A potential taunting penalty on CeeDee Lamb may have been irrelevant as the Dallas Cowboys walked off with an overtime win against the New England Patriots in Week 6. But the Cowboys’ second-year wide receiver is now paying the price days later.
On Saturday, October 23, the NFL handed down a $10,300 fine to Lamb for “unsportsmanlike conduct,” as first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The five-figure fine was the fifth of Lamb’s young NFL career and will come out of his $1.24 million base salary for the 2021 season. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Lamb has been fined five times in his first six games for a total of $46,865.
Two other Cowboys were also docked for their actions in Week 6: Rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs for unnecessary roughness ($7,981) and left guard Connor Williams for unsportsmanlike conduct ($16,394).
ALL the latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Lamb’s Celebratory Wave at Jalen Mills Drew the Fine
After hauling in the game-winning 35-yard touchdown pass and being shoved to the ground by Patriots defensive back Jalen Mills shortly after crossing the goal line, the rising 22-year-old star stood to his feet and began waving directly at Mills.
Mills, a former division rival with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016 to 2020, was not fined by the league for his shove on Lamb, per Pelissero.
Here is a clip of the incident:
The NFL’s added emphasis on enforcing penalties for taunting in 2021 — a crusade led, in part, by New York Giants owner John Mara — has been mostly met with the ire of its fans through the first third of the season.
On Lamb’s play in particular, what might’ve been an otherwise fun piece of social media content, turned into a gaffe by the league’s social team, which quickly deleted its own video of Lamb’s touchdown and celebration minutes after posting it, at least in part due to the league’s latest crackdown.
Reactions Pour in on the NFL’s Decision to Fine Lamb
Cowboys fans took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the fine, particularly upset about the dock in pay compared to those dished out to other NFL players in Week 6.
Most notably was Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, who was fined just $515 more than Lamb for, in essence, punching Seattle Seahawks running back Alex Collins after missing on his attempt to force a fumble.
“Y’all are something else @NFL after y’all kept playing the wave goodbye on your network and then fine him,” wrote one commenter on Twitter.
Another fan even offered to personally donate to help cover the fine.
Packer Report columnist Zachary Jacobson brought up another instance of Green Bay running back Kylin Hill being docked only $3,776 for “slapping a #Bears player late in last week’s win,” per Pelissero.
“I mean, the fine is justified and you can’t be doing things like this, I get it. But why was CeeDee Lamb fined $6.5K more than Hill just for waving goodbye at someone? Because he makes more money?” Jacobson tweeted.
Despite being down 10 grand, Lamb finished Week 6 with the best performance of his career to date, setting new personal high marks in receptions (9) and receiving yards (149) while scoring twice. According to Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken, the 2020 first-round pick “reached 100 career receptions faster than any wide receiver in Cowboys history,” tying Herschel Walker for the franchise record at 22 games.
The Cowboys, currently atop the NFC East with a 5-1 record, enjoy a bye in Week 7 before returning to action on the road against the Minnesota Vikings on Halloween, Sunday, October 31.
Join the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook community for the latest out of Cowboys Nation!