Cole Beasley: undrafted due to 'being white', plays 'pissed off'
There are a lot of reasons Dallas Cowboys star Cole Beasley plays as hard as he does, one of which is the fuel provided by those who have always doubted him.
The shifty slot receiver is currently on track to decimate his career highs registered just last season, and in the process has become the team's leading aerial threat through the first six games. His production has helped propel the Cowboys to a record of 5-1, and launched Beasley into elite NFL company. What was once an undrafted free agent out of SMU has now become a top five NFL wideout.
He trails only Greg Olsen, Larry Fitzgerald and Odell Beckham, Jr. in the NFC for total receiving yards and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. If anything, he's actually ramping up as the weeks go by. A notion that should be the Freddy Krueger to any defensive back having dreams of covering him one-on-one.
Don't believe they hype? Well, believe it or not Beasley is officially an elite receiver and not far off from hitting All-Pro territory. Peep his numbers when weighed against two of the NFL's best:
- Cole Beasley: 33 receptions, 390 receiving yards, 11.8 yards per catch, 65.0 yards per game, 3 TDs
- Larry Fitzgerald: 37 receptions, 410 receiving yards, 11.1 yards per catch, 68.3 yards per game, 5 TDs
- Antonio Brown: 41 receptions, 486 receiving yards, 11.9 yards per catch, 81.0 yards per game, 5 TDs
All of this from an undrafted free agent who nearly retired from the NFL during his 2012 rookie training camp. Thankfully for the Cowboys, he cleared his head and decided to stick it out. And he's gotten nothing but better as the years have gone by.
In a league where receivers are either a roller coaster or a simple ride on Acrophobia, a line graph of Beasley's production would look like the price of oil during the Gulf war.
Although the hype machine surrounding Beasley is now at full throttle, it most certainly was not always this way. He has been doubted and shunned by many in his past, mostly due to appearances as the wideout puts it.
He chose not to put it eloquently though, which has never been his cup of tea anyway. So when he was featured on the Dan LeBatard Show on Wednesday and the question was posed as to why he believes no one thought he could succeed in this role, he let it all hang out.
"Being white, probably, playing receiver [led to him being undrafted]," said Beasley. "I think the perception is a little bit different. I'm not saying that they're correct by any means, obviously, or I probably wouldn't have pursued my dream of the NFL. It's the same thing with basketball. You don't think white guys can play, you think they just stand on the perimeter and shoot. Or you think they're just smart guys and stuff like that. That's just the perception of the world I guess."
He's always held fast to one particular creed when he's face to face with someone whom he believes is underestimating him based on perception.
"My thing has always been I don't look like much, but just wait till you see me play," Beasley says. "That's always been my thing."
When the 5-foot-8, 174 pound wideout came out of SMU in 2012, he was prepared to be drafted. Things took a dark turn for him instead.
"I actually thought I wasn't gonna be undrafted," reminisced Beasley. "My thought process was that if I get invited to a camp, I'll make it. So I just had to get there, and I got my shot."
He got his shot, but it wasn't how he had envisioned. The draft would end without his name being called, but alas he would get a different type of call when his phone rang and it was the Dallas Cowboys. Even then he wasn't seen by many as an actual NFL wide receiver and was instead mistaken for someone else entirely.
"I have been mistaken by fans as the waterboy before."
No wonder he plays with such a chip on his shoulder.
"I'm always pissed off, man," Beasley said with intent in his voice. "I've been doubted my whole life. I can take anything as a sign of disrespect. That's just how my brain works."
And the chip only grows when he sees what he's accomplishing still being disrespected, even if it's from a video game developer like EA Sports. Beasley is none too pleased with his low Madden 2017 rating, particularly as he's currently playing at an elite level every week.
"No, [Madden rating] is horrible. It's awful. It's a terrible rating," said an upset Beasley. "It shouldn't be a 79, I'll tell you that much. I gotta ball out to get it up I guess."
That's exactly what he's been doing throughout his career and even more so in 2016 though: ball out.
The perception the shifty receiver feels exists in the heart of doubters even pours over onto the basketball court, in a very 'White Men Can't Jump' kind of way.
"Dez [Bryant] has gotten the worse end of the basketball thing, not thinking a white guy can play," said Beasley with an noticeable smirk. "It was at camp two years ago, everybody was playing HORSE, and I swear, me and Dez stayed out there for three hours shooting because I kept winning and he wanted to beat me so bad. I'm the HORSE champ."
It's not only Bryant that's been getting the business from Beasley lately, but whomever the opposing team lines up against him. Cowboys rookie star rusher Ezekiel Elliott wants to be clear on one thing when it comes to Beasley.
"I'll take him vs. any DB in the league right now," Elliott said, via Jon Machota of SportsDay. "He's unguardable. If you don't believe me, go watch the film."
Oh, we have watched the film. And Elliott's right on the money.
It's a Cole world, bring a coat.
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