Beasley finished with 15 catches for 128 yards with no touchdowns. He made a bulk of his catches out of the slot and going forward the Cowboys should use him more often from this area.
New England utilized Welker for several years from the slot to beat teams in the middle of the field. His speed allowed him to get past defenders for yards after catch.
Maybe Beasley can be used in the same fashion in 2013.
Dez Bryant and Miles Austin can stretch defenses deep with their speed and Jason Witten can also command the middle of the field. What about Beasley? If defenses take Bryant and Austin out of the game with their coverages, which has happened, Beasley is a player who should get some run.
There have been teams who have used short receivers from the slot to make plays in different areas of the field and the Cowboys have Beasley who might fit that role.
Position: Wide receiver
AP Photo/Kevin TerrellCole Beasley was active for 12 games and finished with 15 catches for 128 yards while working in the slot.Cole Beasley
AP Photo/Kevin TerrellCole Beasley was active for 12 games and finished with 15 catches for 128 yards while working in the slot.
How acquired: Undrafted free agent, SMU
What he did: Beasley quickly made a name for himself in the offseason but walked away from the team for a few days in training camp when he was not sure he wanted to continue. The Cowboys welcomed him back and he made the 53-man roster.
Beasley was active for 12 games and finished with 15 catches for 128 yards while working in the slot. He earned the trust of Tony Romo during the preseason and the quarterback pitched for Beasley to play more as the season went on when the Cowboys went to an empty look.
Where he fits in the future: At 5-8, 177 pounds, Beasley lacks the size you want in a receiver to play on the outside, so he is limited mostly to being a slot receiver. He has the quickness and savvy to play on the inside and he is not afraid.
With the way the game is played today there is a spot for Beasley going forward, but he will face competition at the spot. He does not play on many special teams units, so that lack of versatility could work against him as the Cowboys define their backup wide receivers.
Last year Holmes was anointed by owner and general manager Jerry Jones as a possible candidate for the No. 3 wide receiver job.
At 6-4, 223 pounds, Holmes had the build of a top-end wide receiver although he came from Hillsdale College. The Cowboys were hoping Holmes would grow the way Miles Austin did from Monmouth, but it never happened.
He failed the conditioning test in training camp and while he had a couple of moments in Oxnard, Calif., he never took advantage of the opportunity they way Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley did.
The Cowboys kept him in the active roster through Thanksgiving but he dressed for only seven games and caught two passes for 11 yards. He was inactive four times before he was cut and re-signed to the practice squad.
Since the season ended the Cowboys have signed receivers Anthony Armstrong, Jared Green, Carlton Mitchell, Tim Benford and Danny Coale. Holmes has not put pen to paper to return in 2013 and it doesn’t look like he will be back.
It’s quite a fall from 13 months ago.
Harris’ injury left the Cowboys with two healthy receivers in Kevin Ogletree and Cole Beasley for their final drive with Miles Austin out with a high ankle sprain and Dez Bryant out with back spasms.
Had the Cowboys won, the availability of Austin and Bryant for a wild-card round would have been dubious at best.
Ogletree caught a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Tony Romo, and Harris made the subsequent two-point conversion to cut the Redskins’ lead to 21-18.
“We’ve got guys who can step up, you’ve seen that,” Harris said. “KO made that big play in the red zone and I made a good play on the two-point conversion. We had guys step up when guys go down. We didn’t really lose a step.”
That’s debatable, but Harris continued his fine run of play to close the season.
He caught one pass for 25 yards in addition to the two-point conversion. He also averaged 18.3 yards per punt return with a long of 39 that set up Ogletree’s touchdown.
“I just give all the praise for the guys blocking for me,” Harris said. “They do a great job for me. All I do is catch and run it.”
IRVING, Texas – Figuring out five inactive players for Sunday’s game at Washington is pretty easy: David Arkin, Kevin Kowalski, Ronald Leary, Darrion Weems and Jay Ratliff.
As we ponder the final 46-man roster of the season, coming up with the final two can be tricky.
Last week the Cowboys kept Kyle Wilber and Robert Callaway out with the New Orleans bringing a high-flying passing game. The Redskins are the best running team in the NFL, so they might want to go with fewer skill players, like receivers and cornerbacks.
Wide receiver Cole Beasley did not play a snap last week vs. the Saints, so the Cowboys might go with four wide receivers this week. With injuries to DeMarcus Ware and Victor Butler, the Cowboys might need Wilber to be active as an emergency.
To get Callaway, who missed Wednesday’s practice because of a cancelled flight, on the field, the Cowboys could go with four running backs with Phillip Tanner as the odd-man out. But then the special teams unit takes a hit. Can the Cowboys dress nine defensive backs? Maybe.
The guesses on the final two inactives: Callaway and Tanner.
TE Jason Witten: 57 of 57
LT Tyron Smith: 57 of 57
RG Mackenzy Bernadeau: 57 of 57
LG Nate Livings: 57 of 57
C Ryan Cook: 57 of 57
QB Tony Romo: 57 of 57
WR Miles Austin: 55 of 57
RB DeMarco Murray: 50 of 57
WR Dez Bryant: 49 of 57
RT Doug Free: 35 of 57
WR Kevin Ogletree: 24 of 57
RT Jermey Parnell: 22 of 57
WR Dwayne Harris: 18 of 57
TE John Phillips: 9 of 57
TE James Hanna: 8 of 57
FB Lawrence Vickers: 8 of 57
RB Felix Jones: 7 of 57
Taylor's Takes: The rotation at right tackle is getting closer to 50-50 playing time between Doug Free and Jermey Parnell. It has had the desired result. Free is playing his best football and the Cowboys are getting an idea of whether Parnell can handle the job full time, if the Cowboys release Free in the offseason. Or they can keep both players and have them battle it out in training camp. ... Dwayne Harris continues to get steady playing time and produce with 10 catches for 129 yards in the last four games. ... Felix Jones has no role in the offense, playing 17 snaps in the last three games. Murray has taken his third-down job, which has usurped his playing time. ... Murray has been off the field just 29 plays in the last three games. ... Cole Beasley has been active, but not played in two of the last three games.
