Remember way back when the Dallas Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb? That was only back in the 2020 draft, but what we mostly remember is 16 other teams passing on Lamb and the Cowboys, and their fans, elated that he somehow dropped to America’s Team. It was highway robbery.
What some may also remember is that Lamb originally wanted to wear #10, but was quickly persuaded that #88 was the number he should take, given it’s status in Cowboys history. Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin, Dez Bryant, and now Cee Dee Lamb. Here is how Lamb said it happened.
“I had the option of picking 10 or 88, and I picked 10,” he said, via 105.3FM the Fan. “Then, kind of going more in-depth with the situation, understanding the tradition and how much that number means to this organization and how much of a foundation that number holds — the great legends before me and what they’ve done with that number. It was kind of like, why not keep the tradition going? Obviously, they didn’t retire that number for a reason, so just trying to keep the legacy of 88 going in Dallas.”
So how’s he doing? Everybody knows the answer to that. But comparing different eras of passing stats in the NFL without some kind of normalization just doesn’t work well. Things were very different in the Drew Pearson era, and even the Michael Irvin era is significantly different.
But Todd Archer took the time to look at how Lamb is doing in the 16 games he’s played with Dak Prescott, compared to other Cowboys receivers like Terrell Owens, Dez Bryant and Amari Cooper, and their first 16 games with their quarterback, either Tony Romo or Prescott. Obviously Lamb has played more than 16 games, but since Prescott was hurt for much of 2020, he just now played his 16th game with Prescott as the quarterback.
Here’s how it looks:
Lamb isn’t quite the touchdown machine that Cooper and Owens were when they first arrived, but he is definitely racking up the yards. We also have to remember that Owens and Cooper were already veterans when their Cowboys numbers started, Lamb was just a rookie.
Lamb is the Cowboys leading receiver this year with 64 catches for 890 yards and six touchdowns. Cooper, who missed some time this year, has 51 catches for 675 yards and six touchdowns. The two have a running battle for who is the #1 receiver on the Cowboys given how close their stats are if you average it out per game.
Given that Lamb and Prescott didn’t get to train together much in the 2020 offseason, and that they’ve only had 16 games together so far in their careers, we’re probably not even seeing the best of this duo yet. Imagine a few years down the road when they have so much time together that everything is second nature to them.
Prescott knows what he has in Lamb.
“He’s a playmaker, and when you’re very skillful and you have great awareness it’s easy to get on the same page,” Prescott said of Lamb. “That’s credit to him of just being a young player and communicating through everything, us talking, whether it’s option routes or whether it’s whatever it is.”
The current 88 is well on his way to upholding the legacy of 88 in Dallas.