Ever since Tuesday, when Jerry Jones commented on how “good” Odell Beckham Jr. would look with a star on his helmet, rumors have been swirling about how close the Dallas Cowboys might be to inking a deal with the coveted free agent. Amidst those rumors were conversations about how such a move might affect the team, especially the wide receiver room. CeeDee Lamb, despite being the youngest in the room, is currently regarded as WR1 and leader of the wide receiver group, a position many believe would be challenged by the presence of an established star like OBJ.
After several days of hearing past and present Cowboys stars express their enthusiasm over the idea of the Cowboys signing Odell Beckham Jr., the question of how CeeDee Lamb might feel or respond to such a move or even the rumors of it led to a highly anticipated locker room interview for the Lamb on Thursday. Anyone familiar with the controversy-averse receiver, however, predicted that there would be no way to glean any drama or dissension from whatever Lamb might have to say on the topic.
Should be today, but if you expect to hear anything besides, "I'm happy as long as we're winning," you're gonna be disappointed.
What he did say was, in fact, quite the opposite of dissension. “My reaction?” Lamb responded with a smile, “Oh, that's my boy! I'm a fan of Odell, for sure. I feel like, here, why wouldn't you wanna add more firepower to this offense?”
To some, the reason why one wouldn't want to add OBJ to the Cowboys offense is obvious – it would mean a diminished role for CeeDee Lamb, would it not? The assumption is that Beckham would come in as a star No.1 receiver and threaten or even nullify CeeDee's position on the team. To this idea, Lamb replied, “[Michael Gallup] is a No.1 receiver, also, and I feel like we had three No.1 receivers my rookie year, so why not get back to that?”
Lamb was referencing the trio of receivers that included himself, Michael Gallup, and Amari Cooper. Together, they played an impactful role in making the Cowboys offense statistically one of the best in the NFL last season.
CeeDee Lamb is one more Cowboys star added to the list of those who support the idea of bringing OBJ onto the team. That list also includes Micah Parsons, Ezekiel Elliott, and most recently Dak Prescott who stated, “Anytime you have a chance to add a talent like that and knowing Odell and knowing his resume, it's exciting.” Always the cautious diplomat, Prescott was sure to add, “But I also understand it’s a business, and I’m sure there’s 31 other teams that would like to add him as well.”
As of the writing of this article, there is still no indication of how close any particular team is to closing a deal with OBJ. Also to be considered is the fact that Beckham has yet to be medically cleared to play. Initially, it was estimated that he would be cleared by mid-December, but recently that estimation accelerated the timeline to the possibility of him being cleared this week. All of the discussions and speculation have definitely increased the anticipation among fans, but it seems that there are quite a few details that need to be ironed out and factors to be considered before any agreement can be reached.
What CeeDee Lamb Stands to Gain
While there's been a lot of discussion of the possibility of competition between CeeDee Lamb and Odell Beckham, Jr. should the Cowboys land the free agent receiver, it seems the potential benefits have been over-looked.
In many ways, Odell Beckham, Jr. became what a lot people would like to see CeeDee Lamb become. This is both in terms of on-field impact and off-the-field star power. The two receivers have several parallels between their careers. Both were born and raised in Louisiana, went on to become All-Americans in college, and eventually were first round draft picks in the NFL. Additionally, both have shown a genuine interest in the fashion industry, and both have been included in ranked lists of the NFL's best looking athletes.
On the field, adding a weapon like OBJ to the Cowboys offense could actually open up even more opportunities for Lamb to make plays. As we saw last season, when there are more threats at the receiver position, it is far less likely that Lamb will have to deal with multiple defenders. Even in the Cowboys' most recent game against the Bears, it seemed that once Gallup was established as a legitimate threat, it became much easier to get Lamb involved.
Some analysts have also raised questions about what could happen if Lamb were to become injured or if Gallup were to get hurt again. Having an additional No.1-type receiver could ensure that the offense remains productive should such a situation occur.
Off the field, even though their reputations have developed in very different ways, Lamb could still learn a few lessons from OBJ. OBJ's early career was marked with controversies of various types including a high-profile conflict with the coaching staff of the New York Giants that ultimately led to him being traded to the Browns. He was also known for being boastful and flashy, but that demeanor has been tempered with a bit of life experience over the past few years. Beckham has developed a type of maturity that allows him to retain his star power while still setting certain boundaries with the media and not being vainglorious to the point of attracting disdain and conflict.
“Whether it’s Buffalo, Green Bay calling, the Cowboys, reunion with the Giants…”
Odell Beckham Jr. tells us what he’s looking for in a new home & the playoff teams calling. pic.twitter.com/w1QBjPZnrW
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) November 6, 2022
CeeDee is on the other end of the spectrum. He practically repels controversy, and some say he does not brag enough or make nearly enough content for social media. Essentially, Lamb could benefit from learning the same lessons OBJ has learned but from a different direction, if you will. The ability to observe daily a person like Beckham who makes the most of his star power although he has given up the rock star lifestyle and adopted a much more graceful demeanor could actually be very good for a young star like Lamb. OBJ has had a long enough career to learn and teach many valuable lessons but is still young enough to be relatable. Anyone who truly wants the best for Lamb should see the potential for a very synergistic relationship between him and Odell Beckham Jr.