Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb owns drops, in part, to not anger his ‘big brother’

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After following up a fantastic rookie year by being the team’s best player in July and August, no one was anticipating the start of this season more than Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb.

His role in the offense was being expanded and he was billed the team’s next breakout star.

Add in a minor setback at the end of the preseason with 10-day layoff due to COVID-19 and everyone’s expectations were riding high heading into last week’s season opener.

Probably a little too much, if you ask Lamb, in hindsight.

Although he finished with seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, he was undone by three drops, including one that led to an interception.

To his credit, Lamb took ownership of the drops immediately after the game, which he blamed on a lack of concentration and lack of composure.

“As far as the drops, it was very unfortunate and it was just all in my head,” Cooper said. “I was in my own head, it was just a lot going on.”

Lamb said he got lazy with my technique and was rushing himself. He has gone back to the basics and is working extra on the jugs machine catching passes this week.

But he does take pride in how he bounced back from the drops and finished the game. It didn’t go unnoticed by the Cowboys.

“I think he did a really good job of turning the page during the course of the game,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s an ability we appreciate about CeeDee. He’s the same guy every day.”

His 104 yards receiving and seven catches trailed only fellow Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper, who led the way with 13 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

But Cooper brings another dimension. He’s also someone who other players do not want to draw ire from, which is why Lamb owns his mistakes and quickly self-corrects.

“He gets on you now, he’ll let you know when you’re slacking,” Lamb said. “He is tough. I just got to match his energy. The way he runs his routes when he’s mad at you, and he’s looking like that running routes, dang, I got to top that ... ”

After all, it was Cooper who offered Lamb sage advice on the sideline after the drops.

“It was after his touchdown and he said, ‘why does something bad have to happen first?’” Cooper said. “I was like ‘the game has a way of humbling you’. He was like ‘that is the realest thing you ever told me’. And that is just how it is sometimes. It reminds you to concentrate.”

“Coop has been great for me these first two years,” Lamb said. “He’s a great mentor. A great big brother.”

Lamb did match Cooper with a 100-yard game in Week 1. They hope to keep it up weekly, pushing each other along the way.

“We were just talking and he’s like, ‘I see you got your 100.’ I was like, ‘man, just lead the way, I’m not going to be too far behind’,” Lamb said. “He was just like, ‘Vice versa, brah, it’s going to be days you’re going to lead the way and I won’t be far behind.’ He’s great, a great teammate to have.”

With fellow receiver Michael Gallup out at least three weeks with a calf injury, quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game will need more big games from Lamb and Cooper.

Lamb said they are ready for the challenge.

“I feel like we can top it,” Lamb said of their Week 1 performance. “That’s definitely the standard, but trying to get all our pieces together and come out with a win that’s ultimately the goal. But we are definitely going to do our end of the bargain to hold it up.”

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