In 2019, the Dallas Cowboys had one of the best offenses in the NFL. Though their record wasn’t indicative of how good they were on that side of the football, they made huge strides in their first year under Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore. All offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have doubled-down their investments to sustain the excellence the offense saw last season by hiring Head Coach Mike McCarthy and retaining Moore and Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.
On day one of the draft, the Dallas Cowboys continued to invest in their potent offense by selecting Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma with the 17th overall pick.
It was a shocking series of events that led to Lamb’s descent to the Cowboys in the middle of the first round. Even Cowboys’ decision-makers were surprised by his availability when they came on the clock with their first pick of the draft.
Stephen Jones: “We went through a lot of mock drafts, and I can tell ya, he [CeeDee Lamb] wasn’t a part of any of them. We felt he was a top 10 player in this draft and we felt we’d never see him.
Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Mike McCarthy all admitted their disbelief that the Oklahoma standout was available. In every mock-draft scenario, they ran in preparation for the draft, not once did Lamb fall to them at pick number 17. When it came their time to pick, there seemed to be little hesitation about adding another dynamic weapon to their already potent offense.
With the addition of CeeDee Lamb, the Dallas Cowboys boast a trio of wide receivers that would rival any in the NFL with Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. Lamb joins an offense that has arguably the best running back in football, a great offensive line, and Quarterback Dak Prescott, who proved in 2019 that he’s every bit the passer as some of the best in the sport.
Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup each averaged more than 15 yards per reception in 2019. CeeDee Lamb, with Jalen Hurts throwing to him last season at Oklahoma, averaged 21 yards per reception. Throughout his three-year career for the Sooners, he averaged more than 17 yards per reception.
He was incredible despite seeing fewer targets than some of the top receivers in college football. But that’s because Lincoln Riley’s offense was a running offense with Hurts under center. They could throw the ball, but they didn’t throw it as much as they had in previous seasons with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray at quarterback.
CeeDee Lamb is the total package at wide receiver and was the best in this draft class. Even if he was the third wide receiver off the board, that shouldn’t diminish who he is as a player. The biggest reason he was able to slide all the way to the Cowboys at 17 is the immense depth of the 2020 wide receiver class. NFL teams felt they could get a wide receiver in the second round or late in the first for teams with multiple picks. That depth absolutely gifted the Dallas Cowboys a top 5-10 player in this draft class.
He’s an outstanding route runner, excellent at winning contested catches and often does his best work with the ball in his hands. For a receiver his size, he’s incredibly elusive and plays with a physicality that is difficult for cornerbacks to match. Perhaps one of the best attributes of his game is that he brings an edge to the field. CeeDee Lamb will give the same effort in the run game as he does when asked to run a route.
Lamb was effective on the outside and in the slot for Oklahoma and will be tasked with providing that same versatility for the Dallas Cowboys. Both he and Amari Cooper are effective playing both in the slot and on the outside. Lamb resembles more of the Michael Thomas type of slot wide receiver. A big, physical player who wins with his route running and size in the middle of the field.
Kellen Moore’s vertical based offense is going to love CeeDee Lamb. Mike McCarthy’s West Coast principals are going to love CeeDee Lamb.
The Dallas Cowboys offense was already going to be one of the best in the NFL in 2020. Health to Amari Cooper, another year of development of Michael Gallup, and a more dynamic tight end presence had the offense trending up even if they did lose Travis Frederick (retirement) and Randall Cobb (free agency).
Even hours later, it’s hard to believe that CeeDee Lamb made it to the Dallas Cowboys pick at 17th overall. It’s even harder still to imagine that the Dallas Cowboys selected him given their needs on the defensive side of the football.
This selection not only provides a boost to the Dallas Cowboys offense but potentially provides a glimpse into a new era of drafting for the Dallas Cowboys that looks to best player available regardless of the perceived need. The Cowboys front office admitted that Lamb was the sixth-best player on their draft board and were surprised, like the rest of us, that he made it to them.
Choosing Lamb over LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson marks a shift from the previous regime that might have taken Chaisson regardless of where the players ranked on their draft board.
On a more personal note, I’m ecstatic about CeeDee Lamb lacing them up for the Dallas Cowboys. For years, I’ve argued for the Dallas Cowboys to draft an Oklahoma pass catcher. I’ve argued for Sterling Shepard, Dede Westbrook, Marquise Brown, or Mark Andrews, but they passed on each of those standout receivers. Not only did they finally draft an OU wide receiver, but they also went and selected the best of the bunch and the best of the 2020 wide receiver class.
Even as a sophomore, when you watched CeeDee Lamb, you knew he was going to be a first-round pick in the NFL and was going to be a special player. While I argued for the Dallas Cowboys to draft him if he were available, and also argued that they wouldn’t because of need, I’m pleasantly surprised to see them take the best player available in Lamb.
He’s a quarterback friendly wide receiver who will raise the game of everyone on the offense. Like Dez Bryant and Michael Irvin before him, Lamb plays with the edge and the attitude that can give the offense a boost in the same way a punishing Ezekiel Elliott run can. His physicality can help set the tone in the same way Elliott does when he bowls over a safety in the middle of the field.
CeeDee Lamb is such an excellent pick for the Dallas Cowboys. He’ll immediately help their offense at every level of the field. He’ll help Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup not have to face as much double coverage. Lamb, Gallup, and Cooper will help take the pressure off the run game. Lamb’s excellent hands will help Dak Prescott thrive.
Mike McCarthy, Kellen Moore, and Dak Prescott are going to have a lot of fun, unleashing their newest wide receiver addition. The Dallas Cowboys were going to be a good offense. The addition of Lamb to the mix allows them to be a great offense.
The Dallas Cowboys are off to a great start in the 2020 NFL Draft with their first-round selection of CeeDee Lamb.