Cowboys: Danny Coale
|With the Cowboys opening rookie minicamp, Galloway and Mosley discuss the incoming rookie class and who will make the biggest impact. |
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.
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.
Last year the Cowboys did not get any production from three 2012 draft picks: fourth-round safety Matt Johnson, who was plagued by a hamstring all season, fifth round wide receiver Danny Coale, who spent most of the year on the practice squad before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and seventh-round linebacker Caleb McSurdy, who suffered an Achilles’ tear in training camp.
“If we can get some guys on the field, add the (2013) draft class, we can do some upgrading,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said.
Even from the healthy draft picks last year the Cowboys did not get a ton of help. First rounder Morris Claiborne started 15 games and had one interception. Third-rounder Tyrone Crawford served as a backup defensive lineman.
Linebacker Kyle Wilber saw little to no action on defense, and tight end James Hanna did not become a factor until later in the season. Hanna’s role should increase in 2013 as the backup to Jason Witten.
“Some of those guys who we thought might have a role for us in year one because of injuries they had didn’t show up quite as much,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Now we are in year two. They are coming off injuries so hopefully they can compete at whatever spot they competing at and make us better us better as a football team.”
Position: Wide receiver
AP Photo/James D SmithInjuries in the preseason and in training camp limited what WR Danny Coale could show the Cowboys.Danny Coale
AP Photo/James D SmithInjuries in the preseason and in training camp limited what WR Danny Coale could show the Cowboys.
How acquired: Fifth round (No. 152 overall), Virginia Tech
What he did: On the first day of organized team activities, Coale suffered a stress fracture in his left foot that required surgery. It knocked him out of the rest of the preseason and limited his work early in training camp. When he was able to get on the practice field in Oxnard, Calif., he was slowed by a quadriceps that limited his work. His best day of practice came in a session against San Diego when he caught a touchdown pass from Tony Romo to end a two-minute drill. He caught two passes for 21 yards in the preseason but was among the Cowboys' final cuts. He spent most of the year on the practice squad before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a practice in November.
Where he fits in the future: The hope is that Coale will be ready for the beginning of training camp, but that might be pushing it. The Cowboys could look for wide receiver help in the draft or perhaps look at a low-cost free agent, which would hurt Coale's chances. Because of the foot injury, he never really displayed the 4.3-second 40-yard dash time the Cowboys say he ran at Virginia Tech nor the quickness getting in and out of his cuts. He did show pretty good hands and toughness. He can play inside and outside, which is a plus, and he can be a cover guy on special teams. He even worked a few days as a holder in camp. He will have to turn heads in camp but he may have some time to work back from the serious knee injury. He falls into the "right kind of guy," category but two major injuries as a rookie do not help.
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.
Price, a defensive tackle, was the 35th overall pick by Tampa Bay in 2010 but his career has been stalled by injury and misfortune. He needed radical pelvis surgeries after his rookie year to keep his hamstrings attached to his pelvis. His sister died last spring in a car accident, and he also reportedly had an incident with Mark Barron in a meeting room.
He started 14 games in 2011 and had three sacks. He was traded to Chicago last summer but was among the Bears’ final cuts and did not sign with another team during the year.
Price is an intriguing signing because he is still young and the Cowboys have defensive line issues going forward with Jay Ratliff’s health and Josh Brent’s intoxication manslaughter charge.
The Cowboys also signed practice squad players cornerback Vince Agnew, wide receiver Tim Benford, defensive end Ike Igbinosun, cornerback Micah Pellerin, linebacker Brashton Satele, tight end Andre Smith and linebacker Monte Taylor to future deals. Wide receiver Danny Coale, a fifth-round pick this year, was also re-signed. He is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The Cowboys also signed quarterback Nick Stephens, a Flower Mound native. He started his career at Tennessee before transferring to Tarleton State.
The only practice squad player not to re-sign yet is wide receiver Andre Holmes
Holmes played in seven games, seeing most of his action on special teams. He caught two passes for 11 yards.
To make room for Holmes on the practice squad defensive linemen Tevita Finau was cut.
The Cowboys cut Holmes in order to make room for Anthony Armstrong. With Danny Coale lost for the year because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Cowboys wanted to keep two wide receivers on the practice squad in Tim Benford and Holmes.
IRVING, Texas – It’s a short week with the Washington Redskins coming to Cowboys Stadium on Thursday at 3:15 p.m., but there is always time for Five Wonders:
** It’s never too early to talk about the draft, right? Well, it is for me, since we don’t know the players who will be available just yet. The influx of third-year sophomores and juniors changes everything when it comes to the draft. But let’s stick with positions. Offensive line has to be at the top, right? I don’t see how it couldn’t. What about cornerback with the impending departure of Mike Jenkins and the importance of that position? That would seem to be a priority pick. What if the Cowboys don’t keep Anthony Spencer? That moves up outside linebacker in the mix. They could use a wide receiver as well. How about a tight end? And you can never have enough defensive linemen. So here’s my point: I wonder if the drafting of the quarterback of the future has to wait a year? I’m not so sure it should because if you wait for the stars to align, then you’re in trouble, but this is a team that has a ton of needs going forward. Can they afford to take a quarterback early? And when I say early I mean in the top three rounds.
