Whatever you do, don't drink the blue kool aid. Those are words I mutter to myself at the beginning of every new Dallas Cowboys season in effort to help keep myself from having elevated expectations. Sometimes, it can be hard to contain ourselves as each new year brings with it a clean slate with new hope that includes a lot of players in pretty good health. Every August it just feels like the sky is the limit for this football team, and certainly this year is no different.
Despite making a conscious effort to not get caught up in the hype, I can't help finding myself in awe over what I witnessed in camp while watching second-year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Last season, the excitement started early as everyone was surprised when the Oklahoma star receiver was still available when the Cowboys were on the clock at pick 17. He wasted no time validating that excitement as Lamb hauled in 74 passes for 935 yards and scored six total touchdowns. Even when quarterback Dak Prescott was lost for the season, Lamb kept rolling with three different backups. It wasn't hard to tell that this guy was going to be a successful player in the NFL.
The jump from year one to year two can sometimes be a huge thing for young players as the game starts to slow down for them. That type of growth has many Cowboys fans pretty enthused about what lies ahead for the team's young star receiver. And if what we are seeing in camp is any indication, the hysteria for this kid could be real.
While watching the Cowboys training camp practices, it was hard to keep my eyes off of Lamb. Everything he did just looked effortless. From fielding punts to over the shoulder catches, you could see the level of comfort he had with every rep. One of the biggest observations during my weekend in Oxnard was how well Lamb tracked the ball. It always felt like the passes that went to him were perfectly placed in comparison to other receivers, but seeing this over and over again it became clear that this was just a result of Lamb's excellent concentration and body control. Even when Trevon Diggs (who, by the way - has created some great battles between them) was draped all over him, Lamb was still able to come down with the ball. It was a sight to see. Check out these video clips of Lamb putting on a show...
Lamb just looks like he's on another level. Watching him consistently make these circus catches definitely has some people thinking he could be on the verge of greatness. With Amari Cooper still sidelined with an ankle injury, Lamb has stepped into the WR1 role seamlessly, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him keep hold down that label from this point on. This is not a knock on Cooper as he's still highly respected as one of the league's most precise route-runners. When Amari gets back on the field, he's going to be really good. But that's not going to stop Lamb from doing what he's been doing as he projects to be a huge part of this Cowboys offense.
It's early, and again - I like to slow my roll whenever I see things going down in training camp as they don't always carry over into the NFL regular season. But I got to be honest (and this is coming from huge Amari fan), Lamb looks as good as advertised, and all signs are pointing to a big season for the team's young star receiver.
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