Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

QUICK OUT: To Beasley Or Not To Beasley

I’ve never met Cole Beasley.  I had never heard of him until the Dallas Cowboys signed him as an undrafted rookie receiver out of SMU earlier this summer.  But, now more than ever he alone may best define the state of the Dallas Cowboys.  Let me explain.

Beasley began turning heads in OTAs.  He is small at 5’9″ but his quickness, his knack for finding the open spot, and his sure hands had many leaping to make Wes Welker comparisons.  To his credit, even he balked at that.  But, he continued to impress in the early part of training camp and most coaches and writers began to talk about him in terms of being “hard to cut” from the final 53.  I saw some recent tape of Cowboys practices and #14 easily stood out.  “Who is that?”, I kept asking myself realizing it was Beasley only after I went and looked his number up.

The Cowboys had a chance in 2008 to sign a similar type receiver in Danny Amendola but cut him and signed him to the practice squad instead.  After a stint on the Eagles practice squad, he finally caught on with the St. Louis Rams in 2009.  He played in 14 games in 2009 and all 16 games in 2010 recording 85 receptions and 3 touchdowns in addition to returning punts and kickoffs.  (By comparison, last year’s surprise Laurent Robinson only caught 54 balls).  Amendola was hurt and placed on IR early in the 2011 season.   He may not be a Wes Welker (who is?), but there is clearly a place in the NFL for a quick, smaller, shifty, sure handed slot receiver that can get lost in the defensive secondary.  They are possession receivers that won’t outrun too many players to score on a 75-yard bomb, but they will get you a lot of critical first downs.

Beasley might just be that guy – or at least many were beginning to believe he could be.  Then, suddenly and inexplicably he decided to quit football and the Dallas Cowboys sometime early on Friday August 3rd for “personal reasons”.  Let that sink in a moment.  He – quit - the – Dallas - Cowboys…  How many of us Cowboy fans would literally give significant parts of our own bodies to strap on a real Cowboys helmet and jersey just once and run around on the field?  They would have to drag me away kicking and screaming!  If you assume that each NFL team on average has 10 receivers in camp among the 90 players on the roster, then his spot on the Cowboys was one of 320 spots in the whole wide world.  That shrinks to one in about 128 spots once the final rosters are decided.  Quit?  Personal reasons?  What could that possibly be?  If you played college football, then playing in the NFL is the dream of most talented players.  It was within Beasley’s grasp.

Then, just as inexplicably, he decided on Monday to return to the team.  And, they let him come back.  As disappointed as I was to hear he quit, I had very mixed emotions about his return.  I think it speaks volumes about this owner, this organization, and this coaching staff.  Does it not scream loud and clear how desperate the Cowboys are for players?  I respect Mr. Beasley’s right to choose whatever he wants for his own life and I wish him well no matter what happens.  But, football is a team sport.  You have to be able to depend on the guy next to you “in the foxhole” so to speak.  Can the team now magically depend on a guy whose “heart isn’t in it”?  Do you risk an all too valuable roster spot on him?

Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Here is the major red flag for me.  If Beasley had walked away from Bill Belichick and the Patriots or Tom Coughlin and the Giants or Mike Tomlin and the Steelers, do you think they would have let him return so easily?  I don’t.  For that matter, I believe Jimmy Johnson would have never let him come back either.  Being given a chance to compete for a job in the NFL is an honor.  If you don’t want it, then there are plenty of good players out there that do.  I think a great organization would have wished him well and moved on.  Next guy up.  It disturbs me that it was so easy for Beasley to walk away from the Cowboys and then walk right back in.  I think it says something negative about the confidence and attitude of the entire Cowboys organization despite all of Jerry’s bluster.

I could have it all wrong.  Some will disagree with my take on this situation.  If he makes the team (not at all assured) and becomes a key player on 3rd downs helping us beat the Giants on September 5th for example, then I’ll likely have a whole different view of him.  I want the Cowboys to win any way possible.  I can forgive.  But, I fear this is no longer a proud organization with a consistent history of winning.  Our last Super Bowl win in 1996 is a fading memory.  We simply cannot allow ourselves to become a revolving door for half-hearted players.  Cowboy fans deserve better.

