The loss of Amari Cooper, although it could have been avoided, made finding a No. 1 wide receiver a priority for the Cowboys. Fortunately for America’s Team, the next man up in this regard was already on the roster.
CeeDee Lamb is entering his third season, and now, he’s the top guy in the Cowboys’ receiver room, meaning his chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott is more paramount than ever. To help with this, Prescott recently had Lamb’s locker moved close to his.
Communication is key between a quarterback and his top receiver. Prescott touched on that after OTA practice on Wednesday and vouched for Lamb’s top-dog status among Cowboys’ receivers.
Many assumed Lamb would take over the No. 1 role once the team traded Cooper to the Browns. Lo and behold, Prescott confirmed as much on Wednesday.
“He’s the guy. Just being young, hopefully he’s my receiver until I’m done playing”, Prescott said. “Just being able to bring him closer, more conversations.”
Lamb spent two seasons as the Cowboys’ No. 2 option at receiver to the aforementioned Cooper. His life will be different as the main guy because he’ll garner attention from the opposing team’s top cornerback as well as additional coverage to slow him down.
The former Oklahoma Sooner isn’t fazed by the new responsibility he’s about to take on, he welcomes it.
“I’ve been ready,” said Lamb. “That’s just me and my competitiveness. That’s in my nature. It’s kind of how we grew up playing football. I’m always ready for my name to be called.
“It’s a dream that I’ve always wanted to live and now that I’m actually living it, I feel like it’s my opportunity to fulfill it. So I’m looking at it as an opportunity.”
Lamb has been productive for the Cowboys since he entered the NFL in 2020. He hauled in 74 receptions for 935 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. 2021 saw an uptick in Lamb’s production with 79 receptions for 1,102 yards and six touchdowns which led to a Pro Bowl nod.
Although the combination of Prescott and Lamb has been effective over the last two seasons, they’ve had several setbacks in their connection. Prescott missed 11 games during Lamb’s rookie campaign due to the compound fracture of his right ankle. Also, Prescott missed a game for the Cowboys last season because of a calf issue, and Lamb missed one because of a concussion.
That makes 13 games that Prescott and Lamb haven’t been able to create with. However, despite the lost time, Prescott is confident that the two can keep building their connection and that Lamb is ready to be the Cowboys’ No. 1 receiver.
“Yeah, there is no doubt he is,” Prescott said in March. “You look at a guy like CeeDee and what he’s done in his first two years and it’s exciting just to know it’s only the beginning and he hasn’t even scratched the surface. For him to be the one, to be the main guy I know he’s going to be ready for it.”
The offense of the Cowboys has taken a slight backseat to their defense as the team’s driving force thanks to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and linebacker Micah Parsons causing havoc. However, the continued progression of Prescott and Lamb as a duo is key for the Cowboys’ offense to remain as one of the NFL’s top units, and they’ll be needed immensely going forward with Cooper no longer on the roster.
Feature image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports