Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thanks the Browns for trading for former Giants receiver Odell Beckham
Beckham caught 35 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns in seven games against the Cowboys
The Browns emerged as that sent the star receiver to Cleveland in exchange for . But they weren't the only beneficiaries of the deal. The entire NFC -- and more specifically, the rest of the NFC East -- benefited from a trade that saw arguably the league's best receiver switch conferences and divisions.
Just ask Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
On Saturday night, Jones was asked to give his reaction to the Browns' trade. He answered with six words: "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Skip to the 2:45 mark below to watch Jones respond to the trade:
In seven games against the Cowboys, Beckham caught 35 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 68.1 yards per game. The Cowboys actually managed to defend Beckham better than most teams. In Beckham's career, he's averaging 92.8 yards per game.
That being said, it was against the Cowboys that Beckham came down with one of the most iconic catches in NFL history. Way back during Beckham's rookie season in 2014, before he'd established himself as one of the league's best receivers, he made this one-handed grab that turned him into a household NFL name.
You probably remember it:
Without Beckham, the Giants aren't expected to be anything more than contenders for the top pick in next year's draft, which means the Cowboys should be able to secure two wins against the Giants during the coming season.
Unlike the Giants, who have adopted the bold strategy of parting ways with their best players ( ), the Cowboys have taken the opposite route by trading for Amari Cooper in the middle of last season, which led to them making a playoff push in the second half of the season. While the Cowboys haven't been active in free agency, they're in the process of trying to keep their young nucleus together. Cooper is in the final year of his contract. So is quarterback Dak Prescott. Assuming the Cowboys pick up his fifth-year option, running back Ezekiel Elliott is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2020 season. Even more pressing is pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence's situation after .
During the interview above, Jones talked about the importance of keeping those players in Dallas. It'll be easier said than done, but if the Cowboys do manage to retain their best players, they should remain in the mix for division championships in the years to come. The Redskins -- due in large part to the Alex Smith injury situation -- don't appear to be on the cusp of challenging for the NFC East crown. The Giants are a disaster, even if . As of right now, the Eagles and Cowboys are the only NFC East teams that appear to be ready to field playoff-caliber teams in 2019.
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