Friday, March 24 2023

The Dallas Cowboys, from their owner on down, have spent more time talking about Odell Beckham Jr. over the last two weeks than they have about any of their own players. They haven’t signed him yet makes two things pretty clear:

Beckham isn’t healthy enough to play yet.

And Beckham likes to be wooed.

Cowboys make pitch to OBJ

Nick Wright, Chris Broussard and Kevin Wildes discuss the possibility of Dallas signing free-agent WR Odell Beckham Jr.

They sure do have the second part down. They’ve thrown enough bouquets of compliments at the injured, 30-year-old receiver to theoretically satisfy his ego. But it’s time to cut out the chatter put their money where their mouths are. It’s time for them to sign Odell Beckham, or shut up.

The Cowboys, perhaps more than any true Super Bowl contender, could use a receiver like Beckham for the stretch run. Maybe it’s a risk. Maybe he’ll only be available for the last month of the season and the playoffs.

But that alone makes it worth it. It certainly couldn’t hurt them. And, yes, you know they want to. They’ve said it over and over and over again.

“(Beckham) is someone we have all the appreciation in the world for, for what he is as a competitor,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas last week. “I know the Cowboys star on that helmet, when he puts it on, could look pretty good.”

“We know what type of player Odell is,” running back Ezekiel Elliott added. “We know how explosive he can be and what he could bring to this offense. It would be great to get him down here in Dallas. We want OBJ.”

“I’ve always been a huge fan of his,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “We all just think he’d be an excellent fit here,”

“S—t, we could use him,” linebacker Micah Parsons added. “He’s a guy you want on your team.”

Odell Beckham Jr. to Dallas rumors swirl

Micah Parsons responded to the prospects of Odell Beckham Jr. signing with Cowboys.

You get the idea. They’re in love. And they sure do want Beckham to know it.

The reasons for the love affair are obvious, too. Clearly, Jones is a showman and Beckham has always been one heck of a show. More importantly, the Cowboys are desperate for a second receiver to take some pressure off CeeDee Lamb. A Robin to his Batman could really be the difference for their potentially explosive offense. It’s not a stretch, in the relatively wide-open NFC, that one top receiver could put them over the top, and on their way to their first Super Bowl in 27 years.

Is it a risk, leaning on a 30-year-old, just nine months removed from his second torn ACL in a 16-month span? Absolutely. But Beckham is absolutely worth that kind of risk. The last time he tore his ACL, he came back after 11 months of rehab and had 44 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games split between the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams. And he was huge for the Rams in the playoffs, where he caught nine passes for 113 yards in the NFC Championship Game and had two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl before tearing his ACL again.

It’s that playoff production (21-288-2 in 2 ½ games) that the Cowboys (6-3) should be focused on. They can get there without him. But they might need him if they want their postseason run to be long.

Read More: NFL wide receiver rankings

Of course, all of that is if Beckham is able to play. There is some doubt about that, according to various league sources. Beckham’s camp keeps leaking that he’ll be ready to play in December, but some in the NFL remain skeptical — and that’s almost certainly the reason he hasn’t been signed yet.

But if the Cowboys are as interested as they keep saying — and they say they’re really, really interested — then why wait? Bring him in for a physical, make him an offer and get it done. The longer they wait, the more Beckham will have other options he can explore. 

Either through his friends, his representatives, or with unannounced visits to team facilities, he has had an open flirtation with the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, and even his original team, the New York Giants. All of them seem to have shown some level of interest, even if they mostly haven’t been caught publicly drooling over him like his new best friends in Dallas.

OBJ’s fit in Dallas

Greg Jennings tells Craig Carton whether he thinks OBJ would be a good fit with the Cowboys.

Of course, Beckham has also made it clear — again through friends, reps, and others — that he wants a multi-year contract. That’s a big ask for a player his age and with his injury history. But he is a master at not only creating a market for himself, but at eventually getting what he wants. He might get that here, even though most of the teams his people keep name-dropping don’t have much salary cap space to spare.

The Cowboys don’t either. But they have the motivation to find it and make everything fit.

So do it. Just do it. Stop talking and offer him a deal. The very worst thing, at this point, would be for Jones and company to keep talking right up until Beckham signs with the Packers, Bills or Chiefs. So he cashes a few checks while doing rehab at the team facility. At least then he’d be at the team facility and learning the offensive plays. And they wouldn’t run the risk of riling up their fans, only to get caught sleeping before seeing their lack of a No. 2 receiver cost them in the playoffs.

Maybe Beckham won’t make it back. Maybe he won’t be the same player. But he’s still worth a shot because the Cowboys didn’t make a move for a receiver at the trading deadline. Now they’re out of options. At this point, the ceiling for any available player they might find is far below Beckham’s floor.

And again, they know it.

“To have a guy like Odell Beckham — if he’s recovered from his knee, which it sounds like he has — is a great way to make your team better,” Cowboys VP Stephen Jones told SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“That’s my boy. I’m a fan of Odell, for sure,” Lamb added. “I feel like, why wouldn’t you want to add more firepower to this offense?”

Good question. Now it’s time for the Cowboys to answer.

Ralph Vacchiano is the NFC East reporter for FOX Sports, covering the Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He spent the previous six years covering the Giants and Jets for SNY TV in New York, and before that, 16 years covering the Giants and the NFL for the New York Daily News. Follow him Twitter at @RalphVacchiano.

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