Dallas Cowboys not worried by Odell Beckham plane incident, plan to meet soon

Tyler Kaufman/AP

Sunday’s incident at Miami International Airport has no bearing on the Dallas Cowboys’ continued pursuit of free agent receiver Odell Beckham, coach Mike McCarthy said.

“We’re full steam ahead,” McCarthy said Monday when asked about Beckham being escorted off a American Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles on Sunday morning.

Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler, has not played in the NFL since Super Bowl 56 last February when he suffered a torn ACL while playing for the champion Los Angeles Rams.

He is now healthy and gearing up to play in 2022 with the Cowboys among three teams vying for his services. He will start a free agent tour this week with a visit with the New York Giants on Thursday and Friday. He then is expected to visit the Buffalo Bills before concluding with a visit with the Cowboys on Sunday.

Owner Jerry Jones talked to Beckham over the phone last Thursday before the 28-20 Thanksgiving Day victory against the Giants and is planning to make a big sales pitch during Beckham’s visit.

Per a source, Beckham is expected to a make a decision soon after his visit with the Cowboys.

While the Cowboys are looking for clarity on Beckham’s health and injury rehab, there are no concerns about the airplane incident.

According to authorities, Miami-Dade police officers were dispatched to a medical emergency aboard the plane.

The flight crew told officers they were concerned for Beckham’s safety after they attempted to wake him in order for him to fasten his seat belt, police said.

Flight crew members asked Beckham several times to leave the plane, police said, but he refused and as a result, the aircraft was deplaned.

Beckham exited the plane without incident.

He was then escorted by officers to a non-secure area of the terminal, where Beckham made other travel arrangements, police said.

American Airlines released the following statement:

“American Airlines flight 1228, with service from Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX), returned to the gate before takeoff due to a customer failing to follow crew member instructions and refusing to fasten their seatbelt. The customer was removed and the flight re-departed at 10:54 a.m. local time.”

Daniel Davillier, an attorney for Beckham, said in a statement that the incident was overblown. He blamed it on what he termed an overzealous flight attendant.

“Earlier today, Odell Beckham Jr boarded a morning flight in Miami without any problems,” according to Davillier’s statement. “The flight was delayed after boarding and prior to take off Mr. Beckham fell asleep with his blanket over his head, which is his normal practice for long flights. He was awakened and told that the plane was back at the gate and that he needed to get off the plane because he did not put his seat belt on when asked. He responded that he was asleep, and that he would put his seat belt on at that time. He was informed that it was too late, and that either he would have to get off the plane or everyone would have to deplane.

“The overzealous flight attendant refused to simply allow Mr. Beckham to fasten his seatbelt and proceed with the flight and instead immediately removed everyone from the plane. At no time was Mr Beckham disruptive or combative. He was willing to comply with the seatbelt requirement, but the flight attendant wanted to prove that he had the authority to have Mr. Beckham removed from the flight. The airline proceeded to send Mr. Beckham’s luggage to Los Angeles without him.

“This incident was completely unnecessary. Sleeping on a plane should not be a cause for removal from a flight. If they could wake him up when the flight returned to the gate, then they could have done the same thing and woken him up to ask him to put on his seatbelt.”

Beckham was not detained or charged by police.