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NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Add Dynamic WR in Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb

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.

David Helman on Twitter

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.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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  1. I give this pick an A+, CeeDee Lamb can play slot, outside and be used as a Punt returner. We improved the WR core easily and special teams if we use him for special teams.

  2. WR was a need by the way, behind Gallup and Cooper theirs no competition @ the position. I wouldn’t even be surprised if we got another WR this draft and a TE this draft. The other WR I like to land on our roster is Isaiah Coulter from Rhode Island and maybe his cousin Aaron Parker will go undrafted and we jump on that. That would get rid of more WR’S on or roster for better depth.

  3. We should also get Isaiah Coulter from Rhode Island and hopefully get his cousin Aaron parker if he goes undrafted, that will remove more WR’S off this roster in my opinion. Depth is very important if someone goes down.

  4. I’m excited that we got CD but my only concern is that we didn’t have a terrible time scoring the last few years ! The way I see it is if our defense stops people we win more games!! There again the coaches making these decisions are the experts ….. I guess that is why they are where they are and we are where we are!!!

  5. The move was a BOSS move. You make everybody think you going defense , all the other organizations start drafting the potential targets that they think the BOYS are going to take. Then they gifted the boys their let cat that happens to be one of the best in the draft. GONE Mr.JERRY with your bad self. We are going to get everything we need in this draft. Trust me on that.

    • Chiasson and McKinney were still on the board when Lamb fell to Boys. They were two main targets for Cowboys for some time. Lamb falling to us had nothing to do with some kind of strategy by Jones.

  6. We DO NOT need to draft another WR, we have enough. We have 3 TEs, enough. We need DEFENSIVE help!!!

    Getting Lamb was a nice surprise, and it was somewhat of a need, as we did need a slot receiver. Lamb plays in and out. But this puts a lot more pressure to find the right players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, for our Defensive holes. “Right players” are players that come in and contribute. We can’t swing and miss on players like Trysten Hill in the second rd last year As everyone knows, we lost CB Byron Jones. Big loss! We lost DE Robert Quinn. Big loss! Clinton-Dix may be a one year rental, so Safety may also a priority. Right now, we have 6 more picks. IMHO, 5 should be defensive. Center may also be a need.

    CB: Diggs, Fulton, J Johnson
    Safety: Delpit, Chinn, Winfield
    DE: Gross-Matos, Epenesa, Baun LB/DE
    Center: Biadasz

  7. Yes you had a “need at WR-3” with the best available player….BEST AVAILABLE PLAYER OF A NEED (BAPON) RANK HIGHEST ON THE DRAFT BOARD. Behold the Lamb of Jones…CeeDee Lamb 6-1-198, 4.50 40yd time, 341/2 inch vertical jump, freshman starter and Frosh All American, and ended his sooner than later with 62 receptions for 1,327 yards (21.4 per, tops in the FBS among those with 40+ receptions) and 14 touchdowns in 13 starts.

    Lamb was higher ranked by every draft expert over Chaisson (1 year wonder) and McKinney (never take an good safety in the 1st only super great ones). He fills a big need as the Cowboys are in shoot gun a lot with 3 WRs. They also have insurance with Cooper’s injuries. Lamb has that gliding explosiveness that is hard to cover, and did have a Punt return for a TD call back by penalty. So, there may be more to meet the eye to not Passover Lamb.

    But watch it! You have used 2 1st round picks at WR in back to back years and the Cowboys lost critical games because they let the Rams run over them for +250 yards in a playoff game, the Bears and Bills QBs run up and down the field, and could not stop an Eagles offense with a bunch of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th string practice squad players on offense. Don’t want to be like the Detroit Lions of 2003-2007 with 4 1st round picks at WR and nothing else.

    Now lets look at the roster reality. Based on BAPON you know there is a lot of big depth at WR in this draft. So what should have happened; a trade down for a no.1 pick next year, a 2nd and 4th/5th rounder this year. In the draft today at WR is Mims, Higgins, Pittman, Claypool, Sheanult, and Hamler (who actually is a slot WR/KR). I am pretty sure one or 2 WRs fall to the 3rd or 4th round. WR-Duvernay, Edwards, Bowden, Johnson, Hill, and Peoples-Jones may be there in rounds 4-6.

    There is still a lot left on the draft board but not a lot of picks to draft to continue with BAPON and let the value on defense fall to your rankings with S-Delpit, McKinney, C/G-Cushenberry, DE-Matos, Empenza, Lewis, DT-Baylock, Davidson, Gallimore, Madubuike, LB-Queen, Baun, Chinn, Harrison, Okwara, CB-Fulton, Diggs, Johnson, OT/OG-Cleveland, Wanogho, and Peart.

    So CeeDee Lamb better be as good as Irvin, Cooper, Bryant out of college to the Pros. He has some Odell Beckham like qualities with body control, not with speed, has quickness, and athleticism. I can not find a true wrong as he was by a long shot the BAPON at pick 17.

    However, too much WR depth in this draft to pick a WR pick in the 1st round and glaring needs on defense to not trade down are my only faults with Lamb as BAPON pick. Yes Jerry had a Cee Dee Lamb, a Cee Dee Lamb, a Cee Dee Lamb. Jerry had a Cee Dee Lamb who was to good to Passover.

  8. I couldn’t believe it when CeeDee Lambwas sitting there at 17. I agreed with the cowboys that you have to go with best player available it’s when you stretch for need is when you get in trouble. the cowboys had someone covered themselves in free agency so they could select the best player available. This offense is going to put nightmares into other teams defenses. Chaisson would have been a good pick. I wasn’t all that impressed with McKinney so was glad they didn’t go off need there. Liked the rest of their draft and was real impressed with their free agent signings after the draft. Especially the wide receiver from Rhode island.

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