CeeDee Lamb’s comments show why Cowboys were right to play starters
By Jerry Trotta
Last week’s loss at home to the Cardinals represented everything the Dallas Cowboys don’t want to be: a team that shoots itself in the foot.
Dak Prescott had a number of wonky throws and committed a costly fumble The running game, which averaged 2.6 yards per carry, was non-existent. The pass-rush was shockingly discombobulated and the secondary had zero answers for Kyler Murray, who was without all-word receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
As a team, they committed 10 penalties for 88 yards.
Despite that, fans were split in terms of whether the Cowboys should rest their starters in Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Eagles.
It’s funny how things have a way of working out, because when the dust settled from Philadelphia, Dallas had routed their rivals 51-26.
For any fans still second-guessing the decision to not tank the game, CeeDee Lamb’s postgame comments will (hopefully) change your outlook.
The Cowboys were right to play their starters against the Eagles.
That, right there, is all the proof you need.
Mike McCarthy and Co. clearly understood the risk of playing Prescott, Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence and others. If one of them suffered an injury that knocked them out of the playoffs, the coaching staff and front office never would’ve heard the end of it, and rightly so.
But that didn’t happen, so we don’t want to hear it.
Coaching scared rarely gets rewarded and the Cowboys’ coaching staff reaped the benefits by deeming this a game of significance.
Listen to Amari Cooper, too, who all but echoed Lamb’s sentiments. These guys wanted to compete, which set the tone.
Let’s look at this from both sides of the coin. If Dallas rested their starters, those players’ lasting memory going into the playoffs would’ve been a mistake-littered home loss in a contest widely regarded as a measuring stick game.
Because McCarthy rolled the dice, the team is full of confidence. Putting up 50 points on the road in a rivalry game is one thing, but Prescott set a new franchise record for passing touchdowns in a single season.
Speaking of records . . .
As a team, the Cowboys set both an NFL and a franchise record for most players to score a touchdown in a single season with 22. Elliott compiled more rushing yards (87) than his previous two games combined and posted his best yards per carry since way back in Week 9.
Because Dak got the start, the team isn’t questioning whether Cedrick Wilson, the team’s leading receiver on the night, can fill Michael Gallup’s shoes.
We could continue, but you get the point. Like Lamb’s comments suggest, the Cowboys got their swagger back on Saturday night. Facing a win-or-go-home scenario from here on out, this was clearly the right call.
Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking otherwise.