When the New York Giants (7-3) take on the Cowboys (7-3) in Dallas on Thursday afternoon, there might be more than sole possession of second place in the NFC East behind the Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) on the line.
Losers of three in a row on Thanksgiving but winners of five straight against New York at AT&T Stadium in Dallas and 11 of 12 overall against their NFC East rivals, the Cowboys have been vocal from the top down about wanting to bring free agent Odell Beckham Jr. into the fold once he is cleared to return from the torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl LVI as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
Earlier this month, Dallas owner Jerry Jones made what amounted to a public plea for Beckham. “Odell is someone that we have all the appreciation in the world for what he is as a competitor,” Jones, who is also the team’s general manager, said. “I know the Cowboys star on that helmet when he puts it on could look pretty good.”
Yesterday, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott confirmed he’s “definitely sent some messages” to the former Giant, Brown and Ram to convince him to join up with the ‘Boys. “He knows how much I want him here, and a lot of the guys in this locker room have reached out on their own in different ways — to make sure he understands this is a team he can help. And we want him to come help,” Prescott said.
The apparent back-and-forth between Beckham and the Cowboys is not the only conversation the three-time Pro Bowler has been having as the 30-year-old is also expected to visit with the Giants after Thursday’s game against Dallas. Despite being out for the season with a torn ACL, New York receiver Sterling Shepard is still trying to help his team by convincing his former teammate of three years to come back to the Big Apple.
“Obviously he knows that we want him here. He would love to be here,” Shepard told The New York Daily News. “But everything has to play out for that to happen. There’s a whole bunch of intangibles that have to play out for him to be here. And I understand that. This is a business, and his business has gotta be right for him to do it.”
Shepard also confirmed what is becoming apparent: Thanksgiving’s game between New York and Dallas is basically the Beckham Bowl. “I don’t think it would hurt,” Shepard said of a win helping the Giants’ chances of inking Beckham to a deal. “To be honest with you, I don’t think it would hurt. We’d be coming off a pretty big win, a big one for us. Definitely wouldn’t hurt. I can say it.”
Getting that win may be easier said than done as the Giants, who have exceeded expectations and already won more games this season than they had in the previous five (3, 5, 4, 6, 4) are 9.5- or 10-point underdogs at most books heading into Thursday’s game.
No matter which team Beckham signs with, his payday from the Giants or Cowboys (or San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs) won’t be as much as what he may earn from his lawsuit against Nike.