The Cowboys' passing game that involved CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown stepped up in the win over Cincinnati after underwhelming in the season opener.
What a difference a week makes. Against Tampa Bay to open the season, the Cowboys' receivers looked not at NFL standard. While that is a scathing statement, they left much to be desired. No separation and dropped passes meant Dak Prescott did not get help from his receiving corps.
Fast forward one week. The pressure was on CeeDee Lamb, the team's number one receiver, to show up and show out. He did. Noah Brown is another who stepped up in a big way. The 26-year-old again was a shining light for the Cowboys as he caught his team's opening touchdown.
After a poor outing against Tampa, Lamb came back with a vengeance. He was targeted 11 times, the same as last week, but he caught seven for 75 yards. As for Brown, he again showed his talent and his ability to make tough, contested catches.
Cowboys made "resilience" their theme entering season. They lived up to it during Sunday's win over Bengals. Mike McCarthy went for fourth-and-2 from own 44 on opening drive, showing trust in QB Cooper Rush to make throw. He did, finding WR Noah Brown. Led to TD between them. pic.twitter.com/fDwl9F9yQt
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 19, 2022
What's more, he was the target for Rush on a fourth-down call as he hauled in a 17-yard catch on a fourth-and-two, as the pair's connection was put on show on the national stage.
His touchdown catch was a thing of beauty a few plays later as he made a tough leaping catch and hauled it in for the game's first score. Such was his impact that he was the second highest-graded Cowboys player on offense (79.1), with Terence Steele number one (84.4).
After 55 games, Brown is finally starting to show the world what he can do.
5 highest-graded #Cowboys on offense against CIN:
1. Terence Steele (84.4)
2. Noah Brown (79.1)
3. CeeDee Lamb (78.7)
4. Zack Martin (74.0)
5. Tyler Smith (73.2)
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) September 19, 2022
Tony Pollard was used rather well, catching four of his seven targets for 55 yards, adding to his 43 rush yards.
For Lamb, it was a somewhat redemption game as he was severely criticized throughout the week after his Week 1 effort. He came back with a vengeance and showed what he could do.
The receiving corps as a whole was far better than last week and contributed to even drives in the first half, as there was a good mix of run and pass plays. What made the team continue to roll was crucial catches on important downs.
Cowboys WR update:
CeeDee Lamb 7 catches, 75 yards on 11 targets
Noah Brown 5 catches, 91 yards and a TD on five targets
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) September 19, 2022
Last week, there were drops, which forced a punt. This week, they were drive extenders, and we saw the results in the first half. While it dropped off significantly in the second half, Dallas rallied late in the fourth quarter as Rush went 3/3 for 30 yards (all catches at important moments) as they got into field goal range, where Brett Maher did his thing.
While it is only one game, the questions surrounding the Cowboys' receiving corps have alleviated somewhat, but they need to do this consistently throughout the year if Dallas is to make a playoff push.