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CeeDee Lamb evolving into a true WR1 for the Dallas Cowboys

WR CeeDee Lamb has finally found his footing as an elite wide receiver in the NFL, following in the footsteps of the 88’s before him.

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Ed Note: Greetings BTB. We have added a free agent mid-season to put us over the top as we hit the playoff stretch. Please welcome a new writer to the front page, Chris Halling! He starts his BTB career off with a story on CeeDee Lamb. — Thanks, Dave Halprin

It’s 1st and 10, with 4:40 remaining in the first half against the New York Giants. It’s Week 3, and the 1-1 Dallas Cowboys are facing off against the 2-0 New York Giants in an important division game. Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush drops back and throws a deep ball over the middle of the field to a wide open CeeDee Lamb... who drops it.

Lamb drops a wide open touchdown that should have put the Cowboys up two possessions heading into the locker room at halftime. Fans across the league took to Twitter and other social media to criticize Lamb for his costly drop. Some of Cowboys faithful even began questioning if he had what it took to become the WR1 that the Cowboys front office hoped he would become when selecting him with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Fast forward to Week 12 of the regular season, and the Cowboys are sitting pretty with an 8-3 record. Quarterback Dak Prescott is back healthy, running back Tony pollard is electrifying every time he touches the football, and Dan Quinn’s defense is as stifling as ever. What appears to be lost in all the excitement surrounding the team is the elite production that Lamb has brought at the wide receiver position ever since Prescott’s return to the field.

Since Prescott’s return, Lamb has 31 catches, 448 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. On top of the stable production, Lamb has become Prescott’s go-to big play target. Lamb has produced 24 first downs and has had 11 catches of at least 20 receiving yards in the five games Prescott has played in since returning from injury.

Lamb, once ridiculed by rival NFC East fans, currently has more receiving yards (857) than Washington’s Terry Mclaurin (840) and Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown (831). Not only is he atop the NFC East, Lamb is very quietly second in the entire NFC conference in receiving yards, trailing Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson (1,232).

Many fans across the league have the misconception that Lamb has a “dropped passes” problem. However, Lamb has been targeted 94 times in 2022, and has only four recorded drops. Not only has he had consistent hands, he continues to make miraculous catches, like this one-handed snag over Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes on Thanksgiving.

He also just missed on an even more miraculous one-handed catch, which occurred later in the same game.

Since Prescott’s return to the field, the Dallas Cowboys offense has been incredible. In that five-week span, they are leading the league in points per game (33.8), third-down efficiency (57.1%), and their 416.2 yards per game is the second highest in the league. CeeDee Lamb has not just been a positive impact in this production for the offense, he has been an integral part of it. He deserves his recognition for stepping up to the plate as a number one target, in his first season without former Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper.

While people were questioning the validity of CeeDee Lamb living up to his potential in Week 3 of the season, he has done exactly that since. Since the first meeting against the Giants, Lamb is the second highest-graded wide receiver in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Lamb has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor’s who donned the number 88 in Dallas, and for the first time in his young career, is fully living up to that standard.

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