Is Cole Beasley the New Dallas Cowboys’ Slot Receiver?


This is a followup to an article from earlier this year, and the assessments of the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers are quite different this time around.

Before the pre-season games, most people thought that Raymond Radway, based on his performance in the previous preseason, would come out on top. Currently, it looks like he may not even make the final roster <editor’s note: since publication, Radway has in fact been released>. Radway has only been targeted twice by Dallas QBs in the preseason, and he hasn’t caught a pass yet. I’ve already written a considerable amount about Andre Holmes, and it doesn’t even look like he is the front runner anymore, so I’ll move on to three other important prospects: Cole Beasley, Kevin Ogletree and Dwayne Harris.

Cole Beasley:

Cole recently came into the spotlight when he had to leave training camp for an undisclosed reason. His decision to leave camp caused many fans to question his dedication to football. Brady Parker wrote an excellent article exposing the folly of those opinions. Despite missing a few days of camp (which can be devastating for an undrafted rookie), Beasley has been tearing it up in recent weeks. He is averaging 72 yards per game over the last two games, and he is drawing more and more comparisons to Wes Welker as a result. Beasley has gone on record saying that he doesn’t believe the comparison to Welker is apt; he believes that he is more versatile than Wes Welker.

Cole Beasley’s bravado isn’t limited to his interviews, it also describes his style of play in general. We are talking about a guy who is  only 5-8, and 174 lbs., but shows not a single iota of fear when he runs routes over the middle and catches balls in traffic. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Beasley is that he looks dangerous with the ball in his hands.  When you watch him with the ball, as soon as he gets into any kind of space, you feel like he is a threat to take it to the house. Beasley also runs good routes and looks to have the confidence of the Dallas QBs. As a result, he appears to be the front runner to man the slot for the Cowboys on September 5, despite the impressive performances by Dwayne Harris. Cole’s consistency, toughness and sure hands are a combination that could make him an extremely effective slot receiver. Few WRs can boast of having all three of those qualities.

Kevin Ogletree:

Many critics say that Kevin Ogletree has none of the three skills, but his recent performance in the preseason games suggest that he deserves an objective assessment. I have watched every Cowboys game for the last four years, and never have I seen a Cowboys wide-receiver look as consistently lost, and be as consistently inconsistent, as Kevin Ogletree. Some inconsistency is tolerable, so long as the potential is really high (think Dez Bryant) and the lows are not that low. Kevin Ogletree is the other way around. His lows are really low, and his highs aren’t that great. He drops far too many passes and rarely seems to catch anything downfield. No one has ever caught five yard comeback routes like he has, so long as the defense stacks eleven in the box and charges at the kicker.  Objectively, I have to report that Jason Garrett declared Ogletree “more consistent”, but I’ll wait until I see it. Ogletree’s history suggests that he lacks the consistency to be Cowboys’ first option in the slot.

Dwayne Harris:

For 2011 fourth round pick Dwayne Harris, 2012 could be a make or break year. Based on his preseason games, he has done everything that could be asked of him. His play in the last couple of games has showcased his speed and his sure hands.  Harris has 8 catches, 174 yards, and 3 TDs in the last 2 games. Overall, Harris has much more upside than Kevin Ogletree. He has sure hands, and he can actually out-run a middle linebacker. That being said, Harris is pretty short at 5-10 for today’s NFL, even if he is 200 lbs. Cole Beasley is two inches shorter, but that makes it harder for the defense to see him, an advantage Maurice Jones-Drew understands.


Cole Beasley makes the most sense to start in the slot when the Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants on September 5. Consistency is crucial out of the slot, and he seems like the pinnacle of that. Having the quarterback’s trust is also integral, and Cole seems to have that as well. Even if he is undersized, so is Wes Welker who, save for a knee injury, rarely misses games. Kevin Ogletree will likely win the fourth spot, if only because of his experience in the system, and I think Dwayne Harris gets the last roster spot. Andre Holmes will probably end up on the practice squad. We won’t know for sure until September 5th.

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