Another day, another strong practice for free-agent receiver Cole Beasley. The rookie from SMU, who left camp for two days with thoughts about quitting football before returning, made several clutch catches in today’s afternoon workout, including a one-handed grab in front of Lionel Smith, a rookie from Texas A&M.
Beasley (5-foot-8, 177 pounds) worked with both the first- and second-team offense. After making a catch in traffic from quarterback Tony Romo, a fan urged coaches to pay attention because the Cowboys “need a (Wes) Welker.” Beasley’s one-handed grab of a pass from Kyle Orton only served to stir the crowd more and trigger more comparisons to the New England Patriots’ undersized standout from Texas Tech.
“I’m starting to get a few reps with the 1’s. I feel like I’ve been doing pretty good,” Beasley said. “I’ve still got some things I need to get better at. So I’m just working every day.”
Beasley agreed with the assessment of Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ director of player personnel who surmised that Beasley has elevated his play since returning to camp.
“My mind is totally focused on football now,” Beasley said. “I’m just having fun and playing with my teammates.”
Beasley said he is aware of his surroundings when lining up against first-team defenders.
“You always know who’s across from you. But you have to ignore it and be confident in your abilities and go out there and make plays,” Beasley said. “In my heart, I think I’m the biggest guy out there. I feel like I’m just one of the guys out there competing for a spot, like everyone else.”
Asked about the one-hand grab, Beasley said: “Orton really just put it where the DB couldn’t get it. I just stuck my hand out there, happened to make the play.”
Beasley said he appreciates the fan support, hears the Welker comparisons and understands them.
“I would love to have the career that he’s had,” Beasley said. “But you try to block it out and focus on practice. I’m a little bit of an underdog and everyone loves an underdog … I appreciate all the people out there supporting me and helping me get through it.”
_ Jimmy Burch