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Odell Beckham Jr. Long-Term Contract with Cowboys? Stephen Jones Speaks Out on 'Compelling Case' for Dallas

Beckham blowback for Cowboys, Luka lethargic for Mavs, arms race for Rangers and Crypto chaos, all in this week's DFW sports notebook.

WHITT'S END 11.11.22:

Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End …

*No-dell Beckham.

I know Jerry Jones’ strategy – Charles Haley and Deion Sanders in the 1990s still resonate – of holding his nose, focusing the spotlight and acquiring a player strongly disliked by the Dallas Cowboys fanbase worked in the past. And I’m fully aware it’s been 26 seasons since his team has sniffed a Super Bowl.

Alas, my very unscientific poll of long-time fans says Cowboys Nation would rather not sign free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as the supposed “missing piece” to this season’s championship puzzle. Why?

Because he’s not ours. Not drafted. Not home-grown. Not an authentic Cowboy, but instead a mercenary seeking me-first fame and fortune more than cherishing the privilege of playing for America’s Team.

Beggars can’t be choosers, but winning with “our guys” is a real thing in pride-poppin’ Texas.

The Dallas Mavericks’ lone championship belongs to Dirk Nowitzki. Imported from Germany, sure, but more importantly drafted and raised in DFW. Same with the Dallas Stars and “hometown” hero Mike Modano. The Cowboys have won five Super Bowls, all won by quarterbacks (Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman) they drafted and who never took a snap with another NFL team.


To some fans – who readily admit they are irrationally loyal – signing Beckham would be akin to trying to buy a title with dirty money. They acknowledge Beckham’s contribution to the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl last season, but also remember his fighting – with opponents and teammates – and his relentless, narcissistic preening and self-aggrandizing. Furthermore, Jones’ risk-reward strategy isn’t flawless: backfiring badly in the 2000s when he counted on Terrell Owens, Pacman Jones and even Bill Parcells.

It’s bad enough to lose. It’s worse to do it with players and coaches you don’t particularly like or share any affiliation.

Nevertheless, Beckham to the ’Boys feels inevitable.

Jones and Mike McCarthy are openly dreaming of Odell. Players such as Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott are practically rolling out the recruiting red carpet for a receiver coming off a torn ACL who hasn’t caught a pass in nine months.

Don’t Mess With Texas! Don’t monkey with the Cowboys?

Without Beckham the last two seasons they are 18-7. All 18 of their touchdowns this season have been scored by “home-grown” players they drafted.

No-dell Beckham.

That's an argument. But here's a wrinkle of reality: We know OBJ wants a "home'' for multiple years - surely meaning "contractually.''

Is that within COO Stephen Jones' mindset? "We'll just roll up our sleeves and see if there is an opportunity for us to put a star on Odell's helmet,'' Stephen said.

Which doesn't count as a "no'' yet.

And when Jones says Dallas will "make a compelling case'' in its pitch to OBJ? "Compelling'' now must include, it seems, a multi-year contract offer.

*Lonely Luka? Mavs’ one-man band Luka Doncic looks worn down, if not out. Moving even slower than usual. Wincing on every fall to the court. Lazily failing to block out his man for rebounds. Leaving shots on the front rim.

He’s tired. Physically, and mentally.

It’s Nov. 11.

“People will say he’s 23,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “But he’s human.”

Considering how unreasonably reliant the Mavs are upon Luka, there are those in the organization seriously concerned he’ll hit a wall much sooner than the playoffs in April. Perhaps by Christmas.

With second ball-handler Jalen Brunson gone, Doncic’s “usage rate” is up from 37.4 percent to a league-high 39.7. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is next at 38.1. No other NBA player is above 36 percent.

Doncic, of course, started the season on an heater of nine consecutive games scoring 30+ points. But this week in consecutive losses to the sub-.500 Magic and Wizards, he missed 14 of 19 3-pointers and nine of 16 free throws.

He looks like a player dragging ass around Easter, not before Thanksgiving.

