Last Thursday night, sitting on his $250 million super yacht, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had just finished up a successful first round of the NFL Draft when he started thinking about old friend, recently passed.
Jones remembered the late Jerry Lamb, a teammate at Arkansas, who wore No. 88 for the Razorbacks.
To commemorate his friend’s legacy — and certainly to fortify the Cowboys’ own sterling legacy in that jersey — Jones said it was his hope that first-round pick and former Oklahoma Sooner CeeDee Lamb would also wear No. 88.
Jones — as he is wont to do as the team’s owner — got his way.
Lamb will wear No. 88, joining a legacy of Dallas wideouts that includes Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant.
Lamb had expressed an interest in wearing No. 10, but took Jones' suggestion instead.
“I recently lost a great friend,” Jones said last week on a video conference call with media. “One of my very best — might have been my best. I played ball with him at Arkansas. He was number 88. His name was Jerry Lamb, he was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. We couldn’t have won the national championship without him. And he was a wonderful player.
“And so when we were — this is a little drama from our perspective — when we were all sitting there and had said our piece, and then we said, ‘OK, what’s it gonna be?’ I said, ’In honor of my great friend that just passed this year, we’re going to have his namesake come on here and wear old number 88, just like Michael and Dez and those guys, and we’ve got us a wide receiver.
“And let me tell you one thing if he’s got the ‘competes’ and heart of that Jerry Lamb, he’ll be bad to the bone.”
Pearson is in the Cowboys Ring of Honor and was a finalist this year for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Along with Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett, the former University of Tulsa quarterback was one of the team's first superstars during the franchise's longest sustained period of success.
Irvin is in the Ring of Honor and a Pro Football Hall of Famer. He's one of Dallas' most decorated players as a member of the "Triplets" who, alongside Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, won three Super Bowls in four years.
And Bryant is the team's all-time leader in touchdown catches with 73 and, with 531 catches, three Pro Bowls and three 1,000-yard seasons, could join the others in the Ring of Honor.
The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Lamb, who had 173 receptions in three seasons at OU for 3,292 yards and 32 TDs, should fit nicely as the Cowboys’ next No. 88.
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