DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – One of the biggest unknowns of this year’s Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California is who will emerge as the number three wide receiver by the conclusion of pre-season. The most known contender is Kevin Ogletree but the 24-year old veteran left a lot to be desired last season, to say the least.
Other names on the receiver depth chart includes this year’s fifth round pick Danny Coale out of Virginia Tech, last year’s fifth round pick Dwayne Harris and practice squad signee Andre Holmes.
It was originally believed that SMU wide receiver Cole Beasley would simply get lost in the mix, much like whenever he signed with the Cowboys this summer after having a productive workout at ‘Dallas Day’ last spring. Not many gave Beasley any recognition or counted him as a threat to make the team.
“Really, [my NFL career] has started out the same way that it did in college,” said Beasley, on the Richie & Greggo Extravaganza, heard on 105.3 the FAN. “I ended up starting as a freshman at SMU and everyone thought I was too small to play then. I’m facing the same obstacles now that I faced then.”
As a four year starter at SMU, Beasley left SMU with the second most career receptions of all-time (255) and holds two of the top eight all-time single season receiving yardage marks in SMU history. A 2012 All-Conference USA selection, it’s still easy to underrate Beasley with his 5-foot-8, 175-pound frame.
SMU head coach June Jones understands what has made Beasley successful up to this point in his career.
“He’s a kid that just makes plays,” said Jones, in an exclusive interview with CBSDFW.com. “He catches the ball and plays with a 4.3/4.4 speed out of the break. He’s probably a 4.5 guy out in the field but he plays fast in the immediate areas and has a great catching range.”
Cowboys wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson has obviously liked something that he’s seen in Beasley as well. According to Jones, the current Cowboys coach knows what Beasley is going through due to personal experience.
“Jimmy Robinson and I coached together for a number of years,” said Jones. “Robinson was a lot like Cole Beasley when he came out of Georgia Tech and played with the Giants a number of years.”
Current NFL fans look at the short, white Beasley and instantly draw comparisons to the New England Patriots’ Wes Welker. Be careful with the Welker talk though because the rookie Beasley does take some exception.
“I get tired of it a little bit because I feel like I have a little more speed than Wes Welker does,” Beasley said, on RAGE. “He’s got a little bigger frame than me but I feel like I’ve got a little more versatility to my game than he does. I do have similarities with him but I feel like I can play a little bit more outside [than Welker does], as well as inside.”
Confident? Absolutely. Cocky? Possibly. But so far Beasley has held up to his end of the bargain. Through rookie camp last month and pre-camp workouts last week, the SMU product has shined and been one of the main talking points.
With training camp underway, Beasley is now being looked at as a candidate to make the Cowboys final roster. To Jones, that wouldn’t be a surprise at all.
“He believes that he’s a player,” said Jones. “You have to believe that before you can play. Guys like that go on and play in the National Football League. He’s a player.”
For the latest on the battle for third wide receiver, stay tuned to the radio home of the Cowboys, 105.3 The FAN.
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