"I'm not trying to get days off, I can play all day every day," Doncic said after Thursday's loss in Washington. "But (getting me rest) is something we will talk about. With the back-to-back we haven't had time ... but it's something we're going to talk about for sure."

I know the NBA is frowning on lenient and frequent star absences in the name of lightening workload, but if ever there was a time for some "load management" it's Luka and it's now. Already.

Spencer Dinwiddie has shown signs of life with 62 points the last two games, but in Dallas’ most recent win – Monday over the Nets – two of its five starters were held scoreless and three combined for only two points.

Texas is the Lone Star State, but this is a bit much. Not sustainable.

*Clayton Kershaw coming home to finish his career with the Texas Rangers makes sense, just as it seemingly has for the last 10 seasons. The Rangers need pitching. He went to the same Highland Park High School as GM Chris Young. Yadda, yadda and more yadda. If nothing else, however, it is refreshing to hear the Rangers connected to coveted free-agent pitchers Carlos Rodon, Jacob deGrom, etc. A franchise that has never had a Cy Young winner can always use a good arm, or three. Just don't count on Kershaw being one of them.

*Having never worked a single day in the service industry, I have no leverage in this realm. Nevertheless, the practice of tipping is absurd. And in our post-pandemic, progressively-tech world, it’s getting more and more out of hand.

Went to a restaurant this week where you order at the counter, take a number and wait for it to be called to go pick up your food. But as I’m paying at the counter with my credit card, a screen pops up asking me if I want to tip – starting at 20 percent all the way up to “Custom.” 

But wait, who exactly am I tipping? The person at the counter that punches four buttons on the computer? Or the person who yells “Number 13, your order is ready!” into a microphone? 

Problem is, the payment screen is visible to the counter worker. I feel pressure to tip. But … nope. Can’t justify it. I feel like I’m standing on solid ground. Yet also probably standing alone.

*Speaking of next-level checkouts: What’s going on at Whole Foods in Dallas isn’t exactly The Jetsons’ flying cars or moving sidewalks but it’s pretty dang cool. Paying with your … palm.

*Regardless of your politics, it’s a better America where in the mid-term elections there isn’t a “red wave” or “blue tsunami.” The surprising results revealed that we’re not as irrevocably polarized as feared. Some red states turned blue and others vice-versa, based on regional and local issues. Life isn’t black and white, and our voting shouldn’t be based on blind tribal affiliation.

*That said, hard to believe almost two million Georgians voted forthis guy.

*Deja boo. Celebrate TCU’s No. 4 ranking in the College Football Playoff at your own peril. Remember, it was eight years ago that the committee ranked the Horned Frogs No. 4 around this point in the season. TCU then won its final three games by a combined score of 137-43 and … somehow fell to No. 6 and out of the playoff. 

The respect shown the undefeated Frogs in the rankings doesn’t transfer to the odds, where they are a touchdown underdog to three-loss Texas Saturday night in Austin.

*Jimmy Johnson says Parsons might be the greatest football player ever. But I’m not sure he’s even the best defensive player in the NFL this season.



*I know the Cowboys are 2-9 all-time at fabled Lambeau. But Sunday the tundra won’t be frozen. Vince Lombardi won’t be on the other sideline. And Aaron Rodgers is only a shadow of his MVP self. 

The 3-6 Packers are averaging 17 points per game, their fewest since 1992. If the Cowboys are who we think they are, they hold Green Bay to 17 points and win by a touchdown.

*Went to my 40-year high-school reunion recently and bumped into an old friend. “Arab!” I exclaimed as we hugged it out.

“Man,” he said. “Nobody can get away with calling me that except you guys.” He was born in Saudi Arabia and lived there the first six years of his life. He wasn’t “Wesley” to us, but “Arab.” Always will be.

*At 22 and in his third season, it’s time for the Mavs’ Josh Green to contribute on a winning team. He’s ready – 10 of 17 on 3-pointers to lead the NBA at 59 percent. He’s not ready – 11 of 18 on free throws.

