It’s Monday night, and it’s a welcome sight to see Monday Night Football replace baseball on ESPN, even if it is just a pre-season game. The Dallas Cowboys are set to take on the Oakland Raiders for what will probably be a boring game to the average football fan, but not if you are a die-hard.
As I scour the different sites to find some intrigue for tonight’s game, I stumbled upon this quick article on the Cowboys’ official site about an undrafted receiver named Cole Beasley out of SMU, a 5’8″ receiver who has been seeing some action on the Cowboys’ first-team offense with Miles Austin out with injury.
The article states that Kevin Ogletree is ahead of the pack right now for the third receiver spot behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, but that this Beasley kid has a real shot of taking over if he continues to have a great pre-season.
Beasley had some injury issues in college, but when he got a chance to shine at his pro day, he really came up big. Despite being under 5’8″ and just 175 pounds, he ran a 4.49 in the 40 yard dash, had a 38 inch vertical jump, and threw up 17 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds.
It wasn’t all fun and games for Beasley, though. He took a hiatus from camp after what coaches describe as a lack of effort and passion for the game. Two weeks later, Beasley was welcomed back and he has a renewed passion for football, himself, and the teammates around him. Not only that, he is apparently making some big plays at training camp and coaches are looking forward to seeing what he can do in the team’s first pre-season game. Here is the link to that full article. Beasley wears number 14 for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys have another player who has been a camp revelation this season on the other side of the football. Safety Barry Church, a 6’2″ 220 pound third year player out of Toledo has had a huge camp, and is close to locking in one of the starting safety jobs. The 24-year old has 48 career tackles, and is a player to keep an eye on in this first pre-season game.
For the Raiders, something disappointing will be the absence of injured running backs Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson, but their injuries have paved the way for some other young backs to come in and make an impact potentially.
Still, the unquestioned top storyline for the Raiders here in my opinion is the season debut of Terrelle Pryor, a third round pick in last year’s supplemental draft. We didn’t get to see much or any of Pryor last year, so I am excited to see him play some in this year’s pre-season. He has a ton of athletic ability and to be honest, I don’t see why he can’t be as good as Cam Newton if he works at it, but he has a long, long way to go.
There has not been much at all in the way of press for Terrelle Pryor since he was picked up by the Raiders, and a few good performances can start the positive talk about his future in the NFL. Carson Palmer isn’t old, but he’s not getting any younger either. Pryor was picked to be the Raiders’ QB of the future potentially, whether or not the pick was right or wrong. I think this is a big opportunity on a big stage for him to shine.