FRISCO - If Jerry Jones is right, the salary-dump trade of Amari Cooper inches toward being just a little more justified.
And what does the Dallas Cowboys have to be right about?
That CeeDee Lamb will be a better No. 1 option at wide receiver than Cooper was.
Jones tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Thursday that Lamb will be an upgrade over Cooper as the Cowboys’ top receiving threat. And why? Because in Jones' eyes, Lamb has the ability to be a more "complete'' option as far as “production, in the huddle and off the field” than Cooper.
Is Jones taking a shot at Cooper? Not any more of a "shot'' a source took when revealing to CowboysSI.com a central reason for Dallas' decision to part ways with Cooper’s and his $20 million APY price tag ... which is all about disappointment in the effort Amari gave at times - including in the NFL Playoffs loss to the Niners to end the 2021 season.
Maybe the ascension of Lamb to the top of the Dallas depth chart was inevitable; he was a first-round pick, he's made a Pro Bowl and he's 23. (Lamb has also put on 10 pounds of muscle and he's a half-inch taller as well.)
It is a statistical truth that he already started surpassing Cooper’s production, as last season Lamb caught 79 passes for 1,102 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games, while Cooper had 68 receptions for 865 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games.
Lamb also had 120 targets compared to 104 for Cooper, so maybe nobody should be shocked by Jones' assertion. And certainly Lamb himself is not; he told us this week, "I'm ready'' to be the No. 1 guy.
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Dak Prescott happens to agree.
"He’s the guy," said Prescott, and indeed, Lamb did stand out during the Wednesday OTA session inside Ford Center. (See "Top 20 Takes.'') "Just being young, hopefully he’s my receiver until I’m done playing."
Lamb believes in himself. He has believers in Jones and Prescott.
They all need to be right.
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