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Eatman: When these 88s get hungry … feed them!


ARLINGTON, Texas – This is nothing new. It's happened hundreds of times before and I'm sure it'll happen many times in the future, perhaps even this year.

When these No. 1 receivers want the football, give it to them. When they make these scenes on the sidelines, sometimes even causing a distraction, there are different ways to make it stop, but usually there's just one that works every time.

I kind of compare these star receivers to hungry children. The best way to silence them is to feed them.

Since CeeDee Lamb had his little moment on the sidelines against the 49ers three weeks ago, it does seem as if the Cowboys have made more of an attempt to get him the football.
Sure, he kind of apologized in his next media session, stating that he knows better than to show his emotions like that. But he didn't back down from the notion that he feels the Cowboys can be a better offense and a better team if he's getting the ball more.

Is he wrong? No, and neither was Michael Irvin or Dez Bryant. I can't say I remember seeing any clips or highlights of Drew Pearson barking on the sidelines for more passes, but knowing his personality a little and how competitive he is, I'm sure it happened.

These guys feel like they're the best receivers in the NFL, and it doesn't matter if they appear to be covered by one guy or even two. They think they can make a difference and make the play.

I just applaud the Cowboys for going out of their way it seems to accommodate CeeDee in this case. Now, you'll probably not hear Mike McCarthy or Dak Prescott or offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer admit that they're changing up the offense or anything to make sure CeeDee gets the ball. But a blind man can see that Dak is making an effort to get the ball out quicker and many times it's to No. 88.

In these last two games – wins over the Chargers and Rams – CeeDee Lamb has been targeted 21 times, with 19 receptions. Now that sounds more like a No. 1 receiver to me. You can't tell me Lamb has been wide open in those 21 times, but he's been able to make the catch, even when he's got defenders in the area.

But the biggest change so far is getting the ball to CeeDee with these bubble screens and quick hitches. That's just a clear example of getting the ball into the hands of your playmakers and letting them cook.

Oh, speaking of cooking, these last two games are also the two best games so far for Brandin Cooks. Coincidence? It can't be. The games that CeeDee Lamb is making plays, demanding more attention in coverage, are the games in which Cooks is starting to find his groove as well, scoring his first two touchdowns of the season.

And this week Jake Ferguson also benefited, making four catches on four targets, including a great touchdown grab in the first quarter.

But it all starts at the top with CeeDee and rolls downhill.

It rolled down from Irvin to Jay Novacek and Alvin Harper. It rolled down from Dez to Jason Witten and Cole Beasley.

And it'll roll down from CeeDee to whoever … Cooks, Ferguson and maybe even Michael Gallup, who had a couple of catches to move the chains.

Now, this offense is far from perfect. The running game still isn't consistent at all. To win some of these close games that we all know are coming up at some point, you've got to be able to run the ball, especially when the weather gets colder and the passing game will be a little more erratic.

But one thing is for sure. When it's time to pass … start with No. 88. It's worked in the past and it doesn't seem to be any different right now.

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