IRVING, Texas --The comparisons to Pro Bowler Wes Welker -- another relatively undersized slot receiver and precise route-runner -- are flattering to Danny Coale. They really are.
But the Cowboys' fifth-round draft pick can't say with a straight face that he's on Welker's level. To Coale's point, we're talking about a guy who has averaged 111 catches in five seasons with the Patriots and started in two Super Bowls.
"I've heard (the comparisons) some, but he's Wes Welker. I'm nowhere near that right now," Coale said. "If I have a fraction of the success he's had in my career I'd call it a win. I'm working to be someone like that."
Coale -- at 6-1, a bigger receiver than Welker --said he does try to take things from Welker's skill set, particularly the way he sets up routes while working out of the slot.
The Cowboys' receiver spots are wide open behind starters Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. Austin often moves into the slot in three-wide sets, but Coale demonstrated an ability to play outside at Virginia Tech.
"Part of the reason he was drafted is because he was versatile," receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said. "He's played outside. He's played inside. It's kind of up to him. He's got to step up and grab that when his opportunities come."