After the Dallas Cowboys decided to trade Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for chump change, all pressure was on 23-year-old CeeDee Lamb to be the next WR1. Because of Cooper’s absence and Michael Gallup being out with injury, some analysts even predicted that Lamb could be a dark horse to lead the league in receiving yards.
However, through three games the third-year receiver is currently tied for 27th in the league in terms of receiving yards — not exactly the big production people expected from a WR1.
Whether it’s the pressure or just who he is as a receiver, the drops that plagued Lamb last season have continued in 2022. In Monday night’s contest, the Oklahoma product had two drops in the first half, including one that would have been at best a touchdown and at worst a 40-yard gain.
The ball was in Lamb’s uncovered hands and he straight-up dropped it which caused Twitter and Cowboys Nation to erupt in rage.
However, it’s what Lamb did after that drop that had his teammates and fellow No. 88’s praising him after the game.
Current and former Cowboys compliment CeeDee Lamb for his ability to bounce back after bad drop
According to an article by Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, on the sideline, QB1 Dak Prescott urged Lamb to forget about the drop and go on like it didn’t happen. That’s exactly what he did.
In the fourth quarter, within a span of four plays, Lamb had a game-saving catch on fourth-and 4 and an acrobatic one-handed touchdown grab to give the Cowboys the lead.
Prescott lauded his WR1 for ending the game “the right way” by showing his resiliency after a tough break.
Prescott wasn’t the only one to back up his teammate. Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who had quite an impressive game himself, called Lamb a superstar:
"“CeeDee has that 88 on for a reason. CeeDee is a superstar. He had a hell of a game. He had that one drop early, but he responded and had that big drive, that big touchdown catch. CeeDee is a hell of a player, and he’s only going to get better.”"
Another man who wore that lauded number, Dez Bryant, made sure to give Lamb his props in the locker room after the game. Bryant showed up to MetLife Stadium decked out in a Cowboys hat and Trevon Diggs jersey to support his former team on a rivalry night. The former Pro Bowler wasn’t thinking about the drops. He was just excited to remind an 88 club member how elite he is.
"“He blocked out all the noise, just like we just talked about. That’s what you got to do. When you’re wearing that 88, that’s what’s going to come with it. You make a mistake. Things happen. Things didn’t go his way. Then, he made a one-handed catch. Come on. That’s 88 elite. That’s big ups to him. He puts us in a position to win that game. That’s what 88s do.”"
On a team like the Cowboys, it can be seriously hard to block out the noise. The pressure to be the best on a franchise deemed America’s Team can be heavy. While Lamb can’t just forget that major drop happened, his ability to bounce back and get his team a game-winning touchdown is a huge part of the game.
Let’s hope this is the first of many touchdowns in 2022 for the new WR1.