Stopping the Dallas Cowboys offense will now potentially require deploying the National Guard. The team entered the 2020 NFL Draft eyeing two defensive needs atop their board, but when C.J. Henderson was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the absence of their highest-graded cornerback put their eyes squarely on the EDGE position -- with K'Lavon Chaisson ready and waiting. But while Chaisson was falling, so was CeeDee Lamb, easily one of the consensus top two wideouts in the country.
When both were still available at No. 17, the Cowboys and newly-joined head coach Mike McCarthy had a decision to make between elevating their offense to lethal levels or adding a player that could help them plant quarterbacks on a regular basis. They chose Lamb because, to be frank, no one in Dallas thought he'd still be waiting for a call from an NFL team. The addition of Lamb isn't simply a replacement for Randall Cobb -- who left in free agency to join the Houston Texans -- but an upgrade who now joins an offense that features two 1,000-yard receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.
Lamb can be devastating to opposing defenses in his own right, a consensus All-American out of Oklahoma who also landed first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2019, after racking up 1,327 receiving yards an 14 touchdowns.
It marked his second consecutive season breaking the 1,000-yard, double-digit touchdown mark, and propelled him to the top of the class at the position beside Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. When Ruggs was selected to the Raiders long before Lamb or Jeudy, it set the stage for one or the other to fall into the Cowboys' lap, which is precisely what happened. The 6-foot-2, 198 pound wideout can play both in the slot as well as outside the hashes, much the same as Cooper, giving the team ultimate flexibility to move the gunpowder around the barrel.
"Yards after the catch," Lamb pointed out as his favorite ability, speaking at the 2020 NFL Combine. "I enjoy making people miss and making the most of every opportunity I get. ...I'm willing to put my body on the line each and every day in practice.
"... I watched a lot of Sterling Shepherd in high school when I was a lot smaller," Lamb said from the 2020 NFL Combine. "As I've gotten bigger, I started watching bigger receivers. I started watching a lot of DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones. Just all the bigger, 6 feet and up, in the league and how they fit well in their system and how they thrive in the league."
Not only is Lamb joining Cooper and Gallup, but the Cowboys offense also features two-time NFL rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott, a dynamic talent in Tony Pollard, the athletic tight end Blake Jarwin (who forced Jason Witten out of the door in 2020) and is piloted by two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott -- coming off of a career-best season where he nearly set a franchise record with 4,902 passing yards to go along with 30 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions. Prescott and the Cowboys are still in contract talks that are , but they have until July 15 to get the last round of details ironed out, and he's been franchise tagged to buy the team time to get the contract in the books.
Despite a WR corps that often led the league in drops last season, the Cowboys offense was routinely the No. 1-ranked unit in the NFL, and that was in Kellen Moore's very first year as offensive coordinator. Moore opened up the offense in a way his predecessor Scott Linehan rarely dreamed possible, and the club went on to average 26.3 points per game (5th) and 431.5 total yards of offense weekly (1st).
This is what Lamb is being added to, and opposing defensive coordinators are going to have nightmares when it comes time to scheme for it. And not just your normal ones, but the ones that used to happen on Elm Street.