Cole Beasley just shook his head when he found out Jason Garrett nicknamed him the “Paperboy.”
He remembers playing “Paperboy” on Game Boy as a kid, but felt his coach made a common mistake in comparing him and the redheaded boy on the video game.
“I have a red beard, so everyone thinks I’m a ginger, but I’m not,” Beasley said, smiling. “I don’t know where that came from, man, but I don’t make anything of it.”
Maybe it carried a deeper meaning, though. Maybe it’s because Beasley always seems to deliver in critical moments, just like the rest of the Dallas Cowboys’ complementary players.
The Cowboys have made it no secret throughout the season that they trust their role players such as Beasley and Terrance Williams to come through just as much as their stars.
Tony Romo isn’t hesitant to go to either one, as he tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Williams in the wild-card victory over Detroit. The same can be said in the running attack when Joseph Randle or Lance Dunbar replaces DeMarco Murray.
The Cowboys’ using all their offensive threats helps keep defenses honest, and it’ll be important once again when the Cowboys face Green Bay in Sunday’s NFC divisional-round game at Lambeau Field.
“Teams are going to want to stop the run with DeMarco Murray, they’re going to want to stop Dez Bryant and Jason Witten,” Garrett said. “These guys have gotten a lot of attention throughout this season and really throughout their careers, so it’s really important for the other guys when they get opportunities to step up.
“We call them complementary players, but it’s not complementary when the ball’s coming to you.”
Beasley had four catches for 63 yards in the wild-card victory over the Lions, including a 12-yard catch to start the fourth quarter while he withstood a hard hit to the head by Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead.
That added an extra 15 yards to the Beasley’s catch, important yards considering Dan Bailey finished the drive with a 51-yard field goal.
Williams gave the Cowboys life late in the first half when he broke away on a 76-yard touchdown, pulling them to within 14-7. He then hauled in the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter when Romo fired it to him from 8 yards.
Each of those scores came after Williams had committed penalties. More important, it’s a sign that Williams is finding his groove again.
Williams has endured a streaky season, getting off to a solid start with six touchdowns in the first seven weeks. Then he went through a five-game stretch in which he had five catches for 75 yards, including two games with no catches.
But he’s never complained, saying he always puts the team ahead of his personal stats. That’s the mindset of the entire team, from the stars to the role players.
“The best thing [the complementary players have] done is when they haven’t gotten opportunities, they’ve stayed ready for their opportunity,” Garrett said. “And they’ve cashed in on it.”
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760