Odell Beckham Jr is a problem the Dallas Cowboys could have avoided

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

And we wait. The Dallas Cowboys have proclaimed their desire to add free agent WR Odell Beckham for all the world to hear. Never has this franchise been more publicly transparent of their desires, than they’ve been right now in this courtship of OBJ.

Why are they so unabashedly lustful for a free agent all of sudden? There aren’t really any other options. At this point in the season, decent free agents are scarce. There are a couple possible role players walking the streets right now, but no one close to the caliber of Odell Beckham Jr.

It’s really OBJ or bust.

The Dallas Cowboys could have avoided this Odell Beckham Jr situation entirely if they only acted when fee agency opened in March

The Dallas Cowboys brought this on themselves. This predictable situation they find themselves in right now was entirely avoidable if they only would have acted. The Cowboys knew they would be dangerously thin at WR when they traded Amari Cooper for a bag of Tropical Skittles (the worst variation of Skittles).

Michael Gallup was recovering from offseason knee surgery and was certain to get a slow start in 2022. Cedrick Wilson was in Miami. And CeeDee Lamb was being asked to step up into a role he’d never been before, WR1.

The Cowboys clearly were banking on the NFL Draft to help them tread water at WR. They honed in on a handful of first round WRs and seemed destined to roll the dice with a rookie. Sure, they signed James Washington as insurance, but he was a cheap easy pick-up for a reason. He was never the ideal solution as a top-3 player.

So the Dallas Cowboys waited. They looked at the free agent options and said, “naw, the draft will save us.”

When the draft eventually rolled around, the need on the offensive line was severe and all their top WR prospects (30-visit guys) were off the board. So they went O-line. Dan Quinn had already fallen in love with DE Sam Williams, so he was a lock in the second round weeks before the draft. It was the third round that would have to fill the need at WR.

Dallas selected Jalen Tolbert with the 88th pick and many, myself included, were quite happy with the selection. Asking him to be an immediate impact player as a rookie was a mistake, but Tolbert came with a nice skill set worth developing.

Once again, the Dallas Cowboys could have signed a veteran WR at this point, but they didn’t. They opted to roll the dice again.

What they ended up doing was painting themselves into a corner.

The Dallas Cowboys proved to be far more formidable than anyone could have expected this season. Suddenly they became viable Super Bowl threats and Jerry and Stephen Jones saw this season as a legit opportunity and not the bridge year they had once planned.

Which brings us to Odell Beckham Jr.

Most of the people clamoring for Odell Beckham today hated the idea of him back in March. There were dozens of better options available when you consider age, health, ability, and cost. Those people haven’t changed their minds suddenly, they’ve just run out of options and now reached the bottom of the barrel.

They say “beggars can’t be choosers” and that’s fairly applicable today. Those opposed to the signing are quick to point out OBJ’s knee, his age, his potential baggage, and the money (opportunity costs) going forward. And for the most part, they are probably right.

But what’s the alternative?

James frickin’ Washington?

Odell Beckham Jr doesn’t mean the Dallas Cowboys revert back to a spread ‘em out 11 personnel attack every down. He insulates the Cowboys from a disastrous injury to CeeDee Lamb or Michael Gallup. He allows Kellen Moore to go spread when opportunity demands it (or presents itself). And he adds a deep speed element to the roster that has been missing all season.

Dallas Cowboys brass is essentially admitting their mistake with their current courtship of Odell. It’s a problem most of us saw back in March and it’s a problem they had multiple opportunities to address but chose not to.

No, this is not ideal. But it makes the Dallas Cowboys better and as long as he doesn’t get guarantees that blow Gallup’s deal out of the water, he’s probably a necessary evil. He maximizes the Cowboys Super Bowl challenger status and he checks a need off next season’s to-do list.

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This entire situation could have, and should have, been avoided.