Drew Pearson. Michael Irvin. Dez Bryant. They are three of the greatest Dallas Cowboys receivers in the club’s storied history. Coincidentally, all of them wore No. 88. The new No. 88, CeeDee Lamb, makes his NFL debut this weekend, and by many accounts, his addition to an already talented group of wide receivers could take the Cowboys to heights never before seen in Dallas and rarely seen in the NFL.
Best Dallas Cowboys receivers in the past
In any given season, the Dallas Cowboys have always had a single quality receiver. But if you go back and look through the team’s history, there have been just a few occasions when the team has had two top-notch receivers on the roster simultaneously. Not coincidentally, during those seasons, the Cowboys were one of the best teams in the NFL.
Going back to the late 1960s, the Cowboys had a pair of quality receivers with future Hall of Famer Bob Hayes and Lance Rentzel. Both came within five yards of topping the 1,000-yard mark in 1967.
Fast forward almost 10 years, and Drew Pearson and Tony Hill were the marquis receivers in Big D. In 1979, both Pearson and Hill surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. Cowboys fans had to wait until the 1990s for another dynamic duo and that came in the form of Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper.
Irvin did the lion’s share of the work passing the 1,000-yard plateau seven of the pair’s ten years together. The closest Harper ever came to topping 1,000 yards was in the 1994 when he finished with 821 and caught eight touchdowns. Irvin finished with 1,241 yards and six scores that season.
Cowboys top-level receiving corps in 2019
Last season the Dallas Cowboys receivers were one of the best groups in the NFL. Amari Cooper led the way with 79 receptions for 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns. Michael Gallup hauled in 66 catches for 1,107 yards and added six touchdowns of his own.
The third in last season’s trio, Randall Cobb, caught 55 passes for 828 yards and three touchdowns as the slot receiver. He departed Dallas for Houston in the offseason.
In the 2020 NFL draft, the Cowboys selected CeeDee Lamb with the No. 17 overall pick out of the University of Oklahoma. In Lamb’s three years with the Sooners, he topped the 1,000-yard plateau in his final two seasons. Last season, he caught 62 passes for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Dallas Cowboys receivers looking to make history in 2020
Coming into training camp with the rookie Lamb, coupled with last season’s success, veteran Amari Cooper said he thought 2020 was the year the team could have three 1,000-yard receivers.
“I think with me and Michael Gallup going for 1,000 yards last season, I think the expectation is to have three, 1,000-yard receivers this year,” Cooper told reporters.
Owner Jerry Jones said in an interview on 105.3 The Fan last week that this group of Dallas Cowboys receivers is far and away the best he’s seen in his more than 30 years as owner.
“I would say as far as for the time we’re playing for right now, we’re in more of a passing game. I would say that this group of receivers gives us the best offense under the rules that I’ve been associated with relative to what you ask our of receivers.”
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Dallas Cowboys receivers this season. If the group lives up to those expectations and each receiver tops the 1,000-yard mark, it would be the first time that’s happened in 12 years and only the sixth time in NFL history. A historic year on offense can only mean good things
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.