FRISCO, Texas – See where we need a little reasonable perspective on this hot topic:
Odell Beckham Jr.
No doubt the Cowboys should be kicking that free-agent tire.
No doubt Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy have given glowing assessments of Odell's immense skills, Jerry actually saying this week, "Odell is someone that we have all the appreciation in the world for what he is as a competitor. I know the Cowboys star on that helmet when he puts it on could look pretty good."
There always seems to be a "but" between dreams and actual reality, right? So let's put some realistic context to this notion the Cowboys absolutely need to bring Beckham aboard, because as Micah Parsons said here on Wednesday, "He could add a real vibe to this team."
First, the Cowboys aren't the only team out there needing a wide receiver of his previous quality. There are other teams interested, too, and don't you know his agent is doing a heckuva job drumming up interest from multiple teams. And as real estate agents in this market know, the more interest in what they're selling the higher the asking price goes. Heck, learned that back in Econ 101, something about supply and demand.
Second, how soon will he be ready to play? Remember, we saw the lengthy rehab Michael Gallup went through, and Odell suffered his torn ACL, by the way his second in two years, a good six weeks later. Is he ready to play after Thanksgiving? Middle of December? And how soon would he, one, pass a physical, and two, be football ready? You don't just come off the couch and be ready to go after suffering one of these again.
Third, how much? That's right, how much money does he want, and since multiple teams seemingly are showing, will he go to the highest bidder? Money still talks. And see where he recently said he isn't interested in a one-year, prove-it deal for the remaining of this season. He wants a long-term deal, which means guaranteed money, saying he is tired of playing out of a suitcase, that he wants to go somewhere where he can buy a house. And looks as if the Cowboys only have $6.9 million remaining on their 2022 salary cap. Plus, CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs will be going into their fourth seasons next year, likely looking for extensions. As it stands right now, Dak Prescott's 2023 hit is $41.9 million. If the Cowboys didn't think Amari Cooper was worth $20 million a year, what might they think Odell is worth now 30 and coming off consecutive seasons interrupted by a torn ACL if they can't rent him for like the rest of this season like the Rams did in 2021 for $1.250 million guaranteed?
Lastly, what about the chemistry, fitting into an established team and how soon does he get on the same page with the quarterback? McCarthy says he's asked around, so doesn't seem he'd be a locker room problem. And players, for sure they're all for anyone who can help them win, or as Ezekiel Elliott said, "He definitely would fit in this locker room."
So, smoke a few of those considerations in your pipe before banging the drum so loudly as some apparently are for the Cowboys to just take the shot on OBJ.
- Lambeau Curse: There hasn't been many good times for the Cowboys playing the Packers at Lambeau Field. They are just 2-9 at the iconic stadium, and that includes losing two of two playoff games there, the 1967 NFL Title game that became known as the "Ice Bowl" and then the memorable 2014 season Dez "Catch/No Catch" game. The Cowboys' two regular-season wins there came in 2008, a sort of homecoming game for Wisconsin native quarterback Tony Romo, and then in 2016, Dak's rookie season. And what does Dak remember most about that 30-16 victory? "Threw my first (NFL) interception," he said, even though registering the first of his three-touchdown games that season. And as for history, the Cowboys lost their first six games playing in Green Bay, from 1960 through 1968. In fact, Tom Landry never defeated the Packers with Vince Lombardi as the head coach those first five times, the two former Giants assistant coaches meeting head to head.
- Time Flies: You are going to read a whole lot about McCarthy returning to Green Bay after spending 13 seasons as head coach of the Packers (2006-18). And think about this: For all the success Lombardi had there in eight seasons and also Mike Holmgren in seven, only Green Bay original head coach Curly Lambeau was there longer than McCarthy, 29 seasons from 1921-49. They named the stadium after Lambeau, and a street after McCarthy, known as McCarthy Way. And when asked if would take a stroll down the street named after him, he said, yeah, "To see if it's still there."
- Save The Juice: This is a reminder of what Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete had to say when asked about the possibility of giving Tony Pollard more snaps and carries, especially after his 14-carry, 131-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Bears during Zeke's injury-forced absence. And for those who keep insisting the Cowboys don't know what they are doing divvying up the carries between the two running backs, please read carefully. "(Pollard) played a total of 30 plays, and I think that's his max – as far as total play count – because then the juice doesn't become the same and he's not as quick, not as fast," Peete said. "When he got that long run on third-and-1 (a 54-yard touchdown vs. Chicago), as soon as he got to the sideline he said, 'Coach, I'm done. Done for the game. I've got no more.' Tony's obviously a very talented runner and good all-around back, but some guys are race cars. Some guys are high-quality, expensive sedans and those sedans can go for a long distance at a very high rate, whereas race cars go very fast and quick and run out of gas." Now jot all that down, OK, and don't forget.
- The Dope Sheet: And for these shorties, this is in reference to what the Packers have for so long called their official press release sent out to the media, meaning give me all the news … While the Cowboys listed 11 players on their Wednesday injury report, only linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) was listed as Did Not Participate … As for the Packers, they had 16 players listed on their injury report, 10 of those DNP, and that included quarterback Aaron Rodgers with a "right thumb" … Before the season began, tickets on the secondary market to this Cowboys-Packers game were listing for as much as $800, and now, with the 3-6 Packers slumping, struggling along on a five-game losing streak, some of those tickets have dropped to a low of $156 … OBJ's biggest contributions to the Rams last season came in the playoffs when he caught 24 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns in four games.
Players keep being asked if they want to go to Green Bay and beat the Packers for McCarthy, since it's his first return as head coach after the Packers let him go midway through the 2018 season, as if this is some sort of revenge trip for Mike. So, the last word this week goes to Micah Parsons, who basically echoes what most of the players had to say when asked about this game.
"He didn't tell us much," Parsons says. "I don't think Mike takes it too personally, just looking at it, just going out there and competing, just understand the competition, how they are going to approach this game, how they prepare and how we need to prepare.
"I wouldn't say (winning) for him. I just want to win in general. I don't really get into all that analytical stuff, about who plays where, how you feel about what. I want to win, and that's how I think everybody should approach it."
Amen to that.