The Dallas Cowboys are currently on a pretty good run. They are 8-3 and recently their offense has really started to kick into gear. Dak Prescott has returned, the running game is living the dream of a two-headed monster, and the Cowboys tight ends are a surprise unit in 2022. But one player has taken some criticism this year, early on for a couple of drops, then most recently for some questionable pass patterns.
That player is Cowboys WR1 CeeDee Lamb. In Thursday’s Thanksgiving game, Lamb caught six balls for 106 yards and made a few circus catches, and one circus non-catch that was just over the back line of the endzone.
That Thanksgiving game qualified as one of Lamb’s better games thus far, but looking at the numbers shows that despite some of the criticism, Lamb has been putting together a solid year that is trending up. In fact, he might be in the middle of his breakout as a pass receiver.
Lamb is only 23 years old and is fulfilling the promise that caused the Cowboys to spend their first-round pick on him a few years back. The numbers don’t lie to support this claim, either.
Lamb has had two 100-yard receiving games in the last three games. He’s only done that one other time in his career, which was during week six and seven of last season. In conjunction with that, he was targeted 11 times last game, a number he has reached six times this season. Throughout both of his first two seasons, he combined for six double-digit target games. Obviously, part of that has to do with the departure of Amari Cooper. but that exact departure was done in large part with Lamb’s increase in volume in mind. The best part is, he is delivering.
Lamb has caught three touchdowns in the last four games, which he has also only done one previous time in his career. In his last seven games of last season, he was shutout of the endzone, so it is good to see his touchdown numbers increasing. The Cowboys have 15 receiving touchdowns this year, and Lamb has five of those, tops for the team. Ezekiel Elliott (7) and Tony Pollard (6) lead the team in touchdowns.
Lamb’s work, especially since a shaky start to the season, is getting noticed.
Highest-graded WRs by @PFF since Week 3:— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) November 25, 2022
1. Tyreek Hill
2. CeeDee Lamb
3. Amon-Ra St. Brown
4. Chris Olave
5. Justin Jefferson
One big improvement that is starting to show up is his consistency from game to game. Last week’s game against the Vikings is a good example of that. He caught five balls for 45 yards which isn’t anything to write home about, but his catch rate was 100%. He was also the leading wide receiver or tight end in that game by catches and yards in a game that was dominated statistically by Tony Pollard.
Having Dak Prescott back has also helped to show the kind of receiver that Lamb has become. That Minnesota game is the low statistical point for Lamb since Prescott’s return. Lamb is averaging just under 90 yards per game, and a very healthy 14.5 yards per catch since Prescott’s return. Overall, Lamb is currently 10th in the league in catches, sixth in yards, 14th in touchdowns, and fifth in receiving first downs
So, is CeeDee Lamb in the midst of a career breakout? It sure looks like it. We may have a definitive answer in the coming weeks if his stats continue to flood the box scores. It is safe to say the faith this organization had in him when trading Amari Cooper for a bag of chips is officially warranted and justified.