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The Dallas Cowboys remain interested in Odell Beckham Jr. as a free agent despite leaving him this season and will consider signing him in the offseason, executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday.
“Oh, absolutely,” Jones said, according to Nick Eatman of the team website. “We invited Odell Beckham Jr. to visit [and] decided he wasn’t ready to play. [But] so we left it with him. Get ready to play, and then let’s visit again. We were obviously interested for a reason.”
The Cowboys pursued Beckham throughout the 2022 season, and he reunited with the franchise in December. However, Dallas determined that the veteran wideout would not be fully rehabilitated from his torn ACL in time to help the team compete for a title and eventually passed it on.
However, team owner Jerry Jones left the door open to a possible Beckham signing in the future.
“It’s not realistic to think about having him for the playoffs in any meaningful way,” Jones told reporters when asked about the Beckham pursuit in late December. “It’s not dismissive [signing Beckham in] the future, but it largely throws off the reality that he’s coming in here and helping us in the playoffs.”
Beckham tore his cruciate ligament while playing for the Los Angeles Rams in last season’s Super Bowl. He is nearing the end of his rehab and released a video of a training session he attended earlier this week.
The 30-year-old added he’s around 70 per cent, which bodes well as he’s eyeing a return to the field in 2023.
The Cowboys had a streak at wide receiver during the 2022 campaign after losing Cedrick Wilson to the Miami Dolphins in free agency and selling Amari Cooper to the Browns. They signed James Washington on a free-hand basis, but he suffered a foot injury in training camp and was cut short after two regular-season games.
Dallas also added veteran wideout TY Hilton in December, but he only caught seven passes for 121 yards in three games.
Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler, would be a great fit in a Dallas wideout group that includes CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Noah Brown. While fully healthy during the 2021 regular season, Beckham caught 44 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns that were split between the Rams and the Cleveland Browns.
Aside from the Cowboys, Beckham should attract interest from a number of teams in the free hand. If he signs elsewhere, Dallas will have to find another way to fill his void at the receiver.