After talks with the Houston Texans to acquire wide receiver Brandin Cooks failed to yield a deal, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and linebacker Micah Parsons have a new pass catcher in their sights: three-time Pro Bowler and free agent Odell Beckham Jr.
“Odell is someone that we have all the appreciation in the world for what he is as a competitor,” Jones said on 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas, via The Athletic. “I know the Cowboys star on that helmet when he puts it on could look pretty good. … We may or may not get something done as far as adding at WR but, if we don’t, I like where we are.”
“We know the type of player Odell is,” Elliott said, via DallasCowboys.com. “We know how explosive he can be and what he can be for this offense. It’d be great to get him down here in Dallas, another weapon in our repertoire. … We want him. We want OBJ.”
“Shit, we could use him, I think he’s a great player,” Parsons said, via DallasCowboys.com. “He’s a guy that you want on the team. Beside all that critic stuff that people make up and shit about him, I think he’s a great dude. … I think he can add real value to the team and help us do what we wanna do.”
About two weeks after those comments, Prescott spoke about the Beckham situation. The Cowboys quarterback said Tuesday that he’s “definitely sent some messages” to the talented veteran, per The Athletic, and wants to see him in Dallas as the team looks to make a Super Bowl run.
“He knows how much I want him here,” Prescott said, via DallasCowboys.com. “There’s been a little back-and-forth. Just making sure he understands that we want him here. … We’re getting him in [for a visit], and hopefully things are going great in the recruiting process.”
After all the chatter surrounding OBJ speaking with Cowboys players,, even the team’s official Twitter account wanted to make a push for the wide receiver.
The Cowboys Twitter account wrote, “It’s your move, OBJ,” with eyes emoji.
Their desire to add to the Cowboys’ passing game stems from his desire to make it more multi-dimensional. Through Dallas’ first eight games, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb’s 73 targets represent 31.6% of the entire team’s targets. That makes Lamb the third-most relied upon receiver in the entire NFL, narrowly trailing the Rams‘ Cooper Kupp (33.2% team target percentage), the reigning Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP, and the Dolphins‘ Tyreek Hill (32.1% team target percentage), the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL on an annual basis.
Beckham’s presence could add another reliable target on the outside for quarterback Dak Prescott, something the team has missed alongside Lamb after trading Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason. The two players Jones decided to pay instead of Cooper this past offseason, tight end Dalton Schultz and wide receiver Michael Gallup, haven’t looked like themselves yet in 2022. Schultz ($10.9 million on the franchise tag) has dealt with a nagging knee injury, and has yet to catch a touchdown. Gallup (five-year, $57.5 million extension) is still working to clear the final mental hurdle from a torn ACL he suffered in 2021, according to head coach Mike McCarthy. Gallup has 12 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown in five games.
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Beckham, 30, is also in the process of working his way back from a torn ACL he suffered running a route in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Rams‘ Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals that concluded the 2021 season. The high-profile wideout signed with the Rams in Week 10 last season after a release from the Browns, and he grabbed seven receiving touchdowns from that point through the Rams’ Super Bowl win, tied for the fifth most in the NFL from Week 10 through the conclusion of the playoffs.
Beckham Jr. replied to a recruitment tweet Parsons sent Tuesday night, expressing winning is his top priority in terms of making a decision on where to go.
“If the guy is on the market, and he’s talking about he wants to win games, then shit, me too,” Parsons said Wednesday. “I want to win games just as bad as you do. If you want to win games, come and win games over here. Help us get to that [Super] Bowl.”
If Dallas and Beckham agreed on a deal this season, it would add intrigue to an already tight NFC East division race. Behind the undefeated 8-0 Philadelphia Eagles are both the Cowboys and Giants at 6-2. New York drafted Beckham 12th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he immediately succeeded, winning the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. All three of the wide receiver’s career Pro Bowl appearances came in his first three seasons with the G-Men. Beckham Jr. was traded by former general manager Dave Gettleman prior to the 2019 season along with defensive lineman Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers and two draft picks (2019 first-round pick and 2019 third-round pick). The move came under a year after the Giants signed Beckham Jr. to a five-year, $90 million contract extension.
If Beckham Jr. ends up with the Silver and Blue this season, revenge and the pursuit of a second Super Bowl ring could likely be two of the top reasons why.