CeeDee Lamb must really enjoy playing teams from Los Angeles as the Cowboys star receiver had his best game of the year on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
Lamb had a season-high 12 receptions and a career-high 158 yards in a dominating 43-20 victory over the Rams. Last time out against the Los Angeles Chargers, Lamb was a difference maker with 117 yards on seven receptions.
He was even better against this Los Angeles team.
“Coming off the bye, we knew we had an advantage,” Lamb said after the win. “We came out striking and that was the goal.”
In the first half, he was simply spectacular. Lamb had nine receptions for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Lamb put on a masterclass in route running for each one.
The first came early in the second quarter with Dallas already in control 19-3. Lamb beat Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick’s attempted press at the line of scrimmage and then shook loose on a post route for a 10-yard touchdown.
Lamb wasn’t done tormenting Kendrick and the Rams secondary. Just before the two-minute warning, the Cowboys marched back into Rams territory and were threatening for another score.
The L.A. defensive line forced Prescott out of the pocket and as the quarterback rolled to his right, Lamb broke free from the secondary and stood wide open in the endzone for an easy 22-yard touchdown that made it 33-3.
“The play wasn’t on schedule, but Dak did a great job of scrambling,” Lamb said. “He got out the pocket and did my best of getting open and staying open.”
Getting open was never an issue against the overmatched Rams defense. Prescott targeted Lamb a staggering 14 times and it’s just the latest example of how strong the bond between the quarterback and receiver has become.
“A lot of time has been put into it,” Prescott said. “Just going back to the off-season, from the time we started back way back in April, maybe even before that. From the times we spent back in my backyard to mini-camps, OTAs to trips out to Atlanta, there’s been a lot of time invested.”
Even as the game was well in hand, Prescott still kept feeding Lamb. In the fourth quarter, Lamb once again picked on Kendrick as he beat him off the line and then leaped up for a twisting catch on a back shoulder throw from Prescott.
It was a precise throw from Prescott and a precise route from Lamb, in a sense it was a microcosm of the day the Cowboys duo enjoyed and hopefully a sign of what’s to come for the offense going forward. Lamb said the performance wasn’t a shock to the team.
“Not necessarily a surprise because that’s what we’re looking for week in and week out,” Lamb said. “That’s how we should play every week. (This) is just more of a stepping stone for what’s to come.”
After having just 12 catches in the three games before facing the Los Angeles teams, Lamb now has 19 in his last two with over 20 targets.
There were was some frustration with his role on the offense, especially after the blowout defeat to San Francisco and Lamb wasn’t afraid to express it. His team, including Prescott, heard him loud and clear.
“I told him don’t get frustrated, don’t allow people to see your frustration when things don’t go our way,” Prescott said. “It’s the National Football League, none of this is going to be easy. That’s when we have to be better and trust one another more.”
Prescott said during the same conversation that it was Lamb that acknowledged that no one around the league worked harder than them.
“The last two games have been a big picture (result) of that,” Prescott said. “It’s only going to get better, we’re only going to continue to communicate with one another. Mike (McCarthy)‘s doing a great job of putting him in positions to create matchups.”
Owner Jerry Jones has seen plenty of excellent performances by wide receivers and he believes what Lamb did on Sunday compares with some of the greatest to have played for the franchise.
“I don’t know when that we’ve had a more dominant role played by a receiver,” Jones said. “I can’t remember because he just was in on everything we were trying to do on every series. Obviously you’ve seen him play at that level.
“We’ve all seen him play at that level. It was a phenomenal game for him, a career game for him. But the good news is he can do some more of that.”
With a trip to Philadelphia to match up with the Eagles coming up, the Cowboys will need him to do more of that next week.