IRVING, Texas -- It's easy to overlook Cole Beasley.
At 5-8, 180 pounds, he does not fit among the giants in the Dallas Cowboys' locker room, but the importance of his role on the offense is unquestioned.
In Sunday's wild-card win against the Detroit Lions, Beasley caught four passes for 63 yards. He matched his regular-season high in catches and had just one game with more yards.
"He's a really interesting player, he's got a lot of unique skills, he's a hard matchup for guys, he's hard to cover in man, he's hard to cover in zone," coach Jason Garrett said. "More than anything else, his mentality is really good. He's got great confidence in himself. He's got a really good feel for playing the game and I think he understands that somehow some way he's going to present himself to the quarterback and be open. I think that instills a lot of confidence in the quarterback to throw it to him."
He might be small in stature, but he plays bigger. In the third quarter he had a 15-yard gain after the Cowboys faced second-and-goal from the Lions 17 after a penalty. Three plays later DeMarco Murray punched his way in from a yard out to cut Detroit's lead to 20-14. On the next drive, Beasley took a big hit from Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead, taking a blow to the head on a 13-yard catch on the first play of the fourth quarter and didn't miss a snap. Dan Bailey ended that drive with a 51-yard field goal to make it 20-17.
"The way he bounces back up and is ready to go again, tells you a lot about who he is," Garrett said. "But we've known about who he is for a long time, he's a damn good player."
He is most often compared to Wes Welker, but Welker is more compact in his build, checking in at 190 pounds. But like Welker, Beasley can run through some tackles.
"He's quick, he's fast, he's explosive and he's strong," Garrett said. "He's a sneaky guy cause when he walks in, he looks like the paper boy. He does. He's like, ‘Hey, give me my $3.85 for the last seven days.' He's something else. He just has a knack about him and I think people do underappreciate how physically talented he is."