“He’s like that little fly that you can’t catch in a box,” Scandrick said. “He catches the ball really well. He changes directions really well and he’s really smart. He knows how to set up leverages. Cole’s got a really bright future.”
That 5-foot-8, 175-pound little fly could have a bigger role in the future.
Beasley is the clear-cut third receiver during training camp after proving that he could move the chains last season, when he caught 39 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns. He did virtually all of his damage on 5-yard option routes, using his quickness and feel for setting up slot corners to consistently get open.
The Cowboys will give Beasley opportunities to get out of that box this season, his third after being undrafted out of SMU.
“I think the biggest thing now is people know who Cole Beasley is,” receivers coach Derek Dooley said. “Defensive coordinators know who Cole Beasley is, so he’s not surprising anybody.
“What does that mean? That means number one, he’s got to expand his route inventory. He can’t just run up five and six yards, fake a guy out and get open. It’s not going to be that easy for him, so he’s got to do a lot more things, and then he’s got to do the same things in different ways, expanding what it feels like for a defensive back.”
Beasley, whose 38-inch vertical leap is evidence he’s a much better athlete than most think, eagerly anticipates the chance to run a wider variety of routes. He figures that running more deep and intermediate routes will make him more dangerous on those option routes he’s already mastered.
“Until I start getting more routes downfield, they’re going to be clamping on me short because that’s all I’ve done in the past,” Beasley said. “Now I get a little bit more stuff, they’ll have to respect more things. I should be open a lot more, in my mind.”
If that happens, there will be a lot more buzz about the fly-like Beasley.