There's a shakeup occurring on the offensive side of the Cowboys coaching staff, and free agency could change things even more for Dallas — Lamb giving his stance on it all
FRISCO, TX — CeeDee Lamb doesn't believe the Dallas Cowboys are far away from their ultimate goal of appearing in and ultimately winning a Super Bowl, and he's not incorrect in taking that stance on the team's current state of affairs.
It's a team that's won 24 regular season games over the past two seasons to go along with two playoff appearances, advancing to the NFC Divisional Round this past January before seeing their hopes dashed for a second consecutive season by the San Francisco 49ers.
That was a very winnable matchup for the Cowboys, however, and the adversities Dallas continually found ways to overcome in 2022 to be in that position at all hints at just how close they truly are — though Lamb readily admits it's frustrating.
"Unfortunately, here we are again," he told NFL Network's "Around the NFL" in Glendale this week. "I hate being close, I'm sure everyone on the team does, and we owe [a win] to all of our fans. It's been quite some time since we had a Lombardi [trophy] come back to Dallas."
The drought is now up to 27 years, for those keeping count.
With the hopes of trying to avoid that number rising to 28, the Cowboys quickly began making changes within their coaching staff in January. They included swapping out offensive line coaches, parting ways with several other assistants and, most notably, waving goodbye to offensive coordinator Kellen Moore — whom they'll matchup against next season when they visit his Los Angeles Chargers.
Moore has been replaced with Brian Schottenheimer, who joined the organization in a consulting role in 2022, but it'll be head coach Mike McCarthy calling the plays on a weekly basis in Year 4 of his contract; marking the first time he's taken on that role since his split with the Green Bay Packers.
But while there's plenty of change on the offensive coaching staff, Lamb believes there will be a good bit of continuity as well, at least in how games unfold.
"I don't think there will be much of a difference, because what [Kellen] has done in my first three years of experience, he kept us fast-going — big plays, explosive plays all across the field," Lamb told NFL Network's "Super Bowl Live" from Glendale, Arizona. "We could score from anywhere on the field, any ball position, just taking advantage of every opportunity we could get."
It's likely McCarthy meshes the playbook from his Super Bowl-winning days in Wisconsin with the best from the Moore era in Dallas, along with what worked for Schottemheimer in the three years with Seahawks that saw him coordinate a top-10 NFL offense in points scored each of those seasons.
Lamb finished the season with his second Pro Bowl nod on the heels of reeling in career highs in both receiving yards (1,359) and touchdowns (9), the biggest offensive playmaker outside of running back Tony Pollard, helping Dak Prescott lead the offense to being No. 1 in points per game following the quarterback's return from injury in Week 7.
But the Cowboys also left a lot of meat on the bone, including at receiver, Lamb notwithstanding.
Free agency is sure to shake some things up over the next several weeks and months at multiple positions, and/but Lamb is optimistic Dallas' front office — who recently made it clear the team is open to being "aggressive" in free agency this offseason — will make the necessary moves to help the team take the final couple of steps in their postseason mission.
"You gotta surround (the quarterback)," Lamb said. "You go look at the Eagles, and they've got three receivers, a great tight end group, they run the ball well, the O-line is very phenomenal. You look at San Fran, they surrounded their quarterback and you get success ultimately. I mean we've got just as many weapons, but that extra player, all it takes is one.
"You can be so close to the Super Bowl and it can be a deciding factor."
For a team that split the season series with the Eagles, defeated the Bengals, throttled the Vikings in Minnesota and swept the playoff-bound Giants whose head coach just took home NFL Head Coach of the Year honors, the Cowboys are in position to strike gold.
They just need to make sure their next few swings of the pickax hit the right spots.