It was not too long ago that we were debating who the Cowboys should draft. Pass rusher and secondary were two of the more glaring needs on the roster when considering the losses of Byron Jones and Robert Quinn in free agency, and the uneasiness that the safety position has provided Cowboys fans for years, if not decades.
Many assumed one of those two positions would be the route that the Cowboys would take in the first round of this year’s draft. Prospects such as LSU EDGE K’Lavon Chassion and Alabama safety Xavier McKinney were two of the more popular picks in many mock drafts leading up to the big event. Chaisson is a high-upside pass rusher that showed up in big games during LSU’s title run, while McKinney is a versatile defensive back that was an important player in Nick Saban’s secondary.
All of that went out the window when CeeDee Lamb fell to the Cowboys’ first-round selection. The team was praised for going the Best Player Available route over immediate need, as passing on a talent such as Lamb would have been ludicrous. The Oklahoma Sooners product has the ability to make an impact in year one and step right into the WR3 role that was vacated when Randall Cobb left in free agency.
The move to draft Lamb goes along the lines of “strengthening a strength” theory that many teams try to accomplish through the draft and in free agency. Our own O.C.C laid this out perfectly in early April of this year.
Doubling up or adding a special talent to a unit that is already is a strength of the team — such as adding Lamb to Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, Washington pairing Chase Young to the rest of their scary front seven, or San Francisco drafting yet another defensive lineman in round one — is a smart philosophy that can not only save a team if an injury occurs, but make the team even better as a whole.
The Cowboys are stacking talent at the wide receiver position.
NFL and Dallas Cowboys writer Bucky Brooks wrote a column that described the different philosophies and lessons that he leaned during the 2020 NFL Draft. Among them was the strengthening a strength method. Brooks cited Ron Wolf as where he initially learned the benefit of stacking talent at one position.
As a young player with the Green Bay Packers, I remember Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf telling me how he believed surplus at a position, particularly a position that’s essential to the team’s style of play, was critical to future success. He said stacking “strength on strength “ allows a team to absorb a significant injury to a key player, and also provides the general manager with some potential trade chips if they need to them down the line.
From a game-planning standpoint, the addition of a blue-chip player at a position of depth enables the offensive or defensive coordinator to implement a rotation that eventually wears opponents out. Last year, we watched the San Francisco 49ers add Nick Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick to a defensive line that already featured four former first-rounders. The 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year enhanced the unit with his savage pass rush skills and fanatical effort on the way to helping the 49ers field the NFL’s second-ranked defense.
Lamb certainly qualifies as a blue-chip prospect, as he was a consensus top-10 player in the draft. Many ranked Lamb as the best at the position and believe that he legitimate WR1 potential and ability.
As a result of adding CeeDee Lamb to the fold, the Cowboys have one of the more dangerous passing attacks in all of football. Dak Prescott was less than one-hundred yards away from breaking 5K through the air, while Cooper and Gallup both finished inside the top-20 in receiving yards a season ago.
There aren’t many — if any — wide receiver trios that are better than Cooper-Gallup-Lamb. Two 1,000-yard receivers and a blue-chip prospect that dominated at an elite program are hard to top. Assuming that Dak Prescott’s extension gets completed, defenses will have their hands full during Mike McCarthy’s first season on the job. That is not even mentioning what Ezekiel Elliott brings to the table.
Dallas Cowboys: WR CeeDee Lamb. When the Cowboys re-signed Amari Cooper to a lucrative extension, the team’s work at wide receiver appeared to be done. However, Lamb’s surprising draft-day slide put the Oklahoma star squarely in the team’s crosshairs, and Jerry Jones bypassed more pressing needs to add another point scorer to the lineup. Lamb is a natural WR1 with extraordinary ball skills, hand-eye coordination and running ability. He is a rare playmaker capable of snagging 50-50 balls along the boundary or taking a bubble screen the distance. With Ezekiel Elliott commanding attention as the Cowboys’ primary offensive weapon, Lamb could join Cooper and Michael Gallup in the 1,000-yard club, with defenses forced to pick their poison when determining whether to stop the run or pass.
Having the strongest strengths >>> having a well-balanced roster https://t.co/HjlS6vMlbX— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) May 7, 2020
Dallas has the potential to “be so fun to watch” thanks, in large part, to the addition of Lamb.
It’s a passing league in the NFL nowadays, so it only makes sense to strengthen that part of your roster. Gone are the days of teams — other than the Titans — relying on their running back to grind out wins week after week. In are teams evolving passing attacks, getting creative in play-calling and scheme, and relying on their quarterback’s arm and the offensive weapons around them to get the job done.
Dallas did sign Ezekiel Elliott to a hefty extension one year ago, but the Cowboys have done a great job of adding assets to its passing attack. Mike McCarthy has been behind some strong passing attacks, while Kellen Moore has shown to be a creative offensive mind.
Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports handed out grades to offenses around the league. The Cowboys were one of just six teams to earn at least an A-. Dallas trailed only the A+ grade that was given to the Chiefs and held the same grade, A, as the Ravens.
As long as Dak Prescott is in the fold, this is clearly one of the best offenses in the NFL. Adding CeeDee Lamb at the 17th overall selection in April was an outright coup. He’ll join a unit that already featured a pair of receivers who both cleared 1,100 yards last year in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Ezekiel Elliott is still one of the better backs in the league and now has an explosive change-of-pace mate with Tony Pollard on the roster. Mike McCarthy claims to have learned many lessons in his year away from football after he let the Packers offense go stale. If that’s true, this team will be so fun to watch.
Getting a deal done with Dak Prescott is key, but the Cowboys have done a tremendous job of accumulating talent on the offensive side of the football — specifically at the wide receiver spot. Prescott finished second in the league in passing yards in addition to tossing 30 touchdowns through the air in 2019.
Adding Mike McCarthy and CeeDee Lamb to the fold has the potential to lead to big and exciting things for the Dallas Cowboys on offense during the upcoming season.