On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers 30-16 to improve to 5-1. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott have stepped up big for the Cowboys and have helped them dominate their opponents. But maybe the most unsung hero for the team in recent weeks has been wide receiver Cole Beasley.
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Star receiver Dez Bryant has missed the last three weeks due to a knee injury. The team needed a receiver to step up and make plays, but few observers thought it would be 5-foot-8, 175-pound Beasley. In the past two weeks, the 27-year-old has three touchdowns (including two against the Packers), 10 receptions and no drops.
So how has he been so good? Since he can’t use his body to get open like bigger receivers, Beasley uses his quickness and excellent route-running abilities. Check out the play below, where Beasley completely fools his defender and scores a touchdown.
Beasley sprints out of his stance, makes an inside move and immediately slows down to act like he’s blocking. At the same time, Prescott and Elliott are performing a beautiful play-action fake. After his defender is sucked into the run, Beasley makes a sharp move to the outside, leaving the defender in the dust.
Beasley ran this route to perfection. He timed it perfectly with the fake, and the result was his second touchdown of the day.
Two lessons for younger football players: (1) as a defensive back, if you get caught looking at the backfield instead of your man, you will get burned; and (2) little movements count when you’re a receiver. If Beasley hadn’t slowed down and pretended to block, the defender would have most likely stayed on him throughout the route.