The Dallas Cowboys are thin on proven wide receiver talent, but CeeDee Lamb isn’t worried about more of the load falling on his shoulders.
Lamb is the only healthy receiver on the Cowboys roster who has caught a touchdown pass in an NFL game and Noah Brown is the only other Dallas pass catcher who quarterback Dak Prescott has connected with previously.
With Amari Cooper now in Cleveland, Lamb was already slated to take over outright the No. 1 receiver role, but he’ll be seeing a lot more attention from defenses with no proven commodities around him. Lamb didn’t shut down the idea of bringing in a veteran free agent to help build out their depth, but he also backed the youth on the roster.
“I mean I’m not opposed to having another vet in here,” Lamb told reporters at camp on Tuesday. “I’m never against having help, but I like my young guys here now. I want to see what they can do in the heat of battle, and then we got Tampa in September. There’s only one way to find out.”
Lamb has preached to his fellow pass catchers that the situation should only benefit their careers with more balls coming their way in camp and the preseason.
“The door is open for opportunity,” Lamb said. “I feel like the younger guys are taking that opportunity and trying to do something.”
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones echoed Lamb’s sentiment of wanting to see the young guns produce. He said he didn’t believe there was urgency to add a veteran receiver at this time.
“Let’s give these young guys the incentive, our young receivers,” Jones said. “We thought highly of them when we came out. We’ll get [Washington] rehabbed. … But it doesn’t create an urgency for us to add a veteran receiver. We like these young guys.”
Michael Gallup, James Washington Won’t be Ready for Opener
The Cowboys traded Cooper and saw Cedrick Wilson — who had the third most receiving yards for Dallas last season — sign with the Miami Dolphins. The team signed James Washington in the offseason in hopes he could help fill the void, but he suffered a Jones fracture in camp and is out 6-10 weeks.
Gallup is expected to be a big piece of the offense when he returns, fresh off signing a five-year, $62.5 million extension in March, earning $27 million in guarantees. However, he’s rehabbing from a torn ACL and made it clear he won’t be ready for the start of the year.
“That’s not a reasonable possibility,” Gallup told reporters on July 28. Gallup was non-commital on an eventual return, saying he really doesn’t know when he’ll suit up.
Gallup played in nine games last season, also missing time with a strained his left calf. He finished with 35 catches for 445 yards and two touchdowns in eight games.
Cowboys Young Receivers Have Shown Potential
Dallas has a couple of draft picks they like in 2022 third-round pick Jalen Tolbert and 2021 fifth-round pick Simi Fehoko. Undrafted free agents Dennis Houston, Jaquarii Roberson, Ty Fryfogle, T.J. Vasher, Dontario Drummond, Brandon Smith and KaVontae Turpin — who led the USFL in receiving yards — will also be competing for roster spots.
Jones said the team was already thinking about the future of the position prior to the injury woes and wants to see how they do.
“We like these young guys,” Jones said. “We’d already been looking ahead, and we were going to have some trouble cutting our numbers at receiver because we’ve liked the way some of these guys are starting to show. But we’ve got a lot of work still to do.”
If the Cowboys do decide to add a veteran presence to their wide receiver corps, names they could consider include T.Y. Hilton and Cole Beasley.