Dallas Cowboys

Beasley stars at receiver as Williams disappears

Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley stretches for a 13-yard touchdown catch, the first of his two scores on the night. Beasley has 10 catches for 149 yards over the past three weeks.
Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley stretches for a 13-yard touchdown catch, the first of his two scores on the night. Beasley has 10 catches for 149 yards over the past three weeks. Star-Telegram

Cole Beasley has become the beneficiary of Terrance Williams’ decreasing role.

Beasley had his first career multi-TD game for the Cowboys on Thursday night, hauling in a 13-yarder in the second quarter and a 24-yarder in the third quarter.

He finished with three catches for 42 yards, and now has 10 catches for 149 yards over the past three weeks. To add to his day, Beasley also recovered an onside kick in the fourth quarter.

“It’s good, man,” Beasley said. “It’s always good when you come in and you get opportunities and you take full advantage of them, especially when you don’t get that many. To get two touchdowns on three catches, that’s a big deal.”

Beasley’s success coincides with Williams’ lack of production. Williams is listed as the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver, but wasn’t targeted once against the Bears.

It marked the second game in the past four weeks that Williams had no catches. He has been targeted eight times with five catches and 75 yards combined the past five weeks.

Williams had six TDs through the first seven weeks of the season.

“Tony [Romo] did a good job coming to me, and reading through it. The first touchdown the guy was kind of cheating toward Wit [Jason Witten]. That’s what happens when you have good guys around you, and guys like me can get open too,” Beasley said. “Once everybody starts doing that, they don’t know who to cover. We’ve just got to continue to do that and keep playing well as an offense, and we’ll be all right.”

Brent returns

Defensive tackle Josh Brent played his first game in two years, though he registered two tackles.

“It felt good,” Brent said. “It felt normal. It felt like where I belong.

“I really didn’t know what to expect. I try not to get too anxious or emotional. I try to stay as even-keel as possible, and I think I did a pretty good job of that.”

Brent played seven plays in the first half.

“It was somewhat surreal,” Brent said. “Thinking about everything I went through, it’s crazy to think that I’m right back where I started, and like I’ve mentioned before, I’m very blessed to be in this position. I don’t take that for granted, at all.”

Brent, 26, last played in a game on Dec. 2, 2012. He had missed 32 games since.

Brent was eligible to play the past two weeks, but the Cowboys made him inactive for the Giants and Eagles games as he continued to get in football shape.

Brent was driving drunk in the early morning hours of Dec. 8, 2012, when he crashed his car and killed teammate Jerry Brown. He retired last season while awaiting trial and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation on Jan. 24, 2014.

The Cowboys made Brent a seventh-round pick in the 2010 supplemental draft, and he played 39 games, with five starts, in three seasons. Brent entered Thursday’s game with 31 career tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (ribs) was inactive for Thursday’s game.

D-fence

The best thing about this year for the Cowboys defense is it isn’t last year. Or last week, for that matter.

The Cowboys walked out of Soldier Field last season, having allowed the Bears to score on eight consecutive possessions. Chicago had 23 plays of 10 yards or more in the 45-28 victory, gaining 490 yards with its backup quarterback, Josh McCown.

The feeling was much different this time even though the defense still showed its flaws.

“We let them back in the game,” said cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who had an interception late in the game.

“You definitely can’t do that. You have to put teams away. They were on the verge of wanting to quit. You have to put teams away.”

Scandrick, though, wasn’t going to say it was a disappointing day for the defense. The Bears scored 28 points and had 376 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jay Cutler had 341 of those yards through the air.

“I’m not going to apologize for winning the game,” Scandrick said. “I ain’t.”

It ended a two-game skid for Dallas defense, as the Cowboys had allowed back-to-back games of 400-plus yards. The Giants gained 417 on Nov. 23, and the Eagles gained 454 last week.

The Cowboys, ranked 22nd in total defense, limited the Bears to 35 rushing yards after the Eagles had 256 rushing yards last week.

Briefly

▪ Bruce Carter got a piece of a Patrick O’Donnell punt in the first half. The punt traveled 21 yards. The Cowboys have not blocked a punt since 2011 against Philadelphia when Carter blocked one.

▪ Cowboys safety Barry Church blocked a Jay Feely point-after attempt. It was the first PAT block since 2004 when Greg Ellis blocked one against the Eagles.

▪ The Cowboys remain undefeated on the road. They are 6-0 away from AT&T Stadium. They have road games remaining against the Eagles and the Redskins.

▪ The Cowboys were 1-for-4 on fourth down entering Thursday’s game. They were 2-for-2 against the Bears.

▪ The Cowboys went 7 of 14 on third down against the Bears.

▪ The Cowboys now are 30-44 in December since winning their last Super Bowl, which ended the 1995 season.

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