The Cowboys have made it a point to grow Cole Beasley’s “route inventory” in these OTAs, receivers coach Derek Dooley said.
“We’re moving him around a little bit. He’s going to have to play some outside,” Dooley said after Tuesday’s practice. “But he’s really expanded his route inventory, so because of that, he’s going to be a much better player than he was last year. And he was really valuable to us last year.”
Beasley, undrafted out of SMU two years ago, has played in 24 games and caught 54 passes for the Cowboys, despite being only 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds. His size appears to leave him mainly a slot receiver, but Dooley said if Beasley can play some on the outside, it will free up Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams to play inside, too.
“Sometimes you want a little longer, rangier guy in the slot, and sometimes you want a guy with a little more quickness in short areas in the slot,” Dooley said. “It’s just good to be versatile. I think one of the things that helped Dez last year was moving him around, and when they don’t know where you are, it starts putting pressure on their coverages. It’s no different with Cole.”
Dooley said an interesting thing happened to Beasley last year – teams started putting two defenders on him.
“Especially on third down, he was really effective,” Dooley said. “The teams that just played him with one guy really sturggled to win. So they had to, later in the season, be aware of where No. 11 was. Two things come from that: it opens up the other players to make plays. The second thing is, now Cole has to continue to build his route inventory to get a little more downfield.
“Cole’s had eight great practices or so, and he’s just building on what he did for us last year,”
-- Carlos Mendez