** Roster composition is something a general manager has to always keep in mind. They have to play the what-if game more than anybody else. I wonder if the Cowboys are paying a price for not playing the what-if game at offensive tackle. With Tyron Smith doubtful to start Thursday against Washington, the Cowboys will have Jermey Parnell make the first start of his career. Who’s the swing tackle? Well, the guess is that it will be Smith in a break-in-case-of-emergency situation only. The Cowboys kept only three tackles on the 53-man roster in Smith, Parnell and Doug Free. In a former life Derrick Dockery played some tackle, but he’s not that guy anymore. David Arkin was a tackle in college, but he’s not that guy anymore. I wonder if the Cowboys made a mistake in not keeping a developmental guy on the practice squad just for this kind of thing. Jeff Adams was among the team’s final cuts and by no means was he ready to play in an NFL game in September. But he did have to play a ton in the preseason at San Diego because of injuries and wasn’t bad until conditioning caught up with him. Having a guy like Adams or someone of his ilk, would have been a help on a week like this if Smith can’t dress for the game.
** Jason Witten is on pace for 117 catches this season, which would be a single-season record for a tight end in NFL history. Tony Gonzalez holds the mark with 102 catches. But Witten is averaging only 8.7 yards per catch, which would be a career low. He’s had only two games in which he has averaged at least 10 yards a catch this season. He is on pace for 1,018 yards. I wonder how much he is being affected by the offensive line woes. With Tony Romo having to get the ball out of his hands so quickly, Witten is running not only shorter routes but routes that do not lend themselves to a lot of run after the catch. Some might claim he is just slowing down and was never that good after the catch. I’m not buying that. His longest catch of the year was a 35-yarder at Baltimore in which he ran away from Ed Reed. He has the legs, but Romo just can’t trust the offensive line to hold up long enough for Witten to work the seams.
** I wonder if the Cowboys have any regrets on not signing veteran Montrae Holland in training camp. Of the three players they worked out in Oxnard, Calif., in August, Holland was the best. They settled for Derrick Dockery and Daniel Loper with Holland’s agent looking for incentive money should Holland become a starter. The Cowboys did not want to go there and passed. It’s hard to say Holland would have been an answer for this team since he has not signed with another team, but he did an adequate job in 2011. Dockery struggled against Cleveland. He does not bend as well as he used to and didn’t display much power. Would the Cowboys have been better off with Holland? Perhaps.
** Caleb McSurdy was the first to go because of a torn Achilles. Within two days of each other Danny Coale (anterior cruciate ligament) and Matt Johnson (hamstring) were next to go. The Cowboys’ 2012 draft class has not produced much beyond first rounder Morris Claiborne. Defensive end Tyrone Crawford, the third rounder, will have an opportunity in the final six weeks to show what he can do. Tight end James Hanna has gotten more offensive snaps lately but just no passes in his direction. Kyle Wilber has seen only spot duty on defense. Grading drafts immediately after players are picked in April is foolish and there are people who say you should wait a few years before deciding if a class was good or bad. I wonder if we’ll need to wait that long on this class. Johnson will be the key. The way the Cowboys waited and waited and waited for him to get healthy tells you they believe he has a bright future. They simply couldn’t hold the roster spot for him any longer. Now he gets time to get healthy and start all over again in 2013.
Of the seven draft picks, seventh-round linebacker Caleb McSurdy (Achilles), and now Coale, a wide receiver, are lost for the season. Fourth-round pick Matt Johnson, a safety from Eastern Washington, has battled hamstring injuries all season and hurt his back rehabbing from a hamstring pull. Johnson has been kept on the active roster all season until Saturday when the team placed him on IR designated for return. Johnson won't be eligible for any regular-season games. The Cowboys would have to reach the postseason in order for him to play. It's hard to believe the Cowboys would use Johnson in a playoff game without playing in any regular-season games.
Cowboys officials kept telling the media that they like Johnson's playmaking ability and that he has practiced well when healthy. But he can't stay healthy.
McSurdy, Coale and Johnson didn't play a down this season. McSurdy was hurt in training camp, Coale was on the practice squad and Johnson was kept on the active roster despite his health issues.
The only two players who made an impact from this class were first-rounder Morris Claiborne, who was an instant starter, and third-round defensive end Tyrone Crawford, who is getting significant playing time in passing situations. Sunday against Cleveland, with Kenyon Coleman out for the season with a torn triceps, Crawford should see more snaps.
Fourth-round pick Kyle Wilber, an outside linebacker, has gotten spot duty on defense and seen time on special teams. Sixth-round tight end James Hanna from Oklahoma has some ability in the passing game and is improving in the run game. With John Phillips nursing an ankle sprain, Hanna could see more playing time.
