Beckham Jr. could return to NFC East on unexpected team


The NFC East is surprisingly the best division in football through Week 9, something few if any expected heading into the year, and the race for playoff positioning is getting spicy.

And if the Dallas Cowboys want to fend off the Giants and try to catch the undefeated Eagles, they're going to need to load up.

Which is why NFL Network inside Ian Rapoport is reporting Monday that the Cowboys are reportedly eyeing free agent wideout Odell Beckham Jr.

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Here's Rapoport's report (say that five times fast):

"Odell Beckham Jr., no doubt the top free agent, still available and still trying to get back to full health. My understanding is his timeline is about early December for a signing, and the Dallas Cowboys - who made a big run at some speed receivers right before the trade deadline, did not end up with any of them but not for a lack of effort - they have Odell Beckham firmly on their radar. They are among the teams that have checked in on his ACL rehab, and they are expected to make a run at him along with some other teams: the Buffalo Bills, the Giants, we'll see if the Chiefs get in the mix, his old team the Rams. There's going to be several of them, but potentially the Cowboys and Odell here."

We knew the Bills, Giants, Chiefs, and Rams were in the mix for Beckham Jr.'s services once he's ready to join the NFL workforce. The Cowboys are an interesting fifth team. 

Dak Prescott has only played in three games and attempted 81 passes this year, so it's hard to know what the Cowboys have through the air. Evaluating the offense through Cooper Rush's five starts isn't exactly fair analysis. 

After CeeDee Lamb (who has 42 catches for 556 yards and three touchdowns) the Cowboys have Noah Brown and Michael Gallup at wideout. Not awful, but also not great. Dalton Schultz at tight end is a good extra threat through the air, and Tony Pollard is an acceptable pass-catching running back.

But a healthy Beckham Jr. would obviously help Dak Prescott and the Cowboys take things to another level, which is why I'd imagine Eagles fans are hoping this doesn't come to fruition.

Beckham Jr. unfortunately tore his ACL during Super Bowl LVI, rough timing both for the game itself (though the Rams still won) and Beckham Jr.'s ability to play the following season.

The enigmatic WR played in 14 regular season games in 2021, catching 44 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns between Cleveland and Los Angeles, before catching 21 passes for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns in three-plus playoff games. He just turned 30 years old but he's still very, very good - assuming he can return to last year's form.

The Eagles are still the best, most complete team in the division but a Beckham Jr. addition would certainly make the already-highly-anticipated Dec. 24 matchup between the Birds and the Cowboys even spicier. We will see.

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