Of all the punishments CD Lamb absorbed one game in the Dallas Cowboys season, the most significant hit may have been delivered from inside the ownership suite. Twice, no less.
Just days after director of player personnel Stephen Jones made a candid comment about Lamb’s performance in the team’s opening loss of the 19-3 season to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, owner Jerry Jones doubled down on the criticism. message? Dallas needs Lamb to live up to its ownership-hyped expectations, which groomed him into a true No. 1 receiver after the Cowboys pulled the plug on Amari Cooper in the off-season. Lamb, who caught only two of the 11 passes he threw in his direction for 29 yards against Tampa, certainly didn’t fit the bill—nor did it sit well with Brain’s confidence.
“We definitely have to step up and do better,” Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan, the team’s flagship radio station, on Monday. “The passing game goes hand in hand, quarterback and receiver. Certainly, we have to get better there. CeeDee has to improve and work his way up to become the No. 1 receiver, we think he can.” [be],
As of Friday, Jerry Jones had backed that notion with the same radio station, including somewhat more scathing remarks.
“People are covering your best receiver. It happens,” said Jerry Jones. “What do you do? You have to play cover. You have to catch the covered balls. … my point is that every team in the league is faced with the same thing. He is going to do his best receiver double cover. What the best receiver should do is get through that coverage.”
For a team that had been selling the idea of Lamb being an obvious upgrade over Cooper a few months ago, it was an eyebrow-raising moment of criticism at a notable early stage of the season. Especially after spending months at the ownership it became clear how unhappy he was with Cooper’s combination of pay, production and availability last season. Not only did all three of those factors spur the fire sale of a good youngster — dumping Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a 5th-round pick — it essentially suggested to Jerry Jones that Dallas should be better off with the Lambs in 2022. Will happen. depth chart.
This came as little surprise to early criticism, given that some players played particularly well on offense and that head coach Mike McCarthy is already raising questions about offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s play calling. Now talk of Lamb’s drama is likely to spark additional speculation about the Cooper trade, which has already been a hotly debated issue in the fan base for months.
But the rapid and critical move toward Lamb’s performance raises even more problematic questions. Has Dallas noticed something about Lamb’s drama that he no longer likes as he has taken on a wider No. 1 role for the past few months? Is there more than one bad game going on here? And if the answer to those questions is “no,” why doesn’t Ownership feel that Lamb deserves a one-game mulligan before criticizing him about his performance?
Whatever the reasoning, Lamb’s play will now focus on going forward, measured against Cooper’s performance in Cleveland—which was good on film in Week 1 despite being made short of a few mistakes by Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissette. Not to mention a brewing comparison against Michael Gallup, a player celebrated in the past by Cowboys’ ownership as a No. 1 wideout.
Add to that the play-calling dynamic of McCarthy and Moore and that’s a lot of early drama for a Dallas offense. No one else is likely to be better if star quarterback Dak Prescott and his broken thumb return.