Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is being heavily linked to the Dallas Cowboys. The rumor mill is swirling and it gives Cowboys fans the sexiest bit of free-agent gossip they’ve had in quite some time.
Sure it’s been a minute (or several) since the Cowboys seriously pursued a big-name free agent. However, the math isn’t too hard to do on this one from both sides.
For Dallas, arguably their biggest weakness right now is at wide receiver. OBJ is no longer the generational player he was in New York, but his time with the Los Angels Rams last season proved he can still be a meaningful contributor on a contending team. Signing him wouldn’t solve all of their issues, but it would make Dallas a far more dangerous team deep into the playoffs.
For Beckham Jr., he’d have the opportunity to once again play under one of the biggest spotlights in sports. This time close to family, with a quarterback firmly in place, and on a team that can position itself to make numerous deep playoff runs for years to come.
Bringing OBJ to Dallas is also the type of signing that feels like vintage Jerry Jones. In classic Jerry fashion, he’s already adding gasoline to the fire, driving speculation that there’s genuine interest. The question is whether or not Jones will open up his pocketbook enough to give his team a chance to win now.
Of course, OBJ comes with his fair share of questions. Most notably, he is still working back from an ACL injury suffered in last year’s Super Bowl. An ACL tear is no longer the kind of injury that puts a career in doubt, but it is significant. Especially for a player who has now torn the same ACL twice.
Jay Glazer reported that he could be fully cleared as soon as next week. However, a December return feels most likely.
Then, there’s the issue of his contract. What is OBJ looking for? There are reports he wants a multi-year deal. But is that too risky a proposition for an injured 30-year-old receiver?
From Cowboys Killer to Dallas Cowboy? Why Odell Beckham Jr is a great fit for America’s Team
Cowboys fans are plenty familiar with the LSU product. Beckham Jr. started his career with the division rival New York Giants.
In eight career games against the Cowboys, he hauled in 40 receptions for 558 yards and scored eight total touchdowns. At this point, one of those touchdowns has already become synonymous with NFL highlights, etching itself in stone as one of the greatest catches in league history (in a game that everyone seems to forget Dallas won).
OBJ opened his career with one of the greatest runs in NFL history for a young receiver. In each of his first three seasons, he recorded at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He had 1,000 yards in five of his first six years in the NFL.
It’s important to note that Beckham isn’t that guy anymore, and he wouldn’t be if he came to Dallas. Anyone hoping he magically would be is lusting after fool’s gold. However, he also wouldn’t need to be for the 2022 Cowboys.
There is no doubt that he’s still growing into the role, but CeeDee Lamb is firmly entrenched as the Cowboys’ top receiver for now and the foreseeable future. Lamb benefited greatly from playing opposite Amari Cooper to begin his career. Having Beckham Jr. would only help him in the long run and give quarterback Dak Prescott another playmaking weapon that defenses would need to account for.
Could OBJ make an impact for the Cowboys in a wide-open NFC?
A wide-open NFC East makes it difficult for the Jones family to find reasons to not be all-in. At 6-2, the Cowboys are surging in the power rankings, sitting in command of the top Wild Card spot, and possess the conference’s third-best record. Just four of Dallas’ final eight opponents have a winning record.
The top two threats in the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are a combined 15-1. However, is anyone truly convinced that both teams are as unbeatable as they’ve looked to open the season?
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are tied for the NFC South lead but have seemingly taken a big step backward with a sub-.500 record. The Green Bay Packers are free-falling, and the defending Super Bowl champion Rams currently look up at teams quarterbacked by Geno Smith and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Before the season started, fans were lamenting that the Cowboys failed to go all in via free agency when the NFC looked open enough for Dallas to make a run. When the trade deadline came and went without a big-name addition last week, a similar picture was painted. One that is all still true.
Beckham Jr. to the Cowboys is a move that makes too much sense for both sides. For OBJ, he can cement his legacy and chase another ring with the biggest franchise in sports that is near his family.
For Dallas, it’s too late to sign free agents they missed out on like Von Miller, but they can still make a meaningful addition at their biggest position of need and fortify themselves for a real run come December and January.
Then again, maybe Cowboys fans have seen this movie too many times. It’s become a well-worn tradition for a big-name free agent to flirt with them, Jerry to flirt back, and the rumors to start swirling, only for nothing to ever materialize from it. So in that respect, maybe OBJ to Dallas simply makes too much sense to happen.