Cole Beasley: 5 Ways He Stacks-Up Among All-Time Receivers in Cowboys’ History

by | Jul 2, 2018 | Articles, The League, The Team

Between now and the start of 2018 Training Camp, 5 Points Blue will look at current Cowboys’ stars and see how their production ranks statistically among the greatest players in franchise history.   The series begins with receiver Cole Beasley.

Here are “5 Ways Beasley Stacks Up Among Cowboys All-Time Greats”:


CAREER RECEPTIONS:  254 (#15 All-Time in Cowboys’ History)

In just six short (pardon the pun) seasons, the diminutive Beasley has reached the Top 15 among Cowboys receptions leaders.   Not bad considering that he has started only 18 of 87 career games and been targeted 363 times in the passing game.

Beasley needs 14 receptions to move past tight end Billy Joe Dupree for 14thplace in the record books.  Dupree played 11 seasons for the Cowboys from 1973-83.

The players ahead of Beasley on the Cowboys’ All-Time Receptions List are:

1. Jason Witten (1,152); 2.  Michael Irvin (750); 3. Dez Bryant 531; 4. Drew Pearson (489); 5. Emmitt Smith (486); 6. Tony Hill (479); 7. Tony Dorsett (382); 8, Bob Hayes (365); 9. Jay Novacek (339); 10. Miles Austin (301); 11. Doug Cosbie (300); 12. Daryl Johnston (294); 13. Frank Clarke (281); 14. Billy Joe Dupree (267).


CAREER RECEIVING YARDS:  2,599 (#20 All-Time in Cowboys’ History)

Beasley plays slot receiver, so he’s making the short-range catches (again, pardon the pun) and converting third-downs.  He’s not asked to run the long, downfield routes that pile-up the yardage. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Beasley’s position on the all-time yardage list is lower than his Top 15 ranking for receptions.

This past season, Beasley moved past Herschel Walker (2,556 receiving yards with the Cowboys) to move into the Top 20.

The players in front of Beasley on the Career Receiving Yards list are:  1. Jason Witten (12,448); 2. Michael Irvin (11,904); 3. Tony Hill (7,988); 4. Drew Pearson (7,822); 5. Dez Bryant (7,459); 6. Bob Hayes (7,295); 7. Frank Clarke (5.214); 8. Miles Austin (4,481); 9. Doug Cosbie (3,728); 10. Terrell Owens (3,587); 11. Jay Novacek (3,576); 12. Billy Joe Dupree (3,565); 13. Lance Rentzel (3,521); 14. Tony Dorsett (3,432); 15. Terrance Williams (3,359); 16. Terry Glenn (3,337); 17. Kelvin Martin (3,083); 18.  Emmitt Smith (3,012); 19.  Patrick Crayton (2,888).


TARGETS:  363 (#8 All-Time)

Since 1992 when “targets” became an NFL statistic, only 8 players in Cowboys’ history have been targeted more than Beasley.  A player is a “target” when the quarterback throws a pass to him.

Legendary players like Drew Pearson and Bob Hayes are not included in this list because they finished their careers long before 1992.

Here is the Top 10 List of Cowboys Targets (source: Pro Football Reference):

1 Jason Witten (1,620)

2 Michael Irvin (960)

3 Dez Bryant (909)

4 Miles Austin (506)

5 Emmitt Smith (506)

6 Terrell Owens (431)

7 Terrance Williams (372)

8 Terry Glenn (365)

9 Cole Beasley (363)

10 Joey Galloway (327)

(Note: the targets for Irvin & Smith do not include games before the 1992 season).



Through his first six seasons, Beasley has averaged only 29.9 receiving yards per game. That puts him way down in the Cowboys’ record book in 36thplace.  Ever heard of Otto Stowe or Billy Howton or Laurent Robinson or Ray Alexander or Tommy McDonald?  What about Fred Dugan or Ernie Mills?  They’re all ahead of Beasley on this list.

Obviously, Beasley wasn’t going to rack up too many yards-per-game when he’s been on the field along with Jason Witten and Dez Bryant who are going to get most of the opportunities to pile-up the receiving yards, but it’s still surprising to see the low average for Beasley.

Terrell Owens tops this Cowboys’ list with 76.3 receiving yards per game.  That’s higher than Michael Irvin (74.9), Lance Rentzel (66.4), Dez Bryant (66.0) and Terry Glenn (61.8) who round out the Top 5.

Laurent Robinson, Rocket Ismail and James McKnight are all ranked higher than Hall of Fame receiver “Bulllet” Bob Hayes who is #9 on the Cowboys’ all-time list with 57.0 yards-per-game.  Keyshawn Johnson is #10 (56.9).

If you’re wondering, Tony Hill is #11 (56.7), Jason Witten is #13 (52.1), Drew Pearson is #14 (50.1), and Jay Novacek is #30 (37.6).



Beasley has 20 career touchdown catches in 6 seasons which ties him with Terry Glenn and Terrance Williams for 15thplace on the Cowboys’ All-Time List. Beasley needs only two more scores to surpass one of the all-time favorite Cowboys, Jay Novacek (22), in the record books.

Of the players ahead of Beasley on this list, three are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Bob Hayes, Michael Irvin, and Terrell Owens) and three are in the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor (Hayes, Irvin, and Drew Pearson).  Another is a recently-retired player who will soon be in both the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor (Jason Witten).

Career Touchdown Reception Leaders:

1 Dez Bryant (73)

2 Bob Hayes (71)

3 Jason Witten (68)

4 Michael Irvin (65)

5 Tony Hill (51)

6 Frank Clarke (50)

7 Drew Pearson (48)

8 Billy Joe Dupree (38)

9 Terrell Owens (38)

10 Miles Austin (34)

11 Lance Rentzel (31)

12 Doug Cosbie (30)

Patrick Crayton (23)

Jay Novacek (22)

15 (TIE) Terry Glenn, Terrance Williams, COLE BEASLEY (20)

In a Nutshell:  Beasley continues to climb the charts and, as he enters his 7thNFL season, will get closer to milestones such as 300 career receptions and 3,000 receiving yards.     

Beasley’s “Catch %” is 70% which means that he has caught 7-out-of-10 passes thrown to him in his career.  That is a very good number.  By comparison, the only current teammates with higher a Catch % are TE Geoff Swaim (81.85), RB Rod Smith (80.8%), and RB Ezekiel Elliott’s 75.3%.  Terrance Williams is 61.8%.   Former teammate Jason Witten (71.1%) was just ahead of Beasley.   Dez Bryant’s percentage was 58.4%.  The statistic for “Catch %” has been tracked since 1992, so there are no comparisons for greats like Drew Pearson or Tony Hill or Bob Hayes.  Same for Irvin & Novacek who played a portion of their careers before 1992.

 The bottom-line is that is Dak Prescott targets Beasley, statistically there’s a 70% chance he’s going to catch it.  The goal for Beasley is to stay healthy and get open on his routes so that his Targets, Receptions, Receiving Yards…and maybe even Touchdown…totals will increase in 2018.

(source for statistics:  Pro Football Reference)