Neither the Cowboys’ collapse against the Green Bay Packers nor the first monster day in a long time from Dallas wideout CeeDee Lamb changes the team’s standing in the Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes, according to the man who would be signing his (sizable) paychecks if the much-ballyhooed deal actually happens.
All this while sources suggest that landing the three-time Pro Bowler’s services for an end-of-season run is coming down to practically a “coin-flip” between the Cowboys and an NFC East rival.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones isn’t eyeing Beckham as the team’s new WR1; that role already belongs to Lamb, and he reminded everyone of that fact Sunday.
The former first-round pick out of Oklahoma hauled in 11 catches on 15 targets, racking up 150 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Cowboys’ heartbreaking overtime loss to the Packers. That set new personal highs in receptions and single-game yardage for Lamb and tied his best day finding the end zone.
But Lamb’s success does not take the Cowboys out of the market for another receiving threat, says Jones.
“A talent like Beckham is additive, and it just stacks on top of whatever. We’ve thought a lot of CeeDee,” the owner explained Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. “We talk and think a lot of what he’s being for this team, and Beckham is really- the whole nature of it is: can he get us substantively above where we are. And the answer is: we’ll see how that is.”
Dallas has yet to establish a legitimate WR2 in 2022. Noah Brown and Dalton Schultz are tied for second on the team in catches, but Lamb has more than both of them combined. Lamb ranks 10th in the league in receiving yards; Brown is next, but sits 68th.
Michael Gallup is still finding his legs after a long ACL recovery, and James Washington has yet to suit up at all in the silver and blue. The patchwork group effort from the Cowboys has been admirable, but Dallas currently ranks seventh-worst in the league in passing offense.
And now another team struggling through the air is also said to be in the mix for Beckham’s return off a Super Bowl campaign with the Rams.
This one has the benefit of being intimately familiar to him.
The New York Giants, who drafted Beckham with the twelfth overall pick in 2014, is very much interested in a reunion. Beckham played for Big Blue for his first five seasons as a pro, was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year there, and was named to three Pro Bowls as a Giant.
And all of that counts for a lot with the just-turned 30-year-old, according to his high school coach.
“If I’m a betting man right now, I’d flip a coin between New York and Dallas,” Nelson Stewart told the New York Post. “It’s tight. But of all the teams I’ve heard about, the one that really resonates a little bit more is New York.”
Buffalo, San Francisco, and Kansas City are also said to be interested in the LSU product.
“His end in New York was abrupt, at a time of turmoil, and it had a cloudiness to it,” Stewart continued. “I think to go back to where it all started would be amazing for Odell. He’s grown up a lot, he’s grounded, and he loves being a dad. He’s just in a great spot now. To me, New York is a win-win.”
And wins may be a exactly what Beckham is looking at as he chooses among the clubs courting him. The veteran is said to be interested only in joining a team that has the potential to make a deep postseason run. Some have suggested that despite having already been medically cleared to return to play, he’s waiting to see which of his suitors is shaping up to have the best playoff chances.
A-list players for both teams- from the Cowboys’ Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott to the Giants’ Saquon Barkley- have publicly lobbied for their front offices to bring Beckham aboard.
The Cowboys will have two more marquee opportunities to audition for Beckham in the coming days when they face the 8-1 Vikings on Sunday and then the 7-2 Giants on Thanksgiving Day.