During CeeDee Lamb's three years at Oklahoma he played with three different quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield. Kyler Murray. Jalen Hurts. All phenomenal talents, all different styles of players. He thrived with all three of them and carried that chemistry over into his rookie season catching passes from Dak Prescott.
But when Prescott left in the third quarter of last Sunday's game against the Giants with a serious ankle injury, Andy Dalton came into the huddle and the Cowboys' offense had to figure out how to stay on the field after seeing their leader and teammate go down. In Giants' territory, Dalton was sacked immediately. But then, on 3rd and six, Dalton completed his first completion as a Cowboy to the rookie Lamb for an 11-yard gain. Ezekiel Elliott scored on the very next play, producing seven points instead of settling for three in a game they would ultimately win by just three.
Asked how he so seamlessly transitions from one quarterback to the next, Lamb told the media on Friday that it's all about what he can do right.
"Being in the right position at the right time for the quarterback," Lamb said. "It doesn't matter who's in. As long as me and the quarterback are on the same page at any given moment then a spark can happen."
Lamb has been lighting that spark early and often with the Cowboys this season. The NFL record for most consecutive games with at least five receptions to start a career is five. As of now, Lamb shares that record with former Dallas Cowboy Terry Glenn. That can change this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. If Lamb can manage to bring in five catches against the Cardinals, he will set a new NFL record.
When Lamb fell to the Cowboys, who held the 17th overall pick in last April's draft, fans clamored over the possibility of a game-changing playmaker. The rookie has certainly delivered on a little bit of that highlight-reel potential, but perhaps more surprisingly is his general consistency. Amari Cooper has been a strong number one receiver for Dallas, and Michael Gallup has come up clutch multiple times, but Lamb has played almost like a veteran in his ability to always be ready to make the play that keeps his quarterback in rhythm.
Earlier this week Mike McCarthy even marveled at a play Lamb made against the Giants in which he slightly altered his route based on the defense's position and how the other routes were developing.
"It goes back to understanding what's trying to be done in the play," Lamb explained Friday. "It's kind of what the game is about; taking openings and the way you can adjust on the fly. I learned that on day one in training camp."
With Prescott's MVP-caliber season coming to an end, the Cowboys' offensive weapons will have to prove they are as dangerous as advertised. Lamb has already shown that he is not a rookie "project." He's a blindingly fast receiver with great hands. On the same note, Lamb said that Dalton is far from your typical backup quarterback.
"This is not his first year at the quarterback position, nor is it his first year as a starter," Lamb said. "He's not rattled. I can't wait to play with him again."
As Lamb chases NFL history this Sunday, he'll be facing one of those college quarterbacks he played with at Oklahoma. Kyler Murray threw 11 touchdowns to Lamb, and he's developing into one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Lamb said he's excited to see Murray and considers him a brother, but that Sunday's game isn't exactly a reunion.
"Somebody's got to come out with an L and I'm not planning on it being us."
----------------------------------------------------------------------- The Cowboys are back at AT&T Stadium next Monday night, October 19th , to take on the Arizona Cardinals. A limited number of tickets starting at $89 are on sale now. Get yours now before they sell out!
Details on all of the health and safety procedures you can expect at AT&T Stadium this season can be viewed at www.DallasCowboys.com/safestadium.