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    Has the #88 Gone From Blessing to Curse for CeeDee Lamb?

    CeeDee Lamb is finally where we've always expected him to be, the primary receiver for the . Anointed as the team's future when he was drafted, especially once given the renowned #88 jersey, Lamb is now up against those lofty expectations and carrying a much different burden in his third season.

    After over 2,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first two seasons, it would be unfair to say that Lamb hasn't lived up to being the 17th pick in the . CeeDee hit the ground running and was productive as a rookie despite the tumultuous issues on that year; missed 11 games and the offense was generally in tatters.

    But when the Jones family pushed for Lamb to join , , and in the lineage of great Cowboys receivers to wear the #88, they raised the bar awfully high. CeeDee can't just be good now. Greatness is now the floor.

    When Dallas gave away last March and re-signed with a known knee issue, Lamb's assumed ascension as an elite receiver was part of the deal. The Jones make interesting choices sometimes but they're not insane. Their entire approach to the WR position was clearly predicated on the belief that CeeDee would emerge as a dominant force in his third season.

    Last Sunday's opener was a horrific start to this pivotal point in Lamb's career. With just two catches for 29 yards despite 11 targets, including a crucial drop on 3rd down, CeeDee didn't look at all like a guy who could help his or offense be better. Instead of assuaging the concerns about Cooper's departure, Lamb left us wondering if Dallas even has a true number-one receiver right now.

    Again, none of this is fair to the kid. Instead of being free to become the player that talent and circumstances would allow, CeeDee was thrust into being the heir apparent before he even stepped onto an NFL practice field. Controversy about his future started immediately after the draft with his initial choice of wearing #10 in Dallas, which was eventually changed at the behest of ownership.

    Sure, Dez Bryant had bad games in his life. Even Irvin and Pearson dropped a critical pass at some point. Nobody is saying Lamb has to be perfect.

    But after two years of watching CeeDee benefit from the presence of others, now he's expected to be the benefactor. Whether he's ready or not, the Cowboys' handling of the WR position has forced him into the long-expected role.

    Unfortunately, Lamb's quest for redemption from will be severely hindered by the absence of Dak Prescott and the likely continued issues the next few weeks. But even if the offense struggles overall, CeeDee could still do things to make 's job easier. He can still prove that he's a catalyst, not an effect, for Dallas' offensive prowess going forward.

    It may take the returns of Michael, Gallup, , and of course Dak Prescott for this to find its groove again. We certainly don't expect Lamb to put up numbers under the current circumstances.

    There's a major difference between big stats and having a positive impact. CeeDee Lamb doesn't need a gaudy box score, but just to take advantage of the opportunities he's given and show that he can create a few with his own talent. That would be a dramatic improvement from Sunday night, and a vital one for Lamb's perceived value going forward.

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    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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    Cowboy Fan Ed

    I’m starting to wonder if CD has the physical strength that it takes to fight DB’s when starting on his routes ? He is a good receiver now but not a great receiver in my opinion at this point in his young career! He drops to many balls that hits his hands and is bad to run his route short when we need a crucial first down! I hate to be negative but that’s just the the way I see it!! If I’m wrong somebody straighten me out!

    Fletcher C. Brown Jr

    The Cowboys as a team are unprepared every week. The coaching staffs are horrible at all levels, and the front office will not make changes, not at this point in the season. Tampa Bay has offensive line issues, and no defensive lineman gets a sack. Parsons get (2). Lionbacker.
    It is not the receivers are not good, they run long routes that take time to develop. Short passes, quick slants, out routes, draws, screens, take your time, do not worry about stats, keep the ball moving. Take the short route down the field, taking time off the clock for both teams. Take time off the clock will keep a bad team in the game. Take 7-8 minutes off the clock, half of the quarter is gone. An ugly win is better than a tough loss. Hopefully you don’t miss a short field goal.

    lonewolfz28

    What’s sad is he didn’t have a problem with drops in college. And that was with catching passes from a different QB every year. QB’s like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts. Not exactly the most accurate passers around. He may actually do better catching passes from Cooper Rush. He went 6 of 8 for 112 yards against the Vikes last season with Rush at QB.

    Cwbysfansinz67

    Sorely disappointed by the “as usual” bad news (injuries, performance, general player BS) affecting the team but not surprised. Dallas has a huge curse like the Cubs and Red Sox. Year after year, the team gets ripped to shreds, so it seems obvious. Maybe it is time to bring in a shaman. On another note, Jerry gets what he has set in motion. He ruined it with Johnson. You would have thought he got the impact but didn’t. Sometimes it takes stepping back to get ahead. As a lifelong Cowboys fan (1967) seeing disappointment decade after decade, Jones reaps what he deserves, still doing it all to push its stock. Just remember, big contracts and big hype “always has resulted in gigantic failures in Dallas. ##I sure miss Tom Landry!

    Mario Martinez

    Much respect for You Sir Cowboys fan since 1967, I’m not as seasoned as You are, but have been a Die Hard Fan for the majority of My life (since the 90’s to be exact) but I will share My thoughts with You and everyone reading this.

    Frustration has kicked in for Me for the lack of True Management from this organization (Jones Family) to Me it seems like ticket sales, merchandise products, MONEY, etc, is what’s important to Them. The Last time a Great decision was made was the hiring of (The Tuna) Coach Bill Parcells, His Word and Leadership were Great for this organization, He said He said He’d Coach The Team for 4 years and He did not just do that He laid a foundation after aswell, that 2007 Team was a product of Coach Parcells That Wade Phillips inherited.

    Jerry Jones has made poor decisions before that and since then, ofcourse Us COWBOYS FANS have been robbed hence (2014) “the no catch call” not His fault. but (2016) DEFINITELY was, He’s deserved all this because of terrible decisions, aswell as what You mentioned about Coach Jimmy Johnson, [especially for not Honoring Him in THE RING OF HONOR, and mishandling of The Great Tom Landry.

    This is My opinion and point,

    this is gonna sound delusional, insane, unrealistic, ….

    THEE ONLY way that (the Jones Family) could EVER make this up to Me is to bring back Tony Romo, (yeah I know that’s Ludicrous) being 42 now, but I still believe He’s capable, I don’t have to explain how He won for Us when it seemed impossible.

    not only would it drive Jerry Jones ticket sales, merchandise,and MONEY which He cares about more!
    it would save the season.

    but that’s not gonna happen.
    I don’t think Tony Romo would be willing to come back.

    But that’s the only way He would ever make it up for all the bad decisions through out the years.