By David Helman
FOX Sports activities Dallas Cowboys Author
Opposite to that outdated saying, the Cowboys walked in with a Lamb – however they may have walked out with a lion.
Apologies are in an effort to Micah Parsons, who way back claimed the lion moniker for himself. However within the wake of CeeDee Lamb’s heroics to assist down the beforehand unbeaten New York Giants, 23-16, certainly he can lend the nickname for an evening.
It is not that Lamb received this sport on his personal. Loads of reward is because of a potent Dallas floor sport, to not point out a go rush that caught fireplace for a second-straight week and sacked Daniel Jones a disgusting 5 occasions. After all, Cooper Rush continues to jot down an unimaginable story with one other regular efficiency that noticed him enhance to 3-0 as a starter.
The story begins with Lamb not as a result of he is the evening’s solely hero – however as a result of he was virtually the evening’s largest scapegoat.
The narrative was written the second the ball clanged off his outstretched arms with 4:39 to play till halftime. Rush, with all day to throw off a play-action faux, noticed Lamb streaking on their lonesome on a deep crosser, only one man between him and the top zone.
We will not say for positive Lamb would’ve scored to offer the Cowboys’ a 13-3 lead, but it surely felt destined to occur – proper up till the ball fell harmlessly to the turf, leaving Lamb to jog again to the huddle in disgrace.
“I let that one slip away,” Lamb mentioned. “It was powerful, partially as a result of all of the arduous work I put in simply to let one play slip away.”
One other deep misfire in a while, with Lamb failing to create separation on security Xavier McKinney, solely furthered the dialog. In a world the place Justin Jefferson is lighting the league on fireplace and DeVonta Smith is rising as a younger star in Dallas’ personal division, is it honest to query how effectively Lamb measures up?
Quick ahead to the fourth quarter, with the sport slowed down in a 13-13 tie. Rush had already moved previous Lamb’s earlier drop, having discovered him on a number of events earlier within the half. However the Cowboys now confronted 4th-and-4 close to midfield. With out hesitation, Rush fired to his major learn – Lamb getting proper to the primary down marker and making the catch regardless of arduous contact.
Moments later, after two extra completions, got here the second that is already develop into one of many highlights of Week 3. Tasked with beating man protection on the goal-line fade, Lamb outstretched one hand and made among the best catches of his profession, tiptoeing simply contained in the sideline to offer the Cowboys a lead they would not give up. Requested how he maintained his confidence to maintain going again to Lamb, Rush answered succinctly: “He is CeeDee Lamb.”
It is an ideal soundbite, and hopefully for the Cowboys, it rings true. The Lamb who confirmed up after halftime is the man that was by no means supposed to slide to No. 17 within the draft, and the man who can stabilize the Cowboys’ receiver corps transferring ahead.
“CeeDee’s our No. 1 receiver, in order that’ll by no means change,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy mentioned.
Greater than something, Lamb feels emblematic for a younger Cowboys workforce that is doing a whole lot of rising up with Dak Prescott lacking from the lineup.
All through the primary half, there was proof of youth. Tyler Smith, making his third profession begin at left sort out, was referred to as for an early maintain. Undrafted rookie tight finish Peyton Hendershot incurred a pricey false begin. The Cowboys have been flagged eight occasions for 70 yards on the evening, they usually did enable the Giants to take a second-half lead in a sport that they had in any other case managed.
“A part of that is September soccer,” McCarthy mentioned. “You are going to see some errors from our younger guys, whether or not it is penalties or a drop.”
But, the place have been they by the top of the evening? Smith helped pave the best way for Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott to run for 178 yards, whereas Hendershot chipped in three massive catches for 43 yards.
And whereas Rush won’t be younger, getting set to show 29 in two months, what else are you able to say a few man who simply began his third NFL sport and improved to an ideal 3-0? The Michigan native is simply the third quarterback in Cowboys historical past to win his first three begins, together with Roger Staubach and Jason Garrett. A kind of gamers is an all-time nice, and the opposite put collectively a 32-year stint within the NFL as each a participant and a coach. It is not unhealthy firm to maintain.
It wasn’t as dramatic as final week’s walk-off, however that is clearly a components that may work. The Cowboy’ go rush goes to make life troublesome on most of their opponents, and their run sport is reliable. Rush stays as cool as ever. He has now engineered game-winning drives in every of his two begins this season, and he has but to show the ball over in 2022.
If he can proceed to coax everybody else together with him, the Cowboys can keep a lot related till Prescott’s again in motion – each time that may be.
David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand spent 9 seasons masking the Cowboys for the workforce’s official web site. In 2018, he received a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Household Reunion” concerning the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Comply with him on Twitter @davidhelman_.
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