*Why oh why does my computer wait to begin installing “important updates” the second I wake it up in the morning? If so vital, could we not do it overnight so they’re installed when I’m ready to use them? My computer’s sense of timing is exactly like all of my ex-wives, who when told we’re leaving the house at 6:30 proceeded to jump in the shower to begin the “getting ready” process and precisely 6:29.

*Having lost a manager, GM and 94 games, the Rangers don’t have a lot to be proud of in 2022. But they did have the best-hitting first baseman in the American League, so fire up the band?

*Said it before and I’ll remind you again: Don’t engage the angry or aggressive driver next to you on DFW’s freeways. Lest you get shot and killed in a fit of road rage … in the middle of the highway … in the middle of the day.

*Two most delicious things to come out of this football season: the demises of Texas A&M and Baker Mayfield. 

Nobody’s missing Mayfield’s annoying TV ads for Progressive Insurance where he pretended the Browns’ stadium was his “house.” And if you wanna see the saddest (re: funniest) show on TV? ESPN thought the Aggies were destined for a special season, so they made their program the star of its college football equivalent of Hard Knocks. But with A&M dragging a five-game losing streak, The Pulse is just a collection of hapless “We’re gonna keep fighting!” speeches from Jimbo Fisher. 

A&M started the season ranked No. 6 and with such high hopes that ESPN analyst Desmond Howard actually predicted it would win the national championship

Only person who’s having a worse season than Jimbo is Howard, whose CFP final four was A&M, Baylor, Pitt and Michigan. The Wolverines are in the thick of it, but the other three teams have combined for a whopping 13 losses.

*Can’t decide which is more mind-boggling: 1. There are 2.5 million ants for every human on this planet. 2. If you’re over 45, Earth’s population has doubled in your lifetime. Going with 1. Because there are eight billion people, which according to my math means there are … a lot of ants.

*The outpouring of support from Mavs fans and by owner Mark Cuban apparently didn’t take, as former player Delonte West keeps falling down and then falling down some more.

*Coming to Grand Prairie in Summer 2023: Major League Cricket. Mildly interested.

*Indianapolis Colts fired their head coach and replaced him with Jeff Saturday, a former player with a TV gig and strong ties to the franchise, but zero coaching experience. 

If Jones did the equivalent, he’d be introducing us to new Cowboys head coach, Michael Irvin.

*Put yourself in situations where you are enthusiastically appreciated, not merely tolerated.

*Houston Astros are 28-10 against the Rangers the last two seasons and are getting mighty comfortable with the Silver Boot. Take heart, Rangers fans, the 2022 World Series was the second-lowest rated all-time. Only the pandemic-plagued 2020 series was watched by fewer people than the Astros’ win over the Phillies.

*Remember those sarcastic “Crypto is dead!” TV ads promoting Cryptocurrency and mocking those who doubted its relevance and staying power? You’re not seeing them anymore. Because, though not dead, crypto is in chaos. 

Just ask Sam Bankman-Fried, a Crypto billionaire who this week lost 94 percent of his wealth in a single day. SBF’s FTX exchange platform is close to bankruptcy, which will send reverberations throughout the sports world. 

The Miami Heat play in FTX Arena (where the Mavs won their title in 2011). 

And, of course, Jones and the Cowboys earlier this year became the first NFL team to strike a partnership with an “official Crypto” – Blockchain.

*I haven’t even put away my Halloween costume, but …

*“Happy Veterans Day.” I think? Unlike Memorial Day – which is for remembering those who died fighting for America’s freedom – Nov. 11 is for recognizing all Americans who served in a war. Hug a vet. Or at least shake hands. But is it “Happy” Veterans Day? I mean, war is ugly and deadly, albeit sometimes necessary. I guess us civilians are the ones “happy” that we have veterans, is that how it works? Should be called “Veterans Appreciation Day.”

*This Weekend? Friday let’s maybe go to Sharks-Stars. Saturday let’s maybe go to TCU-Texas. Sunday let’s maybe – no, definitely – watch Cowboys-Packers. As always, don’t be a stranger.

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