Next season, Hanna most likely moves to No. 2 on the depth chart behind Jason Witten, so that's good news. Crawford will get significant playing time at end behind Sean Lissemore, and Wilber, depending on where Anthony Spencer goes in free agency, might be a starter. Maybe.
The Cowboys can't control when injuries occur to their team, but the youngest portion of the roster, the draft picks, is where some of your future is held.
We're not saying this draft class is a bust, but it's hard to get excited about the future when three picks will enter training camp in 2013 coming off injuries and the team still unsure what they have in them.
Coale, a fifth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, suffered the injury during the special teams’ portion of Thursday’s practice while covering a kickoff. He was not touched on the play and needed a cart to get him to the locker room.
He will undergo surgery in a few weeks and the normal recovery from a torn ACL is 6-9 months, which would allow Coale to possibly be back for the June mini-camp.
Coale’s rookie season started badly when he suffered a stress fracture in the first organized team activity that required surgery in the spring. He missed parts of training camp and also had a hamstring strain. He caught two passes for 21 yards in limited preseason work.
He was among the Cowboys' final cuts and has spent the season on the practice squad.
Fullback Lawrence Vickers was limited Thursday because of a knee injury that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice, but cornerback Mike Jenkins (back) and center Ryan Cook (knee) missed their second straight day of work.
If Cook cannot play Sunday vs. Cleveland, then Mackenzy Bernadeau would make his first career start at center. Jenkins has not practiced since Nov. 7.
Running back DeMarco Murray did not practice and went through his second day of on-field rehab work. Murray has missed the last four games with a sprained foot. He was joined by defensive end Sean Lissemore (ankle) for the first time on the field. Lissemore said he was feeling better but was not sure when he would return to practice.
Linebacker Dan Connor (neck) took part in his second straight full practice after missing the last two games. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff was also a full participant with an ankle injury. Safety Matt Johnson (hamstring) and center Phil Costa (ankle) did not practice.
Practice squad wide receiver Danny Coale suffered a possible torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during special teams drills Thursday. He was undergoing an MRI today. Coale’s rookie season started poorly when he suffered a stress fracture in his foot in May that kept him out through most of training camp. He also had a hamstring issue.
Vickers did not practice Wednesday because of a sprained knee, and Jenkins has been slowed the last week with back spasms. Lissemore has missed the last four games with a high ankle sprain.
Running back DeMarco Murray is on the practice field for the second straight day, but it’s not clear if he will practice or go through more rehab on the field from his sprained left foot.
Practice squad wide receiver Danny Coale left practice during kickoff return drills with an apparent left leg injury. He needed help off the field and was carted to the locker room.
Matt Johnson (hamstring) and center Phil Costa (ankle) are not practicing. Johnson could return in a week or two.
With Danny Coale healthy again after a hamstring strain, the Cowboys did not need a third wide receiver on the practice squad. Radway was among the Cowboys’ final cuts in the preseason after he failed to make a catch. He struggled in his return from a fractured ankle suffered in the final preseason game of 2011.
Outside linebacker Jerry Brown replaced Radway on the practice squad. Brown was on Indianapolis’ practice squad before his release last week
A broken leg suffered in the final seconds of the last preseason game ended Radway’s season before it began and he could not make an impact in training camp over the summer, finishing the preseason without a catch before his release.
The Cowboys signed Radway to the practice squad on Monday in part because of injuries to Miles Austin, Kevin Ogletree and Danny Coale just to make it through a practice.
But Radway hopes to stick.
“It feels the same, but I have more confidence coming in and out of my breaks now,” Radway said of his leg. “It’s not me hesitating to stop on that leg and think about re-injuring it or not. Now I’m just going full go and letting the leg do what it can.”
After he was cut, Radway worked out with former Cowboy Kevin Smith. He had a workout earlier in the season with Chicago.
“It was heartbreaking then and it was even more heartbreaking this year when I got cut, but once those things happen you can’t get down on yourself,” Radway said. “You’ve got to stay focused and I’m looking to stay longer than I did the last time.”
Dunbar was nearly called up to the active roster prior to the Sept. 5 season opener at the New York Giants, but the Cowboys changed their mind at the last minute. Dunbar, a North Texas-ex, ran for 106 yards on 18 carries in the preseason, including a 58-yarder, and caught three passes for 11 yards.
He could be a possible kick returner, but he did not handle that job in a preseason game. He averaged 11.7 yards on three punt returns. Felix Jones has averaged only 21.5 yards on kick returns this season, and Dez Bryant is averaging only 6.4 yards per punt return, and that includes his 44-yarder against Tampa Bay.
Radway was among the Cowboys’ final cuts this preseason. He would have made the team last year if not for a gruesome ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve. The Cowboys need wide receiver help on the practice squad because of a hamstring injury to Danny Coale.
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