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Odell Beckham Jr. Need Not Apply: Dallas Cowboys Are Already a Contender

Brent SobleskiDecember 5, 2022

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 04: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) carries the ball during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Indianapolis Colts on December 4, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A potential Odell Beckham Jr. signing is a luxury for the Dallas Cowboys. The team is already built to win at a high level now. In fact, Jerry Jones' squad is operating at a Super Bowl standard with a 9-3 record.

With Sunday's 54-19 victory over the spiraling-into-the-abyss Indianapolis Colts, the Cowboys did what good teams should do: They didn't play their best ball yet still found ways to win. Not only did Dallas capture another tally in the win column, the contest quickly became a blowout in the fourth quarter.

During victory Monday, the organization will celebrate by hosting Beckham. The open flirtation between these two parties has been as embarrassing as teenage public displays of affection.

Coincidentally, Beckham tweeted he "will return to greatness" a day before the visit.

A week ago, head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that the Cowboys were "moving full steam ahead" in pursuit of the 30-year-old wide receiver. An incident aboard an American Airlines flight last week where Beckham had to be removed from the plane for reportedly going "in and out of consciousness" didn't even faze Jones.

"It did not," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (h/t The Athletic's Jon Machota). "His overall team compatibility, his judgment, his behavior is not an issue with him. It is with many, but not with him."

The owner didn't mince words on why he wanted to sign the target, who hasn't played since he tore his ACL in Super Bowl LVI.

"We have to have this year," Jones said. "It's very important, the things we do to have him impact this year. This year has to be a big part of it. We have six regular-season games and the playoffs, we have, in my mind, almost the whole show ahead of us. We got to have a situation where he can really contribute now."

Jerry Jones watches before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Cowboys don't really, though. A move born out of desperation after years of disappointment could upset the balance of one of the NFL's best teams.

The fourth-quarter performance showed exactly why the Cowboys are so dangerous as currently constructed. They're not reliant on a singular player or one phase of the game. Their roster is as well-rounded as any.

Entering Sunday's final frame, the Cowboys held a tenuous two-point lead. The Colts moved the ball late in the third quarter, which resulted in an impressive 15-yard scoring grab by rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce.

From that point forward, Dallas scored 33 unanswered points in a variety of manners:

  • Wide receiver Michael Gallup snagged a three-yard lob pass from quarterback Dak Prescott. 
  • Safety Malik Hooker converted a 38-yard scoop-and-score after Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox fumbled. 
  • Tony Pollard ripped off a 30-yard touchdown run against one of the league's best rushing defenses. In fact, the Cowboys gained 79 rushing yards over expected against an Indianapolis defense that had previously allowed the fewest in the category, according to NFL Next Gen Stats
  • Ezekiel Elliott slammed his way into the end zone from four yards out for Dallas' penultimate score. 
  • Third-string running back Malik Davis called game when the undrafted rookie went up the gut for a 23-yard touchdown

With the scoreboard stuck on tilt, the Cowboys forced four turnovers during that stretch. DaRon Bland, who stepped in for injured cornerback Anthony Brown, grabbed a pair of interceptions. Unfortunately, Brown looks to have suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, according to Jones.

The 33 unanswered fourth-quarter points became the second-most ever in NFL history, per ESPN Stats & Info. It's also Dallas' sixth game with four or more takeaways since Dan Quinn took over as defensive coordinator, which is the most by any unit since the start of the 2021 campaign.

Players all over the roster are having an impact for Dallas. McCarthy's group has won five of their last six games, with the only loss coming in overtime to the Green Bay Packers.

Odell Beckham Jr. is seen on the sidelines before an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

The possible addition of the mercurial wide receiver could upset the balance within the current setup. However, a healthy Beckham could be beneficial based purely on his skill set. After all, he provided the Los Angeles Rams a spark last season after the Cleveland Browns released him last November.

But his health remains in question, and Jones clearly stated Beckham's addition is based on what he can do right now.

"There is 'considerable doubt' around the league about just how healthy Beckham is, one NFC executive said, and whether he'll really be able to contribute much this season," FOX Sports' Ralph Vacchiano reported.

Besides, competition for the wide receiver's services remains stiff. Beckham already visited the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills. Suspiciously, Beckham's free-agent stops have not and will not include on-field workouts, according to the New York Post's Paul Schwartz.

ESPN's Jordan Raanan reported that Beckham prefers a reunion with the Giants. Dallas' NFC East counterpart is certainly more desperate to land his services since New York has next to nothing among its wide receiver corps.

Furthermore, the G-Men fell 1.5 games behind the Cowboys for second place in the division with Sunday's tie against the Washington Commanders.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 04: Tony Pollard #20 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Dallas already features numerous weapons.

Elliott and Pollard are a dynamic duo in the backfield. CeeDee Lamb is a slippery and explosive top target. Gallup caught two touchdown passes against the Colts. Tight end Dalton Schultz is currently designated as the organization's franchise player after getting the tag last offseason.

The return on investment in Beckham, who is looking for a multi-year deal, might be minimal, especially in the short term.

"We've just got to get down to a contract, an amount and health," Jones reiterated after the game. "There's no question in my mind that under the right circumstances, he can help us."

As of now, Dallas is very much in the conversation as the second-best team the NFC has to offer, only behind the Philadelphia Eagles. Jones doesn't need to be blinded by shiny objects or make another splashy signing.

The Cowboys are for real. They can beat anyone in the NFL. An addition just to make one at this point of the season isn't enough reason to possibly disturb everything going right at the moment.


Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @brentsobleski.