The Dallas Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams are holding joint practices this week. Several players have stood out, but during Monday's practice, no player was more dominant than Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley. The slot receiver has caught the eye of beat reporters on site.
According to Cowboys beat report Todd Archer of ESPN, Beasley has been impossible to cover. The Rams have tried several cornerbacks, including their top slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, but none have availed. Beasley has done damage during the team drills while working with Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Romo and Beasley have found an incredible amount of success on the "out" route. The out route can be run at varying depths and different levels, usually between five and 15 yards. The game charters over at Pro Football Focus broke down every out route ran in 2014. Beasley ran the sixth-most out routes of any player in the NFL, finishing with 91 total out routes. On 91 routes, he finished with 20 total targets, and he was targeted 29.9% of the time he ran an out route. According to Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus, this was the highest percentage in the league.
Speaking of the out route, Beasley displayed his trademark quick-cutting skills to create separation on an out route during Monday's practice. He secured the catch, pivoted and exploded up field for more yards after creating several yards of separation from the defensive back. It was a thing of beauty.
In another short clip from Monday's practice, you can see Beasley winning on a route over the top of the defense:Over the final five games of the Cowboys' season, including the playoffs, Beasley was targeted more times than Dez Bryant. With DeMarco Murray gone, the Cowboys could use Beasley as an extension of the run game in 2015. Beasley is a sneaky bet to emerge as the Cowboys' unquestioned No. 2 option in the passing game.