Months later, Odell Beckham may still be Cowboys WR best option

Late in the 2022 NFL season, the Cowboys hype machine was burning at full steam. Dallas was playing some of their best ball of the season. They had a positive record against winning teams and they were in position to challenge the Eagles for the No. 1 seed.  All they needed was someone to put them over the top.

Cue Odell Beckham Jr. entering the discussion.

By mid-November it became clear the Cowboys needed help at the receiver position. Their additions in free agency and the draft had not worked out like they hoped. Their expected second fiddle, Michael Gallup, was struggling to regain pre-injury form. Depth pieces like Noah Brown were being handed roles far above their pay grade.

Beckham, Jr. was a chance for Dallas to right their self-inflicted wrong. Over the years, the three-time Pro Bowl receiver earned a reputation as one of the biggest playmakers in the game. He did things at the receiver position very few players could. He brought deep speed, yards after the catch (YAC) ability, and a certain clutch gene to the table.

Cowboys Nation took the bait, hook, line, and sinker. The only problem was he wasn’t healthy. Still recovering from an ACL tear suffered in the previous Super Bowl, Beckham, Jr. was not ready to hit the ground running. And a marriage with the Cowboys that once looked imminent, suddenly looked far-fetched.

Fast forward to free agency 2023 and Beckham Jr appears back on the table, and rightfully so.

The 2023 free agent class isn’t exactly a murder’s row of talent.  Jakobi Meyers, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Allen Lazard are all helpful options entering the market, but they aren’t the typical headliners teams see up on the marquee this time of year.

The thin free-agent talent pool combined with a shallow draft class will likely mean an inflated market at the receiver position this offseason. For a team like the Cowboys, who aggressively avoid expensive free agents, it could be just the shove they need to get back into the OBJ Sweepstakes.

At 30-years-old and coming off two ACL injuries, Beckham, Jr. brings a hefty amount of risk. Seeking a multiyear contract, he’s not likely to accept a prove-it deal Dallas so often offers. Despite this, Beckham Jr might still be the best option on the market for the Cowboys for a couple reasons:

  1. He still has juice. Last seen, Beckham Jr. was dominating the Super Bowl and likely on track for an MVP award if it wasn’t for his knee.

  2. The latest knee injury may actually be a good thing. It was reported Beckham Jr.’s first ACL surgery didn’t go well in Cleveland and his second tear actually helped fix the first surgery and possibly extend his career.

Playing on that bad knee for the Rams, Beckham still posted one of the best postseasons. His 84.7 receiving grade was the fourth-highest PFF gave and his eight explosive plays (again, on a bad knee) were especially noteworthy.

If he was that much of a difference maker just one year removed from a bad surgery, imagine how he’ll be a year-and-a-half removed from a good surgery?

Obviously, the dollars need to make sense. PFF estimates three years, $33 million will do the trick. While certainly not chump change, it’s far beneath what a player of his caliber would normally cost in a talent-starved open market.


No question. But Beckham possesses excellent deep speed (something the Cowboys need), elite separation ability, and a knack for adding YAC on the back of routine slant routes.

More 2023 free agency!

LB Bobby Wagner to hit free agency again; will Cowboys play ball this time?

Cowboys have a glaring WR need, here are their potential solutions

Cowboys re-sign kicker Tristan Vizcaino to active roster

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire