Two years ago, Cole Beasley was the Dallas Cowboys top receiving target. Can the diminutive wide receiver post a bounce back performance in 2018?
In 2016, Cole Beasley performed like the best slot receiver in the NFL. Leading the Dallas Cowboys in targets (98), receptions (75) and receiving yards (833); it was a breakout performance from the veteran wide out in his fifth season.
Beasley outperformed Pro Bowlers like wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten. The 5-foot-8, 180 pound dynamo became the most reliable option for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. And their connection helped the Cowboys finish the season with an incredible 13-3 record, earning themselves a first round bye in the playoffs.
But last season was a much different story. Beasley was only targeted 63 times in 2017. And one of the reasons why is because his catch percentage dropped from 76.5% the previous year to a lowly 57.1%. Quite simply, Beasley went from being one of the Cowboys’ most consistent receivers to being somewhat unreliable overnight.
“No one wants to have a good year and come back and have the worst year of their career. It was definitely frustrating,” Beasley told the Star Telegram. “A lot of things I had to fight through, but I feel like that season has made me better today because of it.”
Beasley went on to reveal that he was more hesitant last year, trying to breakdown all the different looks he was getting pre-snap. This year, he’s focusing more on just reacting and playing faster.
After the release of longtime star wide receiver Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have shifted their focus to spreading the ball around more through the air. The recent arrest and foot injury sustained by wide out Terrance Williams has really placed the onus on Beasley as Dallas’ most tenured veteran receiver.
There is a real opportunity for Cole Beasley in 2018 to re-establish his dominance as Dallas Cowboys’ top receiving threat. With the new addition of wide receiver coach Sanjay Lal, there seems to be renewed hope that the Cowboys will field a much more disciplined group of receivers than we’ve seen from Dallas in the past. And it’s Beasley who figures to benefit the most.