The potential addition of free agent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cowboys roster has been one of the hottest topics in the league. Despite the fervor around the idea, Dallas would still be perfectly fine on offense if they don’t add the veteran receiver. But that’s hardly a reason not to continue their pursuit.
To borrow a basketball term, the Cowboys have seemingly been in a full-court press to try and woo OBJ to their camp. We’ve seen comments from Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, Jerry Jones, and now even Stephen Jones all supporting the idea of picking up the former All-Pro.
Beckham, who just turned 30 last Saturday, has remained a free agent so far in 2022 as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered during last season’s Super Bowl. It was a repeat injury for Beckham, who tore the same ligament in the same knee in 2020 while playing for the Cleveland Browns.
Now close to full recovery, Beckham’s expected return to action has made him a hot commodity in the post-trade deadline market. While we’re used to Dallas being linked to just about any big-name free agent who comes along, these rumors appear to have some substance given the organization’s open courting of OBJ through social media and other public comments.
But while the team seems almost desperate to make this deal happen, it shouldn’t be out of fear or doubts about existing talent. There’s good reason to think that this offense can contend as currently constituted.
The starting WR duo of CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup is still quite solid. We’ve watched Lamb overcome some early-season struggles to look more like the true number one again. Gallup, who only just returned from his own 2021 ACL tear in Week 4, should get closer to form as the season continues. Last week’s bye hopefully gave Gallup a boost toward that end.
Expected to arrive soon is veteran James Washington, who’s been out so far from a preseason foot injury but could be debuting in the next few weeks. He was signed this past March to round out the top three at WR and could be an x-factor going forward.
Even if Washington is a bust, we’ve seen Noah Brown step up this year as a decent target. There’s also hope that young prospects like Jalen Tolbert and Simi Fehoko can get more involved in the back half of the season, or that return ace KaVontae Turpin will start to get more offensive opportunities.
With Dak Prescott’s return to the lineup we’ve seen a resurgence in TE Dalton Schultz’s productivity. That also leaves backups Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot as intriguing options capable of burning defenses who don’t show them respect.
If RB Tony Pollard hadn’t already proven he needs more touches, his work in Dallas’ last game against the Bears certainly closed the argument. Even if Ezekiel Elliott is resuming his primary back duties this week, Pollard needs to maintain a significant workload as arguably the best big-play threat on the entire offense.
Even the offensive line is looking at potential improvement. Left tackle Tyron Smith is getting closer to returning and hopefully making the left side even stronger. Improved play up front trickles through the entire roster, making even marginal receivers better if Prescott has more time and comfort before the pass.
If the Cowboys could get to 6-2 with the injuries to Prescott, Gallup, Washington, Tyron Smith, and others so far this year, it stands to reason that they’ll be one of the NFC’s top contenders going forward. There’s no reason that this group can’t excel with what the defense is doing in 2022, which carried Cooper Rush to a 4-1 record.
So no, Dallas doesn’t desperately need Odell Beckham Jr. But just like they didn’t necessarily need CeeDee Lamb when they drafted him in 2020, it certainly doesn’t hurt to get even stronger.
Options for midseason improvement in the NFL are always pretty limited. Even with trades becoming more prevalent in recent years, few teams are able to really move the needle until the offseason.
We don’t know how good OBJ, now older and with his injury history, will really be when he gets back on the football field. But he’d be an excellent role of the dice and potential insurance against issues given all the question marks throughout the WR depth chart.
All of the hype around this potential signing is likely disproportionate to the actual impact that Odell Beckham Jr. would have on the Cowboys' offense. He probably isn’t going to be any kind of savior at this point in his career, but the good news is that Dallas’ offense certainly doesn’t need saving.