All signs point to CeeDee Lamb having a breakout Year 3 in Dallas

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are counting on CeeDee Lamb having a breakout season for them this fall.

If the Dallas Cowboys want to achieve all of their wildest dreams and aspirations for this upcoming NFL season, third-year pro CeeDee Lamb will have to have a breakout year for them.

By trading away Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns and having Michael Gallup still on the mend after last season, Lamb becomes the unquestioned No. 1 receiving option in Dallas. While Lamb is coming off his first Pro Bowl campaign and was sensational during his college days at Oklahoma, there are some signs of concern when it comes to the potential breakout season he needs to have.

Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver and Dallas native Tim Brown told ESPN’s Todd Archer this:

"“I think CeeDee is in a situation where all of a sudden, he’s going to have a lot more attention on him and how he deals with that will tell the tale,” Brown told ESPN. “There’s going to be a guy over you and a safety creeping over and that means you got to go to work. You’ve got to learn how to do that, learn how to beat double coverage and then sometimes triple coverage. I think that’s going to be a big adjustment for him.”"

Of course, everyone in the Cowboys organization, from head coach Mike McCarthy to quarterback Dak Prescott, thinks Lamb is more than capable of making the adjustments necessary to be a No. 1 wideout.

Frankly, it will be very difficult for the Cowboys to be a Super Bowl contender if Lamb is not elite.

Dallas Cowboys are expecting for CeeDee Lamb to have his breakout season

McCarthy sees the opportunity Lamb has ahead of him, believing he will take advantage of it.

"“This is a great opportunity for him personally,” said McCarthy. “I think just the way we’ve established the offense, particularly in the passing game, the ability for those guys to play different positions, to create matchups and make it harder on the defense to double you and those type of things — my point is, playing in the slot a lot last year and now playing the flanker position (Cooper’s position).”"

Again, the extra attention he will be getting is undeniable, but McCarthy thinks Lamb is up for it.

"“We understand his rise in Year 3 that he’s going to get a lot more attention from the defense,” continued McCarthy. “But he’s doing all of the little things that are needed to get him ready to be the No. 1 guy.”"

Lamb may have been a mid-first-round pick, but Dallas thought the world of him to pick him at No. 17 in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The best thing the Cowboys have going for them is they should be a good team in a lackluster NFC. While no team has repeated as division champions in the NFC East in coming up on two decades, Dallas stands as good of a chance as anyone to buck that trend. While the Philadelphia Eagles pose a real threat, the New York Giants don’t. And then there’s the Washington Commanders…

For Dallas to not only repeat as division champions, but get to the conference title bout for the first time since 1995, the Cowboys are going to need two things to happen: Prescott must play like a top-five quarterback, and Dan Quinn’s defense can’t skip a beat. Of course, Lamb’s breakout year will be an ancillary effect in all this, but those two things are the driving forces for the team.

Frankly, one can argue Lamb already had his breakout campaign. He did lead the team in receiving in his second season. However, with great power comes great responsibility. There is also great opportunity here. Lamb has the potential to be the best Cowboys’ wide receiver since Dez Bryant. He could even eclipse Receiver X should he and Prescott lead the Cowboys to the promised land.

It is going to be next to impossible for Dallas to win big if Lamb does not take that next huge step.

Related Story. Jerry Jones had an absolutely incredible take on CeeDee Lamb. light