Dak Prescott is entering his seventh season in the NFL and he’ll do so without wide receiver Amari Cooper who was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick and a better sixth-round selection.
This made retaining Michael Gallup even more essential, and the Cowboys did so with a five-year extension for $62.5 million. However, the keys to wide receiver room now belong to 2020 first-round pick CeeDee Lamb who is entering his third season in the NFL in 2022, and Prescott feels he’s ready to take that next step.
“Yeah, there is no doubt he is,” Prescott said. “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.”
Lamb has shown progression in each of his first two seasons. His rookie campaign was cut short in terms of building chemistry with Prescott after the Cowboys’ top signal-caller suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. Despite this, Lamb was still able to amass 935 on 74 receptions with five touchdowns.
There’s no telling how good Lamb’s numbers could have been with Prescott for his entire rookie season. In the four full games he played with Prescott, Lamb registered 309 yards and two touchdowns while catching 72.4% of his targets (21 out of 29) from Prescott.
With Prescott back for a full season in 2021, it would allow for himself and Lamb to improve on their connection. Lamb would log 79 receptions for 1,102 yards and six touchdowns. He played 15 games with Prescott (both missed a game due to injury) and caught 65.1% of his targets from him.
The Cowboys added wide receiver James Washington last week who spent his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This gives the Cowboys a decent three-headed attack at wide receiver. If Gallup and Washington can play well it will force more attention to them and give Lamb ore one-on-one opportunities much as he and Gallup did for the aforementioned Cooper.
Although Washington was a solid addition the Cowboys will certainly look to add another piece at wide receiver in the NFL draft next month to free up Lamb. Treylon Burks out of Arkansas and Skyy Moore out of Western Michigan have been linked to the Cowboys recently. Names like George Pickens (Georgia), Jalen Tolbert (South Alabama), and Wan’Dale Robinson (Kentucky) should also be kept in mind.
It’s Lamb’s time to shine now as the Cowboys’ top option in the passing game. With the connection he already has with Dak Prescott, this combination is headed for big things in 2022.
Feature image via Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports