Highway (I-35) Robbery
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Highway (I-35) Robbery

A Breakdown of the Cowboys' Round 1 Steal and What it Means for the Future

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Highway (I-35) Robbery

Thursday, April 23, 2020, for the first time ever, the first round of the NFL draft occurred completely virtually. Several years ago some people projected that the draft would take this form, yet they projected this because of rapidly increasing technology, not because of a lingering and problem-causing virus. One could say that the NFL and commissioner Goodell won the draft since they sailed through the seven rounds with little to no technical difficulties. I would certainly consider this a win, but upon taking a deeper dive into the draft, some organizations also "won" the first night, according to football fans. Many would say that the Cincinnati Bengals won night one in taking highly touted and heavily decorated LSU quarterback, Joe Burrow. Others would say that Miami won the night in taking Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa or that Washington won in drafting havoc-wreaking edge rusher, Chase Young. Though the aforementioned are all phenomenal draft picks and potential "wins," the Dallas Cowboys may have garnered the most valuable win of the night in acquiring Cedarian Lamb of Oklahoma with the seventeenth pick.

I get it… you might say that such a notion is arbitrary because I attend OU and have been a lifelong Sooner football fan. Perhaps I am exhibiting a slight bias, but I think people will quickly begin to understand why Dallas refused several trades to draft CeeDee Lamb even though they already possessed a ridiculously talented slew of offensive weapons. Anxiety within the fans of America's team steadily rose throughout Thursday afternoon as frontman Jerry Jones announced that he would make selections from his private yacht, without the input of other Dallas staff members. Jones, who has historically endured slander for drafting offensive linemen early (it paid off), decided to depart from the norm and go with the charismatic skill player Lamb this year. Most Cowboys fans, at least the ones from Texas, seemed to quickly move on from their hate for anything OU related and expressed their approval of Jones' selection. As soon as time permits the pigskin to begin flying again, people will understand why the faces of Mike McCarthy and Jerry Jones were so ravished with joy when their "sixth-best prospect" was still available at pick seventeen.

Lamb, who hails from Opelousas, Louisiana, moved to the Houston area after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He has grown rather familiar with interstate 35, the highway that runs through both Norman and the Dallas area, and continues into south Texas. The Dallas Cowboys may have just committed highway robbery, stealing Lamb from the clutches of other suitors, including their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. What exactly did the Cowboys steal, you ask? They stole, in my opinion, the most complete receiver to ever come through the University of Oklahoma- a school that has not produced a dismal amount of talent at that position. Lamb, who ironically is more similar to a lion in his playing style, arrived on the scene in Norman and immediately began contributing as he played in all of the Sooners' games as a frosh. Over three years he amassed over 3,000 yards and scored more than thirty touchdowns while averaging almost twenty yards per catch. He earned his reputation as a magician as the flashiest plays on his highlight reel display why Mel Kiper Jr. kept deeming him "CeeDee Y-A-C." In Ceedee's junior season he earned first-team all-american honors and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff award, amongst other things. They also stole a selfless teammate. A teammate who sacrificed his own statistics so that Lincoln Riley's quarterbacks could distribute the ball to a number of other weapons. A teammate who welcomed Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts into his apartment to spend a week developing chemistry as soon as Hurts arrived on campus. Little things like that can go a long, long way.

Two of Lamb's most productive games were the 2018 and 2019 Big 12 Championship games against Texas and Baylor, which just so happened to occur in his new home, AT&T Stadium. Many analysts had Lamb as the first wideout off the boards in what is arguably the deepest wideout class we have ever seen. Yet Lamb sat in his home with his family as both Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy were taken before him. Though maybe slightly irritated at the time, I feel quite confident in saying that a FaceTime call from the Dallas Cowboys did anything other than upset him. His inspiration for playing the game can be seen in the necklace around his neck with the number 32 on it. His uncle, Chester Ramirez, Jr., passed away during Lamb's junior year of high school. He wore this number and was Lamb's biggest mentor in life. CeeDee has undoubtedly made his uncle proud and will continue to do so as he dawns the infamous star and a ten on his jersey.

Okay, so we know that Lamb's ceiling is high, but what does this mean for the Dallas Cowboys? On its face it seems positive... and in preparation weeks for opposing teams' defenses it could cause all types of chaos. Lamb is entering into an offense that already ranked first in the league; therefore, it is possible that the Cowboys' offense could rapidly transform into a juggernaut. Despite that numbers-producing offense, the Cowboys still finished with an 8-8 record, missing the playoffs. The Cowboys haven't won the NFC title in almost twenty-five years and the front office is under fire right now as they are currently paying Cooper, Prescott, and Elliot more than 50 million dollars per year combined. This team has lofty expectations and will suffer if they don't meet them soon. This offense and this team need a stellar year for the good of the league and of the franchise, but all the pieces are in place to do just that. CeeDee Lamb has the potential to help this team achieve long-awaited goals. When football returns, this should be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league. What will Lamb do until teams can assemble? If history is any indication, you can find him on the field and in the weight room, preparing to make his "nobody safe" mantra transition to the next level.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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