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CeeDee focused on 'Super Bowl, TDs'; not contract


FRISCO, Texas — In remembrance of the late, great Bob Barker, it's beginning to feel like an episode of "The Price Is Right" as it pertains to contract extensions the Dallas Cowboys have awarded this summer. And as Terence Steele becomes the latest in that spending spree, there's a chance CeeDee Lamb finds himself inking a new deal in the not-so-distant future.

For his part, however, it's about staying focused on the football aspect of it all. When asked if he is mentally in or out of where things lie with his contract, his answer was definitive.

"I'm out of it," he said. "I've got a Super Bowl to win, and touchdowns to catch. And that's it."

He'll get his first opportunity to push toward those goals when the Cowboys visit the New York Giants on Sunday night, in a regular season opener that will help shape the race for the NFC East crown and potentially more.

The club executed the fifth-year option on Lamb, securing the former first-round pick through the 2024 season, but there's nothing stopping them from getting a deal done early.

But, for Lamb, that time will arrive when it arrives. 

Until then, he understands that entering each week with a distracted mind will undermine what he and the Cowboys are trying to achieve in 2023. And with a change in the offensive makeup this offseason that includes head coach Mike McCarthy calling plays and the addition of Brandin Cooks to the receivers room, there's a lot of potential to be one of the more prolific offenses in the league.

That begins with chemistry, of which this group is certainly not lacking.

"I feel like everybody is more comfortable," Lamb said. "We're playing together and the communication is outstanding. The only testament to that is to have crowd noise, to play [on the road] and to see it unfold. I'm excited for that and excited for us to do everything that we've trained [for]."

It's a stark difference in the present version of Lamb than the one that took the field against the Giants in Week 3 of the 2022 season — when he was early in the process of trying to figure out how to ascend to the role of WR1 in Dallas. 

He'd deliver a critical touchdown and 87 yards on eight catches to help lift the Cowboys to a 23-16 victory at MetLife Stadium, but he was targeted 12 times and suffered at least one critical drop.

On Thursday, as he prepares to return to New Yo… er, um… Jersey, he's doing so having not only "not let that moment define me" but also having used it as the turning point in his aforementioned ascension. 

Simply put, he's an entirely different animal nowadays, and that was evidenced even before the season concluded and this offseason program began.

"I'm playing a lot faster," he said. "There's a lot less thinking. … Just staying neutral and going out there to prove myself."

Last year, Lamb said he was "close" to being in the "upper echelon" of NFL receivers — e.g., Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp and Ja'Marr Chase.

How does he feel now, you ask?

"I'm there," he said. "I'll show you."

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