Dallas Cowboys still favorites for Odell Beckham Jr. after plane incident?
By Adam Weinrib
While the Dallas Cowboys got their winning out of the way early on Thanksgiving weekend by dismantling the Giants on Thursday evening, America’s Team was unable to escape the Controversial Rumor Vortex thanks to a bizarre showing from Odell Beckham Jr.
Thursday’s game was colloquially referred to as the Beckham Bowl before the 28-20 final score was settled (which wasn’t that close). The Pro Bowl wideout was rumored to be taking meetings with both the Cowboys and Giants in the days following their Turkey Day showdown, and the winner of the contest would seem to have an obvious advantage, considering the boost in playoff positioning.
The Cowboys proved in America’s most-watched football game (maybe … ever?) that they were the team to beat.
Lo and behold, prior to the games kicking off on NFL Sunday, ESPN insider Adam Schefter pegged the Cowboys as the Vegas betting favorites for Beckham’s services down the stretch and into the postseason.
Dallas Cowboys Odell Beckham Jr. rumors changed by plane incident?
Does Dallas need a third wideout of OBJ’s caliber behind CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, who seem to be working pretty nicely in tandem with the Cowboys’ tight ends right about now?
What about … now, after a weekend that might’ve changed the calculus a bit?
Just about the time Schefer’s report dropped, Beckham began to tweet cryptic messages, while the replies began to pile up regarding some sort of incident on a plane in Miami.
By mid-afternoon, speculation had calcified into a genuine story, with Miami’s Andy Slater claiming Beckham had been kicked off the plane after a bout of insubordination, slipping “in and out of consciousness” during a dispute with the crew.
Beckham’s camp — led by a statement from attorney Daniel Davilier — disputes Slater’s account. The wideout’s official position is that he was sleeping on a morning flight, losing consciousness in a far less insidious manner than Slater implied.
Videos of the aftermath of the incident do show Beckham being led off the plane silently. If he was combative in any way, it hasn’t translated to the tape.
The consistent reality across both stories, though, involves Beckham refusing to put on his seatbelt when asked. “Sleeping on a plane should not be a cause for removal from a flight” is dead-on accurate, and if that’s the extent of what occurred, then Beckham has gotten himself embroiled in quite a strange controversy, reportedly right on the verge of joining the Cowboys.
This innocent and strange event might be the exact kind of “drama” Jerry Jones and Co. crave these days — the kind of tale that keeps a player and team’s name in the headlines, but with an air of mystery surrounding both.
Beckham has earned a somewhat unfair reputation for sowing discord, and clearly his unique brand of flash and flair did the polar opposite of derailing the Rams’ Super Bowl hopes last season. It’s completely unsurprising that a shiny new “Beckham Off the Field” story has emerged days before the wideout chooses a new team, and while it’s unlikely this will alter the Cowboys’ pursuit, it’s frustrating that a Wild Wrench Appeared just as the dotted line was waiting to be signed.