*(Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2013 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features wide receiver Cole Beasley.) *
Name: Cole Beasley
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 5-8 / 177
Experience: 1 season
Key stat: Limited work in his first year still suggests his role will be a possession receiver. His 8.5 yard average was the lowest among any receivers. But with only 15 catches, it's still a relatively small sample size.
Contract Status: Signed through 2014.
How He Played In 2012: My first impression of Cole Beasley was in Oxnard when the receivers were working on escaping press coverage drills against the defensive backs and not one of them were able to get their hands on him each time he took a rep. I watched guys like Bryant and Austin get jammed along the line but Beasley managed to use his quickness to avoid all contact. Other than his hands, this is Beasley's best trait. Because of the college scheme that he played in at SMU, he has a nice feel for how to avoid contact initially and get in his route. When you see him play inside it gives him options to use this quickness. From speaking with members of the front office that watched practice on a daily basis, they always talked about Beasley's ability on the scout team along with tight end James Hanna together gave the defense the most problems during the week. Beasley best moment of the 2012 season was against the Redskins on Thanksgiving when he caught six passes for 68 yards but he was targeted 13 times. In that game Beasley was able to play at a level where he gained the trust of Romo as the game wore on and with these receivers, that is an important thing. What surprised me though, that he wasn't put in more situations to make plays after that Redskins game. He dressed the remainder of the season but didn't see action against Cincinnati or New Orleans.
Where He Fits In 2013:Will be interesting to see if you receivers coach Derek Dooley takes a liking to Beasley like Jimmy Robinson did. Where Beasley has a role on this team in my view is as that mismatch player that you can play in the slot and let him run option routes to convert third downs or [embedded_ad] quick passes in the red zone. Beasley has value in this area because he has an understanding of how to get open plus he has dependable hands. His height was limit his opportunities on the outside but he is fearless when it comes to working in the middle of the field.
Nick Eatman: What a whirlwind season it was for Beasley, who caught everyone's eyes early in the minicamps and then abruptly quit the team for a few days in camp. But the Cowboys are glad he changed his mind because Beasley proved he can play in this league. He may never develop into a starter but he's got a future as a solid No. 3 slot guy who can run routes and get open.