As an undrafted rookie in 2012, former SMU wide receiver Cole Beasley would end up seeing limited action last season with the Dallas Cowboys. His 15 catches for 128 yards could be considered something to build on.
Does one catch for five yards in last weekend's Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, qualify as another building block?
I'm not sure about that.
In Beasley's defense, passing the football was both rare and somewhat unnecessary against the Dolphins, as the Dallas rushing attack tallied 170 yards on an impressive 34 carries.
The reality is that the Dallas wide receiver corps has gotten better and deeper over the last several months, and I'm just not sure I can say the same for Beasley.
It's still early in the 2013 preseason, so there's still plenty of time for the second-year veteran to start showing more frequent productivity.
But here are a few names that are a problem for Beasley, each of them wide receivers at Dallas' training camp: Terrance Williams, Anthony Armstrong, Jared Green, Tim Benford and Danny Coale. Those names don't even include top receivers Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Dwayne Harris.
Yes, it's going to be tough for Beasley to make the roster this season. Personally, I don't really see why another season of abundant practice-squad reps would be too useful for him or the Cowboys, but that doesn't mean that it won't happen.
Perhaps Dallas' second preseason game against Oakland will offer more opportunity for Beasley.
According to ESPN.com's Todd Archer, starting quarterback Tony Romo is expected to see his first action of the preseason against the Raiders. Veteran backup Kyle Orton could also see some reps, as he only saw a single series against Miami as Dallas' starting quarterback.
Either way, Beasley needs to show something more than what he has, period.
It's possible that Beasley might see more opportunities on special teams. Last week he took the opening kickoff against the Dolphins out to the Dallas 17-yard line on a 24-yard return. He also fielded one punt that he returned four yards.
I hesitate to say that the Raiders game represents a ''do-or-die'' situation for Beasley, but I do think that he needs to show up as more of a playmaker sooner rather than later. There are simply too many other talented receivers in training camp who are bigger, stronger, quicker and faster than Beasley.
SportsDayDFW.com reporter Brandon George reports that rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams is not expected to play in Oakland, and it's anybody's guess as to when second-year veteran Coale will make any kind of impact on the field. However, there are plenty of other guys who have already shown the ability to get downfield in the preseason opener in Canton—not one named Bryant, Austin or Harris, mind you.
The window is still open for Beasley, but that window might be smaller than his 5'8'' frame. If dunking a basketball was part of the criteria, Beasley might be in great shape—obviously this is not the case.
All stats courtesy of ESPN
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