Cowboys Draw Criticism for Using First-Round Pick on CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb

Getty CeeDee Lamb

By most accounts, the Dallas Cowboys stole former Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with the No. 17 overall pick in this year’s draft.

By Peter King’s account, they made a mistake.

The longtime NFL reporter, in his recent mailbag for NBC Sports, was critical of the Cowboys for choosing Lamb over a defensive player, given this offseason’s roster turnaround.

“I still feel like the Cowboys would have been wiser to go defense with the pick that nabbed Lamb—even better, a trade-down to get a corner and a safety in rounds one and two—after losing sack leader Robert Quinn and top cornerback Byron Jones in free agency,” King wrote. “Dak Prescott certainly can win his share of 33-30 games; now, for the Cowboys to beat Philadelphia for the NFC East crown, he’ll have to. I think the Cowboys are the team to beat in the division, but one of the toughest November/December slates in football (Eagles twice, Steelers and Niners at home, Ravens and Vikings away) will make it very difficult.”

Funny enough, King — who has Dallas at No. 8 overall in his latest power rankings — prefaced those remarks by noting, correctly, that Lamb’s presence adds another layer of dynamism to an offense which finished tops in yards and averaged 27.1 points per game in 2019.

An offense now lorded over by offensive guru Mike McCarthy, the team’s new head coach.

“McCarthy didn’t like how in Green Bay he got away from the quarterback being under center; he’d rather play the QB under center 50 or 60 percent of the time to take advantage of stressers for the defense—play-action especially but also the relatively nouveau threat of the Jet Sweep,” King wrote. “He’ll have much better weapons to use with the Cowboys, led by CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup at receiver and Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield.”

Lamb was the highest-rated player available on the Cowboys’ draft board, as the club eschewed pass-rushers (K’Lavon Chaisson), linebackers (Kenneth Murray), and cornerbacks (Damon Arnette). Owner/general manager Jerry Jones, while on the clock, turned down at least three trade-down offers to stay put and nab Lamb.

The 21-year-old who averaged 19.0 yards per catch and scored 32 touchdowns on 173 career receptions at Oklahoma helps form the league’s best WR troika, crystallizing an insanely talented supporting cast for quarterback Dak Prescott.

And considering the Cowboys fortuitously landed an elite CB (Trevon Diggs) in the second round, there’s no need for revisionist history.

They might be questioned, but they’re not questioning themselves.

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