The Dallas Cowboys signed a wide receiver on Tuesday. However, it wasn't the 30-year-old, three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. Instead, the team brought in Antonio Callaway, a fourth round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, as an addition to their practice squad, The 25-year-old has 53 catches for 695 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in his career. Callaway played for the Browns, like Beckham Jr. has, and had 43 receptions for 586 yards and five touchdowns across 11 starts in 16 games played as a rookie.
Cleveland cut Callaway in 2019 due to off-field issues -- the same kind of troubles that caused him to fall in the 2018 Draft, where the Florida Gator was taken in the fourth round. Callaway has 4.41 40-yard dash speed, but hasn't played in a couple years. He last played with the Miami Dolphins in 2020, totaling two catches for 20 yards in five games.
Beckham still in mind for Jerry Jones
Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb is coming off the best game of his professional career, recording a career-high 11 receptions and a career-high150 receiving yards while tying his career-high in receiving touchdowns (two) last week in the 31-28 overtime loss at the Green Bay Packers.
"CeeDee Lamb had the best game that I've ever seen him play for the Cowboys," Jerry Jones said on 105.3FM the Fan on Tuesday, via the team website. "Man, is that encouraging to see him playing at that particular level. Except for the connection on those two interceptions, CeeDee played the best I've ever seen him play. I don't know if anybody could play better."
However, Jones is still set on adding the best pass-catching weapon on the market to diversify the Cowboys' passing game. Through Dallas' first nine games, Lamb's 88 targets represent 32.1% of the entire team's targets. That makes Lamb the MOST relied upon receiver in the entire NFL, narrowly ahead of the Raiders' Davante Adams (31.8% team target percentage), the NFL's highest-paid wide receivers in terms of total contract value, the Rams' Cooper Kupp (30.9% team target percentage), the reigning Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP who recently went on injured reserve, and the Dolphins' Tyreek Hill (30.9% team target percentage), the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL on an annual basis.
"A talent like Beckham is additive," Jones said. "It stacks on top of -- we think a lot of what CeeDee is capable of being for this team. Beckham is really [about] can he get us substantively above where we are. The answer is: we'll see how that is."
Despite the veteran wideout coming off a second ACL tear, Jones maintains the glass-half-full perspective that Beckham can recreate his 2021 magic when he grabbed seven receiving touchdowns after joining the Los Angeles Rams midseason. From Week 10 through the Rams' Super Bowl win, Beckham was tied for the fifth most in the NFL through the conclusion of the playoffs in that span.
"In this particular case, start by asking why is it you're able to sign him?" Jones said. "Ask that question: 'Why?' Well, it's because he's not on a team, and at this time of year? A player of that caliber? That's rare. It is because we're dealing with a situation where he's free but potentially very capable of helping a team right now - win and play at a high level."