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Star Evaluation: Beasley's Numbers Fell in 2017, But Continued Rare TD Streak
While free agency officially begins in March, roster turnover isn’t too far away. The Cowboys will indeed add and presumably release players, along with letting some go without a new contract.
However, the majority of the 2018 roster is already in place. In the coming weeks, the staff of DallasCowboys.com will preview those players, analyzing where they’ve been and where they’re going.
Today, we’ll continue the series with wide receiver Cole Beasley.Read
What’s Been Good:
Beasley finds a way to get touchdowns. In fact, in the last 20 years, only three Cowboys have had four straight seasons of at least four touchdown catches, including Beasley, who joined both Dez Bryant and Patrick Crayton in that club. Beasley caught four TDs last year, with two each coming in home games vs. Green Bay and Kansas City.
What’s Been Bad:
Beasley’s numbers overall went down dramatically in 2017 as defenses made a valiant effort to stop him from making consistent plays. Coming off a year in which he caught 75 balls for 833 yards, Beasley was held to just 36 catches and 314 yards – the lowest numbers since his rookie year in 2012.
Stat-wise wasn’t the best for Beasley in 2017, but it’s unlikely he has had, or even will have, a better catch than the one he snagged in the season opener against the Giants. Beasley basically caught the ball of his back neck while trying to still move for first-down yardage. It was certainly a highlight in the Cowboys’ 19-3 win over New York and one of the best catches by any NFL receiver during the season.
Let’s see how this entire wide receiver position shakes out. Obviously there are some decisions the Cowboys need to make regarding players on the roster and pending free agents. It’s also expected the team will address this position in the draft, likely in the first two or three rounds. All of that will affect Beasley, who has proven to be a dynamic player when surrounded by some playmakers both in the running game and the passing game. Look for Beasley to have improved numbers next season.
- The upmost respect was paid to Cole Beasley in 2017 when opponents centered their game plans around trying to deny him the ball.
- Beasley had developed quite a reputation as a reliable target during the most critical times during games.
- His ability to find space and finish gave opponents problems and defensive coordinators worked none stop to try and take that option away from the Cowboys.
- The focus for years had been limiting Dez Bryant and Jason Witten but with the emergence of Beasley that focus shifted and actually paid off.
- Beasley had not faced his share of double teams out of the slot.
- The plan to not allow him escape routes while limiting his quickness was a big part in the reduction of his numbers.
- Opponents just were not going to let him operate in those one-on-one situations.
- What had to be frustrating for Beasley was there were times during the year where they had schemed him the ball but due to circumstances beyond his control, the ball ended up going another direction.
- This offense needs Cole Beasley to once again be that high target/high reception guy regardless how opponents play him.
- His impact on the game is to great to allow opponents to take that away.