With big shoes to fill come big responsibilities. And with big responsibilities come big predictions.
CeeDee Lamb knows he’s a special wide receiver, perhaps the greatest in a historically deep class. The No. 17 overall draft pick also is aware he’s joining an already powder-kegged Dallas Cowboys offense, which finished first in the NFL last season in total yards per game (431.5), and sixth in points per game (27.1).
The two combining forces should account for a nearly two-touchdown weekly increase, according to the former Sooners star who averaged 19.0 yards per catch and scored 32 touchdowns on 173 career receptions.
“Oh yeah, that’s definitely achievable,” Lamb — asked if it’s possible that Dallas can average 40 points per game this season — said after he was drafted.
No team was close to hitting that mark in 2019. In fact, only one, the Lamar Jackson-fueled Ravens, managed to crack the 30s — a league-high 33.9 PPG. The 49ers finished second with 29.9, the Saints (28.6) and Bucs (28.6) tied for third, and the reigning champion Chiefs (28.2) fourth.
Right behind them all? The Cowboys, who put up 27.1 points per contest despite questionable coaching and injuries to his Pro Bowl blockers and top pass-catchers. Quarterback Dak Prescott ranked second in passing yards, behind only Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston, and fell one yard shy of tying Tony Romo’s single-season passing yards franchise record.
Prescott led the NFL’s second-best aerial attack (296.9 YPG) while Ezekiel Elliott spearheaded the sport’s fifth-best ground game (134.6 YPG). Even Jason Garrett couldn’t stop an operation humming at this speed. They’re good, and got a lot better on April 23.
Lamb has drawn comparisons ranging from Chad Johnson to DeAndre Hopkins and Jerry Rice. He’s chosen to honor team legends Michael Irvin, Drew Pearson, and Dez Bryant by wearing No. 88, fulfilling an ask from owner Jerry Jones, who turned down three trades to land the crown jewel of his widely-hailed rookie haul.
Realistically, it’s not probable the Cowboys turn Lamb’s pipedream projection into reality. But, given the almost unfair collection of talent, it’s fair to assume there’ll be plenty of 40-burgers hanging on the scoreboard amid his rookie campaign.
“I just want to be another target Dak can rely on… Being in that type of offense is going to be pretty nice,” Lamb said.
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