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Tags: Bill Belichick Cole Beasley Cowboys Dallas Dallas Cowboys Jason Garrett Jerry Jones Jimmy Johnson Laurent Robinson Mike Tomlin New England Patriots New York Giants Pittsburgh Steelers Tom Coughlin

  • californy

    The player are young men, many just going out in life for the first time. I dont understand what happen to Beasley, but like he said it is a personal matter. If the Cowbiys didnt want him they could of out right cut the man, and in a couple of day he would be on some other NFL squad and most likely making their team. You are being way hard on the man, it really no one business but his and the Cowboy organization. From what I take there was more a communication break down that happen between he and the organization. No one really know what happen, the press run a story and everybody buy what is said in these story. I go on the record I dont watch TV, because I dont buy over half what is said. I have only watch 15 minutes ot TV since superbowl Sunday.
    Beasley will be fine here in Dallas if he doesnt make this team he will be on someone else team in the NFL. I like player who over come obstacle in their life, many of these obstacles are artificial barrier that many people put up for him to oversome, some are personal growth barrier that are just a part of a life of a man finding his own place in life.
    There are plenty of other player to like on this team. I chose to follow this man where ever he at in the NFL. I like the man heart and dedication to the sport. The press call the man a quiter but the facts are he is one of this team better WR at the moment. I didnt really get to see the scrimmage but it is my understanding he was one of the team leading WR in the scrimmage. I have always judge these player what they do on the field and never what they do in their private life. The private life of a player only become important when what he does interferes with what he does on game day. This incident had no effect on what he did on game day so I will leave it at that.

    • Todd Toombs

      Californy – my point really has nothing to do with his personal life – I agree that everyone has struggles and I hope he has dealt and continues to deal with his. He is a long shot to make this team or any NFL team. But, if he can help the Cowboys, then that’s great! My concern is that he has one foot in and one foot out and it is too tough of a game, too competitive of a league to allow for that. Look at Tyrone Crawford – many questioned that draft pick, but he is demonstrating in camp that heart and drive can overcome all kinds of things. NOTHING is going to get in his way and he is quickly working his way on to the roster and will get meaningful playing time. I hope the best for Cole Beasley both personally and professionally no matter what he ends up doing. But, the Cowboys in my opinion should have cut him and opened up a spot for someone that really wants to be there. I am relatively certain that is what the other teams I listed would have done and I think that says something about the Cowboys and about the other, winning organizations. As always, I appreciate you reading the articles and expressing your opinion. Always a good take on things.

      • Jamez

        let me ask you this, Todd. if one of your parents passed away tomorrow, can you say with 100% certainty that you would be writing your column the next day? if the comment that a close loved one passed away, i don’t tink he should be crucified for this. if you’re head is not 100% into pro football at any given moment that you are on the football field, you’re greatly increasing the chance that you’re going to get seriously injured.

  • DCowboys

    Death in the family of someone very close were the personal reasons… Obviously emotions of a young person are going to be high when something like that happens. He quickly made an irrational decision and then went home to talk with parents and loved ones. He came back and made the right decision to move forward with his life. This basically makes this whole article erroneous and Todd Toombs an idiot for not doing any research.


    If he can play, let him….. if you were going to give him a shot … give him a shot … maybe he is best option …if you are in mangement and an employee has potential you give him the benefit of the doubt … Jimmy did it all the time with talented players… if you lack talent , you were made an example of … maybe they see something we don’t …. non-issue.

  • californy

    Hey as a athlete or a regular person you are entitle to your personal life. As curious as fans are, we have no rights to get into these athletes affair. The Cowboys organization know what went on, and Beasly is here in camp, there really nothing more to say on the subject. What was said in the press did show a bad light on him, but what he does on the field is why he is here in the first place. Llet the young man compete and may the best player go forward to represent this organization now and into the future. i go on the record of being a fan of his. I am rooting very hard for him to make this team. I wish he and the Cowboys the best of luck together. i dont consider him a long shot any more. i consider him a NFL player whether it here or somewhere else in the NFL.
    By the way Todd nice article, sometimes you dont know how the fans are going to express themselves. Your article got very strong fan interest, this is a good thing. Controvesy always bring out strong oppinions. Please continue to challenge your reader and the Cowboys organization as a whole.