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On defense, Anthony Spencer might be playing as well as any linebacker in the league right now. DeMarcus Ware has come up with big fourth-quarter sacks the last two games. Jason Hatcher has played two if his better games the last two weeks. Brandon Carr has interceptions in the last two games. Gerald Sensabaugh has been a calming influence at the ever-changing safety position.
Depth is a must in the NFL, but stars matter.
If the 8-6 Cowboys are to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, then their stars are going to have to continue playing like stars Sunday against New Orleans and in the finale at Washington.
Injuries play a big part in setting the roster, so even though DeMarcus Ware said he will play with a hyperextended elbow against the Steelers, the Cowboys have to prepare for the possibility Ware won’t be able to finish the game. Does that mean they dress all eight linebackers?
Injuries in the secondary have the Cowboys shorthanded too. Can they dress all nine of them?
While the Cowboys might want to get a look at wide receiver Anthony Armstrong, can they get all six wide receivers active? How about all five running backs?
Facing a physical team, the Cowboys could want to dress all seven defensive linemen, including newcomer Brian Schaefering. Most likely they will go with six with Schaefering and Robert Callaway taking the last two spots with Jay Ratliff off.
The Cowboys’ final decision has to come down at wide receiver, running back and linebacker. Is Phillip Tanner active? Can they go with four receivers, especially with Dez Bryant playing with a broken finger? What role can Brady Poppinga serve?
The inactive guesses: David Arkin, Darrion Weems, Kevin Kowalski, Ratliff, Poppinga, Beasley, Michael Coe
So there is news on Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, and it is not good. There is a chance Bryant could require surgery on his finger that would end his season. According to ESPNDallas.com, Bryant was meeting with a hand specialist Monday to determine the proper course of action, which also could be to play hurt:
If Bryant needs surgery, he will miss the rest of the season. According to a source, the best-case scenario is that Bryant will be able to play with his fingers taped for the rest of the season and delay surgery.
Adam "Pacman" Jones. Television replays show him shaking his finger and pulling on it as he lined up for the next play. He went to the sideline after a DeMarco Murray run and missed the next five plays. On the second play after his return, he caught a 27-yard touchdown to spark the Cowboys' rally.
Whether Bryant can play at the level at which he's been playing -- acrobatic sideline and end-zone catches, using his size to dominate matchups against defensive backs and make big-time plays after the catch -- with the injury is a question to which the Cowboys hope they'll be able to find the answer. Surgery that would end his season, and deprive the Cowboys of a receiver who has played as well as any in the league over the past five weeks, would be crushing to the Cowboys' sudden playoff hopes.
Dallas has won four of its past five games and improved to 7-6, one game behind the first-place New York Giants and tied with the Washington Redskins in the NFC East and one game out of an NFC wild-card spot. With tough games still remaining against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and Redskins, it's not going to be easy for the Cowboys to get in anyway. If they have to play without Bryant, it's hard to imagine it's possible. The Cowboys are not a deep team, but are instead a team that needs its excellent players to play at a high level in order to sustain success. Bryant is one of those players, as his 33 catches for 525 yards and seven touchdowns in the past five games attest. Without him, quarterback Tony Romo would still have Miles Austin and tight end Jason Witten but would lose the receiver who has been his most reliable target during the current run. Replacing Bryant with Kevin Ogletree or Dwayne Harris or Cole Beasley would be an insufficient solution, since even if those guys were productive they can't play the way Bryant can play at his best.
So we wait to hear more. Could be Monday night, could be Tuesday, I don't know. If he has to have surgery, his season ends. If he doesn't, playing hurt could limit his production. Either way, it's the latest bit of bad news for the Cowboys in a year that has been too full of it. Considering what they've endured, from injuries on defense to the tragic car accident that happened Saturday, it's pretty remarkable that the Cowboys are over .500 with three games to go. The reason is that their elite players have performed when they've had to. If they lose Bryant, that takes a real hit.
Can the Cowboys have all six wide receivers active? Can they have all five running backs active? How about all of the healthy defensive backs?
From the looks of it in practice this week Jay Ratliff will not play, and Orlando Scandrick and Charlie Peprah are out. New tackle Darrion Weems will also be inactive because he doesn’t know what’s going on yet. Nate Livings has a knee injury that could keep him out, which could mean the Cowboys go with eight offensive linemen again with Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin manning the final spot.
Cornerback Vince Agnew hasn’t earned the trust to play that much yet, but Sterling Moore, who joined the team a week ago, has. Can the Cowboys only carry four cornerbacks? Linebacker Brady Poppinga wasn’t active last week but he could be called up this week, especially for a special teams’ role.
Can you take up 13 percent of the roster with six receivers? It’s difficult, but Anthony Armstrong can help in the return game and cover some kicks. You don’t get coverage help from Kevin Ogletree or Cole Beasley, so maybe one of them could be down this week.
Here’s the guess on the inactives: Scandrick, Ratliff, Weems, Agnew, Arkin, Peprah and Livings or Kowalski depending on Livings’ health.
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Play Podcast ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Jerry Jones' recent comments, Cowboys OTAs, Dez Bryant and more.
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Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.