The Dallas Cowboys gave CeeDee Lamb No. 88 for a reason.
Much like Dez Bryant and Michael Irvin, Lamb earned the number because Dallas saw him as their receiver of the future. Instead of great power, Lamb had great football skills and an understanding of the responsibility that came along with that.
It’s still early, but Lamb is proving the Dallas Cowboys to be correct in their faith.
CeeDee Lamb dominated at Oklahoma
In addition to breeding Heisman Trophy finalists, Oklahoma has also developed some of the NFL’s top offensive weapons in recent years.
CeeDee Lamb is the latest on a list that also includes Bengals running back Joe Mixon and Ravens receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.
Lamb turned 173 receptions into 3,292 yards and 32 touchdowns in three seasons with the Sooners. Lamb averaged 21.4 yards on his 62 catches last year and caught 14 touchdowns, earning himself consensus All-American honors.
Dallas drafted Lamb with the 17th overall pick in April’s NFL draft.
Lamb is off to an impressive start in Dallas
The bright lights of a primetime debut didn’t defer CeeDee Lamb in Week 1.
Lamb caught five passes for 59 yards and had a 20-yard punt return in the Cowboys’ three-point loss to Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams.
Lamb stepped up in a major way in Week 2, a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons that saw Dallas trail 20-0 after the first quarter. The rookie turned six passes into 106 yards in the thrilling 40-39 comeback victory.
Lamb had a 37-yard gain at one point. His 24-yard catch-and-run in the last minute brought Dallas into field-goal territory after a successful onside kick recovery.
In a postgame media session, Lamb explained what went through on his mind on that final catch.
“Just me being able to kind of protect my body. I’m thinking longevity, not just for myself but for my team. [Just] trying to put my kicker in the best position to get the best opportunity to win the game.”
Lamb also had a 9-yard rush and 3-yard punt return. He played on 83% of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps, a tick above the 82% Lamb participated in during his debut.
Dak Prescott called CeeDee Lamb ‘smart as hell’
It’s already becoming apparent that not only do the Dallas Cowboys trust CeeDee Lamb, but they’re going to make him a focal point of their offense.
Lamb trails only Pro Bowl wideout Amari Cooper in receptions and receiving yards. Cooper has 16 catches and 181 yards to Lamb’s 11 receptions and 165 yards.
For comparison, Dez Bryant caught 10 passes for 108 yards in his first two games as a rookie in 2010. Bryant also had a punt return touchdown, which represented his lone score.
The Cowboys are noticing Lamb’s value. Quarterback Dak Prescott called Lamb “smart as hell” in an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King.
Lamb is coming alive at the right time. Dallas has a pivotal Week 3 matchup against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Seatle.
Dallas then hosts Cleveland, the Giants, and Arizona in three consecutive home games. When Lamb faces former Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray in Week 5, both may be competing to increase their case for Offensive Player of the Year.