The googly eyes between Odell Beckham Jr. and the Dallas Cowboys have been far from subtle.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, quarterback Dak Prescott and defensive player of the year candidate Micah Parsons have shown no shame in courting Beckham as the missing piece they’ll need for a postseason run in a wide-open NFC playoff race.
And Beckham hasn’t been shy about entertaining the love either, as he’s expected to sign with a team after Thanksgiving – a day in which the 7-3 Cowboys face the 7-3 Giants, another suitor for Beckham.
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“If you can improve this team right now and it's within reason, you should do it,” Jones said regarding Beckham in a recent radio interview. “We've got a chance.”
“He knows how much I want him here … We want him to come help,” Prescott said of Beckham this week.
“Come on then!” Parsons said in response to Beckham’s tweet about the Cowboys going “krazy” (sic) after their 37-point win over the Vikings last week.
The Cowboys’ outlook to make a deep run appears more promising than any they’ve had in recent years – especially in the time since Tom Brady joined the NFC with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers also experiencing a down year now.
If Dallas can bottle its performance against the Vikings and drink it before the playoffs, the Cowboys might win their first Super Bowl since following the 1995 season.
But we know the Cowboys better than that.
When the postseason starts, the weight of being "America’s Team" weighs them down. And this season won’t be any different.
There’s at least one team in a better position than Dallas. It has reached the Super Bowl and two NFC title games over the last three seasons. And its the team to beat again in the conference this year.
Christian McCaffrey’s addition a month ago to a versatile and potent offense makes the San Francisco 49ers a favorite to reach the Super Bowl.
Will it be enough for the 49ers, who have won three in a row to improve to 6-4, to beat the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills? It could be, but that’s another column.
Even with Beckham’s help, the Cowboys won’t have enough firepower to get past the 49ers, or even the Philadelphia Eagles, who are first in the NFC East, when the postseason begins.
Just a week before their big win against the Vikings, the Cowboys gave up a 14-point lead to lose in overtime at Green Bay.
When the Cowboys made the playoffs last season, they couldn’t get past the 49ers in the wild-card round in their own building. And that Cowboys team had Amari Cooper in his prime with Cedrick Wilson also in the passing game.
The Rams won Super Bowl 56 with help from Beckham, who scored a touchdown in the first half before going down with a torn ACL.
But which Beckham will show up in Dallas for the final month-plus of the season and postseason after his second ACL tear in his left knee?
It’s a fair question to ponder, and fair to temper expectations for Beckham’s potential impact on the Cowboys.
If the Cowboys get Beckham, they need to figure out ways to make him effective, while not depending on him to be a savior for an offense that ranks 14th in yards and seventh in points.
The Cowboys will likely create a package to make the most of Beckham’s ability. He would become the Cowboys’ third or fourth receiving target if he signed with Dallas, behind receiver CeeDee Lamb, tight end Dalton Schultz and running back Tony Pollard.
But is six weeks (at most) enough time to create continuity and trust and to install plays that will allow Beckham to excel while getting up to game speed?
The 49ers are four games into their McCaffrey experience and primed for a run at the No. 1 seed in the playoff picture with the Cowboys, Eagles and Minnesota Vikings likely having something to say about that in the final stretch of the season.
The potential is there for Beckham and the Cowboys.
But there are too many questions regarding Beckham’s health and the Cowboys’ ability to be one of the NFL’s best teams and a legit Super Bowl contender.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Odell Beckham Jr. on the Cowboys? Even if so, Dallas no sure thing