You know how ye ol’ Fort Worth maxim goes: Two Cole Beasleys are better than one.
Since being drafted in the fourth round by the Cowboys, rookie wideout Ryan Switzer has drawn non-stop comparisons to Beasley, Dallas’ leading receiver in 2016 and a top slot target league-wide. The lazy on-the-surface similarities between the two are mostly physical in nature: short, white, #gritty, etc.
But where the two receivers truly have common ground is in their uncanny consistency to catch balls in the slot and run technical routes.
While some presumed that Switzer’s selection meant Beasley could soon be replaced by a younger, healthier model, Dallas has other plans in mind for both wideouts.
“He’s a classic slot receiver,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told the Dallas Morning News of Switzer. “He has a similar game [to Beasley], but he has his own things. We would really like those two guys to be able to complement each other and run real similar route trees. Certainly a huge bonus with him is his ability to be a returner in our special teams.
“His role is significant. You can see right now he’s getting reps that we wouldn’t have … if he wasn’t here. He complements Beasley and also gives us some big-time needed depth at that position.”
Having Switzer as a complement to Beasley instead of a replacement could change dramatically how the Cowboys go about their offensive game plan in 2017. Dallas isn’t the first team to “downsize” in the wake of New England’s spread-heavy, James White-dominated Super Bowl victory; for instance, Carolina drafted two tailback-receiver hybrids in the first two rounds and the Pats doubled down by adding Rex Burkhead to a running back room that already boasts pass-catchers White and Dion Lewis.
How the Cowboys use Switzer when the lights go on in September will dictate how they plan to get to the next level on offense after last season’s breakout campaign.