Odell Beckham Jr. showed once again Sunday night just how valuable he is, hauling in a 61-yard touchdown to lead the New York Giants to a 10-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas (11-2) entered the night having won 11 straight games since its season-opening loss to New York, but the Giants got the better of the Cowboys once again.
As for Beckham being a distraction, well, on Sunday, he wasn’t.
“I don’t know where this theory came from,” former Giant and current NFL analyst Howard Cross said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “When did it become a problem for guys not to have fun, not to be excited to play, not to have that passion? If Tom Brady is screaming and yelling on the sidelines and getting into someone’s face, he’s a passionate guy. But because Odell’s a receiver, you’re not supposed to have fun. (People say), ‘Just run your routes, catch the ball, be quiet and sit down.’”
That, however, isn’t Beckham. It never was, and it probably never will be.
“The guy’s got bright yellow hair,” Cross said. “He dresses cool, he’s a happy guy, he’s dancing before the game – he should have fun. It’s a game. I know there’s a lot riding on it, but it’s still a game, and I like to see him have fun.”
Beckham finished with four catches for 94 yards, as the Giants improved to 9-4. Eli Manning struggled throughout the night, going 17-of-28 for 193 yards, one touchdown, one interception and two fumbles, but he made just enough plays to get the win.
“He’s trying his best to kind of hang in there and get the ball out,” Cross said. “It’s no secret that the offensive line has had ups and downs as they go. But (he’s clutch when it matters most). That’s the guy (who says), ‘I know I got to get this done, I’m going to get hit,’ and he kind of keeps playing through the bumps, the hits, the knocks. When he gets into that pressure (situation) – let-me-get-this-thing-done mode – he is so much more effective.”
Defensively, New York held Dallas scoreless in the final three quarters and kept Ezekiel Elliott out of the end zone. The Giants have now held three of their last four opponents to 16 points or fewer.
“The way they were able to really kind of contain Ezekiel Elliott (was key),” Cross said. “ I think that when you’re thinking about the Cowboys, their O-Line is so big and so strong, that Zeke seems to be to the second level, third level, before people get their hands on him, and they kept him behind the line of scrimmage a lot. They kind of kept (Dak Prescott) contained, and everybody stayed in their lanes. Those two things – the way they handled the O-Line and held those guys down – that was impressive.”
New York hosts Detroit (9-4) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.