It goes without saying that CeeDee Lamb knows what's at stake in Tampa, and as he accepts his first-ever All-Pro honor, he's pulling from all manner of experience to help him level up
FRISCO, TX — From now on, when you address CeeDee Lamb, be sure to add the honor of "All-Pro" in front of his name. That's because the Dallas Cowboys' top wide receiver was named Second-Team All-Pro by the Associated Press in his third NFL season, adding to his two Pro Bowl honors earned since landing in North Texas via the 17th-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
"I couldn't stop smiling at the text messages, it's crazy," said Lamb after receiving the news on Friday. "The road to get here was a bit bumpy, but I enjoyed every bit of it. As a player, that adds to your confidence, but you understand you have more that you have to prove."
The latter part of his sentence is echoed loudly by the temperament of the locker room as a whole, and fellow [First-Team] All-Pro guard Zack Martin.
"It's a big honor for myself, Micah and CeeDee," Martin said. "But bigger things are on the horizon for this team. We're focused on that."
The biggest task of the season is rapidly approaching: a wild card matchup against Tom Brady and the Tampa Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Monday night, hoping to infiltrate and ultimately sink the ship in Central Florida.
Lamb isn't naive to what's on the line in this contest, especially after the humility re-injected in the Week 18 loss to the Washington Commanders and, never to be forgotten, the first-round exit one year ago at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.
"It's win or go home — win and you keep going or lose and your a– is going home," he said. "I don't wanna go home. It's just about us preparing the right way, ready to work and understanding we've got all we need all around the field. We just gotta put it together."
There's plenty for Lamb to prove in this contest despite having earned the All-Pro honor and a second Pro Bowl nod because, as an individual, he didn't put his best performance on film against the 49ers with the season on the line.
He finished that contest with only one catch on five targets for a total of 21 yards with no touchdowns.
"As a receiver, that's terrible, point blank period," Lamb admitted, frankly. "It was my first playoff game and, obviously, it wasn't the best feeling, nor did we win. It was a double whammy."
Needless to say, it's fuel to perform better this time around, but Lamb and the Cowboys are drawing from more than just one game, considering two of their losses in 2022 landed in overtime after relinquishing a double-digit lead each time (and then there's the aforementioned outcome/showing at FedEx Field in the regular season finale).
"Everything is motivation," he added. "Every loss we've had these past couple of years has been tough, self-inflicted and things that we can control."
That said, having watched the film from the loss against the 49ers at several points since it happened last January, Lamb and the Cowboys get a chance on Monday to make it flake away like the result of a Thanos snap.
"I'm just focusing on now, the moment, and the position I'm in now," he said. "Being the better version of myself, I'm just trying to lead the room. I feel like now I'm a better receiver as I'm standing in front of you. … It's just all about now."
"Stars are born in the playoffs," Lamb said. "You get cemented in the NFL off of how you perform in elimination rounds."
It's how Brady became who he is, and that mindset is the only one that will give the Cowboys a chance to send Brady and the Buccaneers to Davy Jones' Locker next week.