More

    WR CeeDee Lamb’s 2nd Season Should be Easier Than Previous #88s

    Ask Cowboys fans what they're most looking forward to in 2021 and a good number will say watching CeeDee Lamb's progress in his second season. But while the young WR is facing heavy expectations, he's still enjoying the luxury of being just one piece in a loaded Dallas . This upcoming year should be an easier road for Lamb than some of the previous wearers of that #88 jersey.

    Being a 1st-Round pick sets the bar high for every player entering the NFL and CeeDee was no exception. It's especially intensified when everyone calls you a “steal” and compares you to some of the greatest WR prospects to come out of college in recent .

    Unlike most who carry that burden, though, Lamb was able to join a that already had and coming off 1,000-yard seasons in 2019. Though CeeDee did get plenty of balls thrown his way as a rookie, finishing second on the team in targets, he didn't face the responsibility of being the number-one receiver or being relied on to make the offense function.

    Lamb was a luxury in 2020 and remains that this year. Dallas could still have a potent offense with a like in 2019 or perhaps even Cedrick Wilson handling WR3 duties. But CeeDee's presence is one reason that the Cowboys were on a record-setting pace for total offense in 2020 before Dak Prescott's and hopefully will resume that course now.

    Indeed, Lamb has a golden opportunity in his second season; a chance to produce in a potent offense with continuity at and in the staff. It's a far better one than the previous members of the #88 Club have enjoyed.

    2011 – Dez Bryant

    's rookie season in 2010 was similar to CeeDee's. He came in with and Jason Witten still performing at their peaks and as a veteran, albeit inconsistent, as part of the WR group. He got plenty of opportunities in that offense but wasn't leaned on as heavily as many 1st-round receivers would've been.

    Bryant's second year was 's first as Cowboys full-time . The former had taken over midway through 2010 when was fired, but 2011 was his first in the big chair. It was also 's return from a major injury in 2010 that had cost him 10 games.

    With Miles Austin missing six games and parts of others that year, Dez had to step into the lead role among the wide receivers. Witten was still the top target on offense but Bryant was the WR that had to keep defenses honest.

    It was a year of transition for Dallas, moving fully into the Jason Garrett Era for the first full season. And for Dez Bryant, it was first year having to do the heavy-lifting as the team's number-one wide receiver.

    2003 – Antonio Bryant

    We don't often mention the other Bryant when we talk about the #88 legacy, but he was given that number in 2002 for the same reasons that Dez and CeeDee got it when they joined the Cowboys. And for at least his first year, A.B. looked like he just might deliver on that expectation.

    After a strong rookie season despite the Cowboys' poor 5-11 finish, Antonio went from being a starter to the third receiver after new head coach traded for . This would also be 's first year as offensive coordinator in the major changes that Parcells brought to Dallas.

    2003 was actually a great year for the Cowboys overall; a return to the and the first positive season the team had had since the decay of the 90s dynasty. But Antonio Bryant didn't get to grow along with the team, taking a backwards step in his career development.

    - Advertisement -

    Frustration over that reduced role, and personality clashes with Parcells, eventually led to Bryant being traded midway through the 2004 season. But the road to that unfortunate end started in 2003 as the promising rookie became a lesser part of offense.

    1989 – Michael Irvin

    Irvin joined Dallas for 's final season as head coach in 1988. With the organization in freefall, Michael was one of many young players who likely welcomed the arrival of and his college coach in arguably the most important offseason in team history.

    Along with the new owner and coach in 1989 came a new quarterback, 1st-overall pick . And as most Cowboys fans know very well, Troy's first season was a rough one even by typical rookie QB standards.

    It wasn't a kind year for The Playmaker either. Fully-established now as the team's top wideout, Irvin missed 10 games due to injury and that absence contributed to Aikman's woes. But the Cowboys still needed a lot of work to be a competitive team, going just 1-15 in one of their worst years of all time.

    Thankfully, we know how things went from there. But it took a while for to become the perennial Pro Bowler and legendary Cowboy that we all consider him to be today.

    ~ ~ ~

    Clearly, CeeDee Lamb has it easier in his second season than these guys did. He isn't facing the same level of responsibility as Dez Bryant or Michael Irvin or the massive transitions that Antonio Bryant went through. He gets the same coach and coordinator in 2021, plus a quarterback who far exceeds what a rookie Troy Aikman or any version of Quincy Carter had to offer.

    While being in such a loaded offense could limit Lamb's personal production, it also could be an an environment which allows multiple stars to shine. If Dak Prescott can get back to that torrid 6,000-yard pace from 2020 then there will be more than enough stats to go around for most of his receiving targets.

    Yes, the got a gift when CeeDee Lamb fell to them in the 2020 . But clearly, Lamb is also a beneficiary of where he landed. Circumstances are set up nicely for him, and better than the last several #88s, to continue blossoming in his second year.

    spot_imgspot_imgspot_img
    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!

    Latest

    Cowboys WR Noah Brown Is Solidifying His Value

    With back-to-back clutch performances against the Cincinnati Bengals and...

    How Kellen Moore Has Redeemed Himself

    During week one, the Dallas Cowboys faced off against...

    Is Rush Hour Almost Over? Jerry Jones Suggests It Might Be

    Earlier in the week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated...

    In Rush We Trust? QB2 Keeping Cowboys Afloat Beautifully

    When a starting quarterback goes down with an injury,...

    Newsletter

    Daily Cowboys News in Your Inbox
    Name:*
    Your email address:*
    Please enter all required fields Click to hide
    Correct invalid entries Click to hide

    Don't miss

    Cowboys WR Noah Brown Is Solidifying His Value

    With back-to-back clutch performances against the Cincinnati Bengals and...

    How Kellen Moore Has Redeemed Himself

    During week one, the Dallas Cowboys faced off against...

    Is Rush Hour Almost Over? Jerry Jones Suggests It Might Be

    Earlier in the week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated...

    In Rush We Trust? QB2 Keeping Cowboys Afloat Beautifully

    When a starting quarterback goes down with an injury,...

    Mike McCarthy Was Right: This Team Is Resilient

    Over two weeks ago, Cowboys fans sat in horror...

    Cowboys WR Noah Brown Is Solidifying His Value

    With back-to-back clutch performances against the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants, Noah Brown is playing well while he has the chance. Brown’s play...

    Michael Gallup Practices in Full Wednesday, Hopes to Return Sunday

    All reports pointed to Michael Gallup returning on Monday night; many thought he would, barring any setback. Gallup said Wednesday he felt physically well enough...

    CeeDee Lamb Now Living Up To The WR1 and #88 Status

    There have been many question marks surrounding the Cowboys' choice to thrust CeeDee Lamb into the number one receiver spot, but the 23-year-old has...
    Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    0 Comments
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments