Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is already causing drama around CeeDee Lamb after one bad game

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is already causing drama around CeeDee Lamb after one bad game

Of all the punishment CeeDee Lamb swallowed one game in the Dallas Cowboys season, the most important hit may have been delivered from the property suite. Twice, no less.

Just days after player staff director Stephen Jones made a sharp remark about Lamb’s performance in the team’s 19-3 season opening defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, owner Jerry Jones doubled down on the criticism. The message? Dallas needs Lamb to live up to his ownership-hyped expectations, making him a true No. 1 receiver after the Cowboys pulled the plug on Amari Cooper in the off-season. Lamb catching just two of 11 passes thrown 29 yards in his direction against Tampa certainly didn’t fit the bill – nor did it fit the brain confidence well.

“We definitely need to go a step further and do better,” Stephen Jones told the team’s flagship radio station 105.3 The Fan on Monday. “The passing game goes hand in hand, the quarterback and the receivers. Of course we should be better there. CeeDee needs to improve and work his way to become the No. 1 recipient we think he can do [be].”

On Friday, Jerry Jones had endorsed that idea on the same radio station, including some more biting commentary.

“People cover your best recipient. That happens,” Jerry Jones said. “What are you doing? You have to play by being covered. You have to catch the balls covered. … My point is that every team in the league faces the same thing. They have their best receiver double covered. What the best receiver should do , is playing through that cover.”

CeeDee Lamb had a tough season opener in the Dallas Cowboys' loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday.  Is the pressure on the star receiver already rising?  (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

CeeDee Lamb had a tough season opener in the Dallas Cowboys’ loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday. Is the pressure on the star receiver already rising? (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

For a team that just months ago sold the notion that Lamb was a clear upgrade over Cooper, it was a remarkably early stage of the season that raised eyebrows. Especially after the ownership made it clear for months how unhappy it was with Cooper’s combination of salary, production and availability last season. Not only did that trio of factors lead to a fire sale of a good young player – Cooper dumping to the Cleveland Browns for a 5th round pick – it essentially led Jerry Jones to suggest that Dallas would be better off in 2022 with Lamb at the top of the line. the depth map.

That makes the early criticism a bit surprising, as few players played particularly well on offense and head coach Mike McCarthy already has questions about offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s play-calling. Now, the talk of Lamb’s play is likely to raise additional doubts about the Cooper trade, which has been a hotly debated topic in the fanbase for months.

But the rapid and critical move toward Lamb’s performance also raises more problematic questions. Has Dallas seen anything not to like about Lamb’s play now that he’s worked in the No. 1 wide role for the past few months? Is there more to this than one bad game? And if the answers to those questions are “no”, why doesn’t the ownership feel like Lamb deserves a one-match mulligan before being criticized for his performance?

Whatever the reasoning, Lamb’s game will now be a focus forward as measured by Cooper’s performance in Cleveland – which was good on film in Week 1 despite being undermined by some mistakes from Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Not to mention a brewing comparison to Michael Gallup, who has also been celebrated by Cowboys in the past as a player worthy of being considered a No. 1 wideout.

Add to that the playing dynamics of McCarthy and Moore and it’s early drama for the attack in Dallas. And none if things probably get better for the return of star quarterback Dak Prescott and his broken thumb.

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