It’s Thanksgiving day, so it’s time to watch the Dallas Cowboys in their yearly showcase. The fact that they’re winning and making a charge toward another postseason makes it even better. And this year’s Turkey Day game has higher stakes than this game has had in quite a while. This Thanksgiving day game has been dubbed the OBJ Bowl.
Forget the fact that this has huge NFC East implications. This one is about influencing Odell Beckham Jr. and his decision on which team to sign with when he’s ready to return in a few weeks. It’s essentially coming down to the Cowboys and Giants vying for the affection of Beckham, the same way Dwight and Andy dueled over Angela in The Office.
This showdown will take place one day after the eight-year anniversary of OBJ’s magnificent catch over Brandon Carr on Sunday Night Football in 2014. Some have called it the greatest catch of all time, as it was an outstanding display of athleticism. The level of concentration it takes to catch a football one-handed while falling backward with a defender tugging at your jersey is impressive.
But this isn’t the same Odell the Giants or Cowboys would be signing up for. He’s a 30-year-old wide receiver who’s had two ACL tears in the last two years. The last time we saw Beckham was in the Super Bowl against Cincinnati, looking like the early MVP front runner until his knee gave out.
After two bad knee injuries in such a short amount of time, it’s hard to predict what OBJ brings to any team now. Dallas could use another receiving threat outside of CeeDee Lamb. They haven’t gotten a ton out of the rest of their receiving core this year. Michael Gallup missed the first few games recovering from an ACL injury, and since his return, he has just 19 catches in seven games. It’s been Lamb or bust for the ‘Boys. Lamb has 58 catches in 10 games, while no other target (WR, RB, or TE) has more than 28 receptions. The simple threat of another option in OBJ could help Dallas tremendously down the stretch.
For the Giants, it’s a little trickier — though New York recently lost WR Wan’Dale Robinson to a season-ending ACL injury — as this would be a reunion tour should Beckham return to New York. His first stint as a Giant did not end well, although he did some spectacular things. The team eventually grew tired of his antics and traded him to Cleveland, where that eventually fell apart. While Beckham is older and more mature (hopefully), it’s hard to see him choosing Daniel Jones over Dak Prescott. Indeed, he’d like to win, but he still wants the ball.
Both teams are in the playoff hunt and still in the race for a division crown behind the Eagles. It’s funny how this all feels orchestrated by Beckham, knowing the teams played on Thanksgiving and reports coming out that he’d like to sign by the end of November. None of this seems coincidental, as Beckham plays puppet master in this scenario.
Oh, this should be a fun game with all the theatrics of a broadway musical. Expect OBJ to be mentioned at least once per quarter during the broadcast. The NFL should up the stakes and make the decision for everyone. Winner takes all. Whoever wins the game signs Odell, no questions asked. Of course, under those circumstances, the Cowboys would undoubtedly find a way to lose since they don’t perform well under pressure.