On Monday, the Dallas Cowboys reportedly signed veteran wideout T.Y. Hilton, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> are securing veteran WR help after all, signing longtime <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colts?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Colts</a> star TY Hilton, his agents <a href="https://twitter.com/KatzBrosSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KatzBrosSports</a> tell me and <a href="https://twitter.com/SlaterNFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SlaterNFL</a>. He's on a visit with the team today and should provide help down the stretch and in the playoffs. 👻 👻 👻 <a href="https://t.co/v3A4qQREVJ">pic.twitter.com/v3A4qQREVJ</a>
With the Cowboys in the hunt for veteran free agent Odell Beckham Jr., Hilton's signing naturally came as a bit of a surprise. So what does it all mean?
The Cowboys Signing Beckham Feels Less Likely Now
Dallas adding a veteran wide receiver is going to lead to natural speculation that the team is moving on from Beckham:
It's hard to ignore the timing of Hilton's signing, as he's a player the Cowboys easily could have added earlier in the season.
On Sunday, Rapoport wrote that Beckham visited with the Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and New York Giants last week and "all parties are currently in a holding pattern while Beckham is at home considering his options."
Rapoport added: "The teams involved are moving forward with what they currently have, knowing that if Beckham came on board, he wouldn't help on the field for at least another month."
Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chiefs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chiefs</a> have stayed in contact with Odell Beckham Jr. throughout his free agency tour, sources tell <a href="https://twitter.com/theScore?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@theScore</a>. There was mutual interest there last year, though I'm told the two parties have yet to schedule a visit.
Hilton addresses a need for depth at wideout in Dallas. But...
His Signing Doesn't Outright End the Beckham Pursuit
At least according to CBS Sports' Josina Anderson:
League source on if the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> signing T.Y. Hilton definitely means they've shut down talks with Odell Beckham Jr: "not clearly moved on from Odell."<br><br>When asked for thoughts on why Dallas proceeded with Hilton--given the above answer--was told bc Hilton can play "right now."
At the moment I'm told, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> feel unsure of how long the tail-end of Odell Beckham Jr's current rehab will specifically take, thus the T.Y. Hilton move today. Was also just told-as of this tweet-Jerry Jones & Odell Beckham's camp are "still talking." Talks are "ongoing."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also said Sunday the team wasn't pulling out of the Beckham sweepstakes.
"Not at all," he told reporters. "Put a big exclamation on that. That's all I got on that."
Beckham is 30; Hilton is 33. Beckham made a tangible and positive impact for the Los Angeles Rams in the postseason last year (21 catches for 288 yards and two scores); Hilton looked well past his prime last season (23 catches for 331 yards and three scores in 10 games for the Indianapolis Colts).
The point, quite simply, is that Beckham is much better than Hilton at this point in their respective careers. Hilton offers the Cowboys some help now, but Beckham would still be the better addition.
The Beckham Saga Isn't Going Away Anytime Soon
Beckham's future has been one of the bigger off-field stories in recent weeks, and Hilton's signing added another layer of intrigue to the situation.
Had the Cowboys signed Beckham instead Monday, well, poof. Story over. But if the Cowboys were the presumed favorites before the Hilton signing, the door appears to be wide-open for other teams now.
Perhaps Beckham will end up a Cowboy in the end. But for now, this story—and all of the reports and buzz that naturally follow—has not yet reached its conclusion.