Jerry Jones: Odell Beckham Jr. plane incident has no impact on Cowboys’ interest
Four days before his scheduled trip to New Jersey to meet with the Giants, free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tried to fly from Miami to L.A. It didn’t go so well, regardless of where the blame belongs.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones places no blame on Beckham. Jones was asked during his weekly Tuesday morning visit with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas whether the situation impacts the team’s interest in Beckham.
“It did not,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “His overall team compatibility, his judgment, his behavior is not an issue with him. It is with many, but not with him.”
The bigger concern should be whether Beckham can really make a difference for the Cowboys in 2022, given that he hasn’t played since February, when he tore an ACL in his knee. Jones made it clear that the team needs Beckham to make an impact right away.
“We have to have this year,” Jones said. “It’s very important, the things we do to have him impact this year. This year has to be a big part of it. We have six regular-season games and the playoffs, we have, in my mind, almost the whole show ahead of us. We got to have a situation where he can really contribute now.”
But Beckham wants more than a Band-Aid deal. To get anything from Beckham in 2022, the Cowboys likely need to be ready to commit to him for 2023, and possibly beyond.
Although Jones downplayed the fact that Beckham will visit other teams (at a minimum, the Giants and Bills), the fact remains that Beckham and his representation have done a very nice job of creating leverage. Especially with the Giants being one of the finalists for Beckham’s services. The question becomes whether any of the teams Beckham visits will put real offers on the table, and whether it will spark a bidding war for his services.
“As to other teams, we don’t have anything to take a step back on that,” Jones said. “And then of course, I know what this area is. I know what the Dallas area is. I know what football means to this area. And I do know that we’re the most visible team. From that standpoint, there’s a lot of interest in it. And everybody likes to be part of something that’s substantive, and that’s the Cowboys.”
It sounds a lot like the argument Jones has made in the past, as to players like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. That there’s an inherent value to playing for the Cowboys that supersedes money.
It didn’t really work with Prescott and Elliott. We’ll see if it works with Beckham. At this point in his career, the cash in his bank account may mean a lot more than a blue star on his helmet.