(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 2012 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features wide receiver Danny Coale.)
Name: Danny Coale
Position: Wide Receiver
Experience: 1 season
College: Virginia Tech
Key stat:Injuries halted Coale back from playing last season. Coale was supposed to compete for the third wide receiver spot, but various lower body injuries, particularly a final one to his knee, stopped him from seeing the field his rookie season.
Contract Status:Signed through 2015.
How He Played in 2012:This might be a strange way of looking at this upcoming draft for the Cowboys but despite the fact they are sitting with six picks as I write this and if they don't add anymore, they will actually have eight players that are truly first year players. If you take those six from the 2013 draft but also add Matt Johnson and Danny Coale who didn't play a snap in 2012, you can get eight fresh players in the mix. As much as I studied Matt Johnson before the draft, I did the same with Coale. I was impressed with his ability to make catches despite having one of the worst quarterbacks in the ACC when it came to throwing the ball.
Coale is a solid route runner that didn't play with any wasted movement. He is sneaky quick and showed dependable hands. Until he got hurt in mini-camp, he played with confidence and didn't look out of place at all. It was a difficult training camp for him because of missing all that time with the broken bone in his foot, then later the quad soreness which put him way behind the other receivers on the roster. The way he was practicing before the injuries, I thought he had a nice shot of being one of the six receivers on the 53 man roster. Coale landed on the practice squad and from talking to coaches was making nice progress working against the defense daily and with the front office on the verge of adding him to the 53, he suffered another leg injury and was placed on the injured reserve list for practice squad players ending his season.
How Does He Fit:I walk by the weight room each day coming to my office and one of the many players that I see is Danny Coale working out. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a very important season for guys like Johnson and Coale. Both of these players have the ability to help this team if healthy. Coale has a bit more of a battle because of guys like Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley have stepped up their games and we have a better idea of their body of work. When he did practice, you could tell that Coale had a connection with former receiver coach Jimmy Robinson so like all these receivers, he is going to have to prove to Derek Dooley that he belongs on this team. I could see Coale have an advantage over Beasley in that he can play both inside and out so that should help him as the club develops its roster.
Rowan Kavner – Much like Matt Johnson, the verdict's still out on Coale. How he responds to his various injuries, particularly the one to his knee, could determine how much playing time he gets. Dwayne Harris really began developing into a solid third receiver, so unlike last year when Coale came in, he might be fighting an uphill battle for playing time. But there's a reason the Cowboys used a draft pick on him last season. His sure-handedness at Virginia Tech was intriguing, and he could be a wild card candidate as a breakthrough player in the upcoming season, assuming he's healthy enough to go.