FRISCO - 'Tis the season for optimism, so virtually every single member of the Dallas Cowboys is "healthier than ever'' or "in the best shape of his life'' or "primed for a breakout season.
Sarcasm and skepticism aside, just because it's a cliche doesn't make it untrue. And it all might be true in the case of CeeDee Lamb.
“My expectations are super-high,” QB Prescott says of Lamb. “I’m so excited for CeeDee. ... He’s a special playmaker that we’re privileged to have and he’ll be big-time and definitely have a breakout season.”
Those expectations are based in part on what we already knew of Lamb when Dallas made him its top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, at spot No. 17 out of Oklahoma. They are fortified by Lamb's fine rookie season, with numbers largely accomplished without help from Prescott, who was lost for the season to injury in Week 5.
And they are based on the 6-2, 190-pound Lamb looking to be in stronger in his torso and in excellent condition as he spent OTAs and minicamps running around and behind defenders, and jumping over them, too, with Dak on the business end of the practice-field throws.
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Said Lamb, who last year was good for 74 catches for 935 yards and five TDs: "I'm looking to be a better version of myself - to be better than last year. And if everyone has that mindset as a collective group, we'll be better.''
Dallas has had him playing in the slot and outside, all part of a mix and match that also includes Michael Gallup (and will include Amari Cooper once he's healed from minor ankle surgery). Lamb represents a large and elusive target, some of which he demonstrated as a rookie, some of which is yet to be unveiled.
"I'm so excited for just his growth from our five games together to just getting back out there in OTAs and throwing it to him and watching him get off the line, run routes, go up and get contested balls time and time again,'' Dak said. :It’s exciting. It’s exciting what he’s going to offer and it’s exciting what he brings to this whole receiving corps and this offense.''
It's hard to know what a "breakout year'' looks like statistically for Lamb, as he's one of a trio of standout receivers playing for a team that also figures to continue to emphasize the run with two-time NFL rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott. But here's betting, based on Lamb's work at minicamp practices here at The Star, that what Dak envisions looks nothing like 6-10.