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Odell Beckham Jr.'s all-time great catch leaves Giants, Cowboys in awe

Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants

Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants scores a touchdown in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 23, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

Anything that leaves Antrel Rolle at a loss for words must be pretty special.

So when the always-talking safety went over to Odell Beckham Jr. on the sideline during Sunday night's game against the Cowboys and told him he didn't know what to say, that was a sign that what had happened was truly extraordinary.

Not that we needed to see Rolle rendered speechless to confirm what we saw for ourselves. Beckham made the kind of catch, on a prime-time stage, that people will remember forever. And if they don't, the thousands of memes and Instagrams and Vines that poured on to the Internet will help them.

"I've been in the game 10 years. That's the best catch I think I've ever seen in my years of playing," Rolle said when his vocabulary finally caught up to him after the game. "He works on it in warm-ups, so for him it's just another day in the park. For us, it's 'wow!' "

As Eli Manning noted Monday after watching the catch in person and then dissecting it in video study: "I don't know if I have quite seen one like it. To truly catch it one-handed where you don't have to pull it into the body and really just catch it with a couple of fingers. It almost looked like he was ready to catch it like he was ready to throw it. He kind of had the grip on it like he is about to make a throw. Pretty impressive."

The Beckham Catch, a one-handed over-the-head grab while he was leaping backward and nearly parallel to the ground -- all while being fouled egregiously by Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr -- even did something that hardly anything in the known universe can do. Shortly after what he called a devastating loss, it made Tom Coughlin smile.

"He's got a gift, there's no doubt," Coughlin said. "I've seen him make a lot of one-handed catches, to be honest with you. But none falling down like that, going away and being able to snatch the ball like that and then stay in bounds after being fouled. That was quite a thing."

That's what it was, "a thing." A living, breathing thing that took off on a life of its own. Nearly every social media feed, every water cooler, every line at the coffee shop was filled with chatter about the catch. It quickly became the most memorable moment in a forgettable season.

Giants running back Rashad Jennings said it was like watching a human video game. Manning, who also chucked the iconic pass to David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII, joked that his own shortcomings as a quarterback made both plays possible. "I guess you've got to throw it just bad enough where they've got to make a great catch," he said. "It was pretty spectacular to see his adjustment to the ball."

The Cowboys also were impressed.

"The man's a monster!" said Dez Bryant, who caught two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, including the winner with 1:01 remaining. "You have to give it to him. He's one of those guys who loves to play the game. You can tell. He jumps around. He wants to be out there and make a play. That catch? Outstanding! I was like 'Oof! Some of my work!' "

The shameful part was that Beckham could not enjoy the moment fully. Unlike others in the Canon of Remarkable Catches -- Tyree, Dwight Clark, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris -- Beckham had to temper his enthusiasm because his team lost. It was not lip service when he said it "means nothing" because of the result of the game.

"It's hard because at the end of the day, all you want to do is win," Beckham said. "Everyone wants to be Super Bowl champions, go to the playoffs and play as many games as possible. Losing is never fun . . . We're not making the right plays. We're not consistent enough to get victories."

On Sunday night, one of them was. And it became a moment that will live forever.

New York Sports