OXNARD, Calif. -In a press conference on Saturday, head coach Jason Garrett talked about wide receiver Cole Beasley's decision to quit the team, but the reasoning behind the sudden change of heart is still something of a mystery.
Beasley is no longer in Oxnard with the Cowboys and has returned to Dallas.
Garrett recounted the scene when Beasley approached him with his decision Friday.
"Cole came into my office yesterday and said that he wasn't going to play football anymore," Garrett said. "We sat down and had a little visit. For right now we put him on the Exempt/Left Squad list. We do get a roster exemption for him. We will continue to evaluate the situation."
Garrett went on to explain that no definitive decisions had been made with respect to his future status with the team. For the moment it seems that a door might be open for Beasley to return, but that could change.
"We have resources in our organization where we try to help our players," Garrett said. "Dr. Stephens (Mental Health Consultant Jacqualene Stephens) talked to Cole. Bryan Wansley (Director of Player Development) talked to him. We just want to evaluate where he is before we make a final determination. But he remains on our roster. He is a Dallas Cowboy, but is simply on the exempt list."
Beasley's basic reason for quitting was pretty simple, at least according to the coach.
"He said it wasn't in his heart anymore," Garrett said.
Such a feeling is not wholly uncommon among young players trying to make it to the NFL. Ironically, the Cowboys were originally interested in Beasley coming out of SMU based on characteristics quite contradictory of his most recent actions.
"Sometimes for a young player, when you get into training camp you might feel like you don't like football when you get into a two-a-day type schedules," Garrett said. "I was surprised because one of the things we liked about him is that he definitely demonstrated passion and hunger as a player. That's how undersized guys like him have success. He's had that his whole life. He has kind of overachieved and a lot of that comes from his love of the game and that shows in his play."
Beasley's placement on the Exempt/Left Squad list means that if he were allowed to return to the team, a player would have to be waived in order to make room for him.