With their victory over the Houston Texans last week, the Dallas Cowboys picked up their 10th win of the season. A win on Sunday would give them number 11 on the year which would be notable given that the franchise has not won 11+ games in back-to-back seasons since 1994-1995. You will recall that the first of those featured a playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers and the second a Super Bowl win, no big deal.
The Super Bowl is the main focus for the current Cowboys. This isn’t to say that the Cowboys should be Super Bowl favorites, but more that they are one of the few teams who seem capable of winning the game’s ultimate prize a few months from now. Understanding the team’s weaknesses now and improving upon them the best that they can seems like an optimal strategy and Dallas has certainly been trying that for the past few weeks.
As far as positions that may be a weakness on the roster, wide receiver has definitely been one of them. The Cowboys have attempted to fix that by bringing in free agent Odell Beckham Jr., but the timing just does not seem to be right. Since Beckham visited the Cowboys almost two weeks ago, reports have emerged noting that he is not ready to play yet (also that he sees no point in playing in the regular season).
Odell Beckham Jr. reportedly wants guaranteed money for this year and next year
It seemed like this story was finally going to end once and for all in the middle of last week when the Cowboys signed T.Y. Hilton to help their wide receiver group. Hilton is hardly the player that he was in his prime but he can still run with anybody and provides a deep threat option in a receiver group that already has CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. It seemed like things were set.
But even after the Cowboys signed Hilton, Jerry Jones continued to breathe life into the Beckham story. On Friday morning specifically, a report emerged from USA Today that Jones said Beckham was going to join them which was a very matter-of-fact sort of statement. In the aftermath, all reports have suggested that Jerry himself is driving whatever is left of the bus to get Beckham.
Sunday morning’s national news dump saw some clarity on this front by way of NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. He noted that the Hilton signing did not necessarily preclude Dallas from signing Beckham, and interestingly that Beckham wants guaranteed money in both 2022 and 2023.
Sources say that following the signing of Hilton, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Beckham to make a run at signing him. In fact, since Beckham left Dallas after his free-agent visit, it has been Jones speaking to him directly almost exclusively, discussing a possible signing.
When the Cowboys signed Hilton, a member of the organization actually asked Hilton, “How would you feel if we signed Beckham, too,” according to a source with knowledge of the team’s actions. Hilton’s response was along the lines of, “That’s great. I’m here to win a Super Bowl.” Hilton would have been totally fine with it.
Beckham wants guaranteed money this year and next year, but he’s still at least four weeks away from being able to play football and possibly as much as six weeks away.
It is certainly interesting that the Hilton signing doesn’t take the Cowboys out of this equation, but ultimately that makes sense. More good players is a good thing.
It makes sense for Beckham to want guaranteed money for as many years as he can get... who wouldn’t? But it is hard to see how that deal (admittedly without knowing the exact dollars and cents) would work out for the team, especially given that Beckham specifically said he sees no point in playing during the regular season as noted.
Additionally Rapoport’s report notes that Beckham may be “as much as six weeks away” from playing. This story has lasted for a little over a month now but if we take that in a literal sense on the day of reporting (Sunday, December 18th) six weeks from today is the Sunday of the conference championship games. Beckham making his debut for a team playing for a ticket to the Super Bowl is a risky proposition regardless of how talented he may be post-injury. And guaranteeing his contract for that seems a bit unwise.
More than anything it seems that Jerry Jones is trying to will this into existence. Whether or not he is successful remains to be seen.