Why has Cowboys' tone on Odell Beckham Jr. changed? Mike McCarthy has a theory

By , Audacy

For weeks, the Cowboys were effusive in their praise for Odell Beckham Jr.

Now that he’s finally met with them, they sound ready to move past talking about him. Mike McCarthy has a theory on that.

Members of the Cowboys organization, from players up to Jerry Jones, have spent the autumn trying to lure the wideout to Dallas. Beckham remains a free agent as he rehabs from the torn ACL he sustained in the Super Bowl, and has taken visits with the Cowboys, Giants and Bills. He reportedly left his visit with Dallas without a contract offer.

Beckham hasn’t worked out for teams, and now it sounds like he might not even be ready until the postseason. Because the Cowboys have placed so much emphasis on winning this season, that has led to speculation that it could torpedo their interest in Beckham.

It raised antennas then when a Yahoo report published Wednesday indicated a changing “tenor” around the locker room.

“The tenor of the locker room, as well, began to shift Wednesday in the aftermath of Beckham’s visit. Multiple players indicated in conversations with Yahoo Sports that they wanted to focus on the team’s upcoming games and present situation rather than speculate about a player who is not yet healthy enough to play. Veteran defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence declined even to confirm it was “fair” to see he wanted Beckham in house.

“‘It’s fair to say I’m trying to reach a Super Bowl,’ Lawrence quipped. ‘So if he can come and help us with that, then yes, I’ll accept him. But if we’re just gonna do the circus, no I don’t.

‘I’m focused on this year, this team, what we have in this locker room and the journey we’re on.’”

That is a decidedly different tone than the one the Cowboys previously have struck when discussing Beckham. Asked about it in his weekly appearance on “Shan and RJ,” the Cowboys head coach had a theory.

“My opinion on what’s going on in the locker room, I think it’s just the reality of a work week,” McCarthy said. “They understand what Monday and Tuesday look like, and those types of conversations are part of earlier in the week, but once Wednesday hits we’re locked into the opponent.

“This is nothing negative towards Odell or the situation, I think it’s just the reality of what you need to do, is focus on your opponent. That’s where I see the locker room, and that’s really how we operate here. … I think you’re just really seeing the pace of the week, the focal points of the week shifting from what we were talking about in the beginning of the week with Odell.”

One has to think a Beckham decision is coming relatively soon, at which point the "circus" should finally end.

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