Every NFL Draft has that shock moment. In the 2020 NFL Draft, it was the tumble of Oklahoma star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb that made that moment. For reasons still unknown to everyone, Lamb fell, and it worked out brilliantly for the Dallas Cowboys. When Lamb finally got to pick 17, he got to hear his name called, and he received a phone call from Jerry Jones.
Cowboys got a stud!!!! Congratulations Lamb— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) April 24, 2020
Lamb got to Dallas and was soon awarded with the much coveted number 88 jersey, which some anticipated since he was a first-round selection. Lamb was sandwiched between two wide receivers that had individually gone over 1,000 yards the previous season. Naturally that gave talk to the Cowboys offense having the potential to become the first team to have three 1,000-yard receivers on the same team. With Amari Cooper playing as the teams veteran outside receiver, and Michael Gallup playing on the opposite side, Lamb got to play where he performed best, from the slot. He ended his rookie year just shy of the predicted 1,000-yard season, but he did score six total touchdowns, which was second-most on the team that year.
Fast forward to last season and Lamb was taking on the WR1 role in full. Some asked whether he could be a true leading receiver and called him a fringe WR1, but no one thought that at the end of last season. His performance in the Wild Card game where he struggled to find his regular form was the outlier in his season. The rest of the year proved how effective he can be when the team funnels the offense through him. He ended the season breaking Michael Irvin’s franchise single season record for receptions and receiving yards, plus he led the NFL in receptions and came second in receiving yards, only 50 yards shy of Tyreek Hill.
Lamb had a lot of pressure placed on him from the moment he got to Dallas, but he proved his skills were worth the high draft capital. Fans have seen plenty of him using his speed and separation quickness to dominate, this last season more than ever. His route running was something that needed refining coming out of Oklahoma, but having a guy like Amari Cooper in his early years has certainly paid off. With his cleaner routes and elite ball skills and explosiveness, Lamb has shown he’s now one of the top-five receivers in the league. This season he earned a Pro Bowl nod and First-Team All-Pro nomination and he earned a nomination for the Offensive Player of the Year award.
CeeDee Lamb continues to put himself with some of the greatest pic.twitter.com/TOsi77001Q— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 8, 2024
Contact negotiations to keep Lamb in Dallas should be a big priority on this year’s front office to-do list. Losing Lamb would be losing the offense and the very close chemistry that he and Dak have created over the last two seasons. It’s extremely unlikely we see a sudden regression in Lamb based on his skill set and desire to always improve his game. As such, the Cowboys need to reach a contract extension with Lamb to keep him from hitting free agency after the 2024 season.
The finalists for NFL Offensive Player of the Year:— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 25, 2024