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Jerry Jones: Odell Beckham Jr. 'could look pretty good' wearing Cowboys star

On Sunday, there were insider rumblings that the Cowboys had free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. “in their sights” and “firmly on their radar.” The story picked up momentum on Monday when Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy raved about the three-time Pro Bowler’s reputation, saying, “I’ve heard so many excellent things about him over the years. I think those are conversations for the future.”

Well, cue the avalanche warning, because Jerry Jones continued the conversation Tuesday.

The Cowboys owner didn’t shy away from questions about the former first-round draft pick who famously tormented the Cowboys over his five seasons with the New York Giants. In fact, while Jones started by giving props to the current crop of pass-catchers and promising reinforcements in the form of James Washington, he ended his answer by making it sound like he’s already mentally penciling Beckham onto the roster.

“I like where we are with our receiving corps,” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. “We’ve got, of course, Washington coming back, and that’s big. We’ve got [Michael] Gallup, who in my mind, is getting better, to the level we would expect him to be and improving everyday. And, of course, [CeeDee] Lamb we think is everything we want in our number one receiver. I like the way we’re throwing the ball with our tight ends. I think that’s meaningful in this conversation, because as I see us going forward, that could basically dictate just how aggressive we are in any type of additions that we have here with our receivers. On the other hand, Odell is someone that we have all the appreciation in the world for what he is as a competitor and know that the Cowboys star on that helmet, when he puts it on, could look pretty good.”

When he puts it on.

When.

It’s perhaps worth remembering that Jones often uses the same type of picture-painting imagery- putting that Cowboys star on your helmet– when talking to a coveted draft pick that he’s particularly excited about.

But Beckham isn’t some college prospect with unknown potential. He’s caught over 500 balls in the NFL, logged over 7,600 yards, and scored 59 touchdowns in the regular season and playoffs. And perhaps most relevant to the 6-2 Cowboys and their current situation, he joined the 7-2 Rams in the second week of November last year and helped propel that club to the Super Bowl by contributing 11.3 yards per reception and five total touchdowns over the final eight games of the season… and then doing even more in the postseason.

He scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl LVI for Los Angeles, but then tore an ACL in the second quarter. Beckham, 30, has been rehabbing ever since and is expected to be medically cleared soon, perhaps before the week is out.

“We know that we should be aware that he’s coming off this injury,” Jones said, “but he showed he can do it and do it well last year. So that would go into the mix real good. His past dealing with adversity of injury rehab, I think that tells you a lot.”

Beckham missed a few games to start the 2014 season with a hamstring issue. He played just four games in 2017 thanks to a series of injuries to his left ankle. A quad injury cost him four games in 2018. His first ACL tear ended his 2020 season early; his most recent injury was to the same knee.

The eight-year veteran has nevertheless generated plenty of interest; the Bills, Giants, Rams, Packers, and Chiefs have also been linked to him now that he’s nearing the end of his rehab.

Jones says adding a player of Beckham’s caliber- even midseason and after a lengthy layoff- is not a concern.

“My experience has been, when we’ve brought a veteran player in, they hit the ground running in terms of being able to compete,” the owner shared. “So that usually is not a big factor when we think about whether or not a player can… well, just can he fit? Now, a player’s individual skills, his people skills, as well as his past experience in terms of the systems that he’s been in, if in fact, he’s been with several teams. All of those weigh in on it. But I think that you’re looking at a player that his experience far outweighs any of that ambiguity involved with how’s he going to fit your system.”

Read into all of that what you will. (And Jerry clearly wants everyone to read into it. And talk about it. And turn it into sports-radio fodder. And make it the lead story on ESPN.) But Jones sounds like a man who’s picked out the new toy he wants and now just has to wait to actually get his hands on it.


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