OAKLAND – Cole Beasley went up and then down – literally and figuratively.
The Cowboys' diminutive receiver continued his star-crossed NFL career Friday night against the Raiders with the high of a beautiful touchdown catch, followed by the low of third quarter X-Rays.
Beasley was destined to grab the postgame attention for one reason or another when he broke out to catch the Cowboys' first touchdown pass of the preseason. The fun started in the second quarter, after the bulk of the starters had returned to the bench. Beasley connected with Kyle Orton twice on the Cowboys' third drive of the night, culminating in a leaping 15-yard touchdown catch in single coverage to take a 10-3 lead.
"As soon as I saw it was man-free and I had outside leverage, I knew I had to beat my guy – that (Orton) was coming to me and I was going to be the option to go to there," Beasley said. "I was able to beat my guy, and he made it real easy on me and threw it right in the bread basket."
The storyline was written to center on Beasley's three catches for 49 yards – second only to Dez Bryant's 55-yard effort – not to mention the touchdown catch.
But the low immediately followed the high, as Beasley appeared to injure his left foot while being tackled after his third reception of the night.
"It's a little disappointing – you never want to go out there and get hurt when you're starting to play well," Beasley said. "I was disappointed, but now the main thing I can focus on is just getting better."
Beasley received X-Rays on his foot, which he said were negative – much to his relief.
"I thought someone stepped on it, but when they watched the film they couldn't really tell what happened to it because there were so many bodies," he said.
The Cowboys get a day off Saturday before a late practice Sunday, giving Beasley some time to rest the foot. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he didn't believe the injury to be serious when asked about it following the game.
Beasley said he is just grateful it wasn't broken.
Here are some more notes from the Cowboys 19-17 loss at O.co Coliseum:
- Jones spoke at length about a number of his takeaways from the loss. Asked for his impression of his starting defense, he said "Even though it was for a short period of time, (DeMarcus) Ware is something with that hand down. Monte Kiffin is right – they start those 100-meter dashes with their hand down, not standing up."
- Right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau saw his first action after missing the first two weeks of training camp with an injury. Jones was encouraged by Bernadeau's return. "I thought he played real well," he said.
- Jones touched specifically on the Cowboys' first possession of the night, when the offense started in great field position but ultimately moved backward before settling on a field goal. "I think that's a good thing for everybody to have in their mind."
- Tony Romo only threw eight passes before he called it a night, but Jones said it was nice to see the starting quarterback settle into the Cowboys' offensive gameplan. "The other thing I didn't see him do was drawing (plays) in the sand out there – really I did not," Jones said. "I saw him within the offense that we had called, and you know we didn't exactly roll out our Sunday bunch out there."
- It's preseason, to be sure, but rookie running back Joseph Randle notched his first Cowboys touchdown when he broke the plane for a one-yard score. Randle said he viewed the Raiders game as his first true NFL experience. "Last week we wasn't in a real NFL stadium – it didn't have that feeling to it." [embedded_ad]
- It's always fun to see a specialist make the stat line for something other than a kick or punt. Punter Chris Jones was the holder for the 26-yard field goal attempt the Raiders blocked. Oakland linebacker Nick Roach recovered the block and raced 19 yards before Jones made an impressive wrap-up tackle at the sideline.
- Dez Bryant's three catches for 55 yards all came in the first quarter of play. Just for fun: had he maintained that pace, he would have finished with 12 catches for 220 yards.
- Two preseason milestones for Dallas quarterbacks not named Romo. Kyle Orton notched the Cowboys' first touchdown pass of the preseason with his 15-yard strike to Beasley. Nick Stephens managed the first interception on the second play of the third quarter.