As the Dallas Cowboys continue to hang on while their reinforcements return, the team can rest a little easier having taken a game from a division opponent on the road. In a game they needed to keep pace in the NFC East, the Cowboys took a late lead over the Giants and didn’t look back.
While the Cowboys defense pressured Giants QB Daniel Jones more than 20 times, there is another story of this game, and that is centered on CeeDee Lamb and the toughness he displayed. After dropping an absolute dime from quarterback Cooper Rush in the first half, Lamb’s late-game heroics propelled the Cowboys to a 23-16 win over the New York Giants.
In recent weeks, the third-year receiver has been catching criticism for simply not catching the football. The concerns surrounding Lamb’s drops have been warranted. Last season while playing at MetLife Stadium, Lamb dropped a few passes that would further hinder a struggling Cowboys offense at the time. Naturally when Lamb dropped a perfect pass from Cooper Rush that might have been a touchdown, the collective grumble from Cowboys Nation was justified.
a very very bad ceedee lamb drop. good lord. pic.twitter.com/UnnCjKUhM2— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) September 27, 2022
One could easily interpret the body language of Lamb after that drop to mean that it was no big deal to him. For all intents and purposes, it wasn’t. Lamb didn’t go into a shell after his mistake, he took ownership of it and proceeded to regain the trust of his quarterback and offensive play-caller.
With the Cowboys now trailing 13-6 after a Saquon Barkley touchdown and the Giants having taken the momentum, Rush would look to lean on Lamb. On the first play of the drive, Rush dropped back with pressure in his face and heaved a throw to the left sideline that Lamb grabbed in between two Giants defenders for a gain of 17 yards.
Four plays later, Lamb would be the decoy that cleared out the Giants defense for 29-yard gain for Peyton Hendershot to set the Cowboys up in the red zone. The Cowboys offense would cap off the drive with a Zeke Elliott touchdown to tie the game at 13 apiece.
When you look around the NFL and define what a true number one receiver is, there are few common characteristics. Some of those are strong hands, toughness, and the inexplicable ability to make ridiculous catches. CeeDee Lamb exhibited all three on the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter.
Facing a 4th and 4 at the Giants 41-yard line, the Cowboys decided to stay aggressive. Lamb ran a short curl right at the line to gain and was drilled by Giants safety Dane Belton just as the ball arrived. If Lamb so much as bobbled the pass while being knocked backwards, the Cowboys turn the ball over on down and give the Giants great field position.
CeeDee Lamb with the one-handed TD grab— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) September 27, 2022
Then just outside the red zone, Rush connected with Lamb down the sideline and Lamb fought for every inch, lowering his shoulder into the defense, and reaching only a yard shy of the end zone. Finally, the icing on the cake was his unreal touchdown grab on the next play. As former Cowboy Dez Bryant looked on, that catch, in that particular end zone by another number 88, was reminiscent of what a #1 Dallas Cowboys receiver looks like.