IRVING, Texas – Despite a lingering hamstring issue, Odell Beckham Jr. said there's no chance he won't play Sunday when the Cowboys visit the Giants.
The same can't be said for Dez Bryant, whose status remains in doubt while he rehabs a broken foot. But even if the odds look slightly longer for Bryant, Beckham said nothing would shock him with his Cowboys counterpart.
"If he does play, I honestly wouldn't be surprised," he said. "I know he's very competitive, and we're so similar – we just love playing football. It's hard to keep you off the field."
The bond between Beckham and Bryant has been a common theme since the Cowboys' last trip to MetLife Stadium, and for good reason. As no football fan should need reminding, the two put on quite a display in their Nov. 24 matchup last fall.
Beckham, then a rookie, broke onto the NFL stage with 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns – highlighted by a magnificent one-handed touchdown grab that grabbed headlines nationwide. As amazing as it was, Bryant topped it with seven catches for 86 yards and two scores of his own, including the game-winner with one minute to play.
"It's something that is not in the moment right now. It's something that kind of happened in the past," Beckham said of the game, and the catch. "We try and leave it in the past, but, this being Giants-Cowboys and that being that moment that it was, it always seems to find its way back up."
It's hard to say whether it was that game, or perhaps Beckham's impressive rookie season, but it's safe to say a bond has been created between the two rival receivers. The pair have swapped jerseys after games, and their birthdays are just one day apart – Nov. 4 for Bryant, Nov. 5 for Beckham.
Asked for his thoughts on his older counterpart, Beckham paused.
"I mean, I don't even know where to begin – a guy who, I think his birthday is the Fourth of November, and it's almost like we're Scorpio brothers," he said. "I just got the chance to really get down and sit and talk to him and understand him and where he's coming from. We see eye-to-eye, so there's so much respect there."
Given all of that, it'd be a shame if the duo doesn't have another chance to compete until next season. Both receivers participated in the Sept. 13 season opener, but didn't enjoy their typical success. Beckham was held in check to the tune of 44 yards on five catches, while Bryant nabbed five passes for 48 yards before breaking his foot in the fourth quarter.
"I would love to be able to see him be out there and play," Beckham said. "But at the end of the day he has to do what's best for himself and his family as far as watching his health and making sure that he's able to return to the field of play."
Even if that return isn't this weekend against the Giants, the respect remains. Beckham clarified that himself when asked about his plans for Bryant's jersey.
"It'll be going up in the house at some point in time," he said. "Even though it's a Cowboys jersey, it'll be going up for sure whenever I get it framed up and everything like that."