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Mailbag: Dividing Up The Touches On Offense?


With first-round pick CeeDee Lamb bound to get his fair share of opportunities to shine, a possible budding star in Michael Gallup, a bona fide elite receiver in Amari Cooper, and arguably a top three running back in Zeke Elliott, how does the offense give each of these players their full chance to shine? Is there such a thing as too much offensive depth? BILL DINGMAN / GLENS FALLS, NY

Nick: Well, that's a good question. Honestly, the answer doesn't really have anything to do with talent. If everyone is on the same page and egos are checked at the door, it'll work. The problem comes when these players start having issues with catching one pass for 14 yards. That's just the way it goes sometimes. Teams always say they want a "pick your poison" type of offense but that sounds good until a player doesn't have a big game. Then the fans (fantasy owners) start wondering what's wrong with Michael Gallup. "I started him last week and he caught one pass!" It sounds dumb but it's reality. This offense has a lot of expectations but it's nearly impossible for everyone to have big games. So as long as they all understand that – and the fans and media understand it as well – it'll be fine.

Jonny: The short answer is no, because depth is just a good thing to have full-stop. But you could make the argument that depth can create outsized expectations. CeeDee Lamb could have been drafted by the Eagles, put into a No. 1 receiver role, and I'm sure Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz would have figured out how to rack up his statistics. It's not as simple as saying Cooper, Gallup, and Lamb will all have the impact they would have had as No. 1 receivers. There's a ceiling to every role. The good news is all those guys will be trying to knock on that ceiling. The same goes for Zeke and Tony Pollard.

I was thrilled when the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb, but do you think Lamb will need to bulk up to handle stronger NFL-caliber defensive backs? Top receivers in the NFL need to be stronger like Michael Irvin, Dez Bryant and Amari Cooper. AMEER BHUTTO / KARACHI, PAKISTAN

Nick: I don't really agree. I think if you look at the best receivers in the NFL, they all look different. He will get stronger because he's now in the NFL and will have an offseason conditioning program. It'll be naturally that he adds some weight and strength. But when I see Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Julio, Odell … I don't see any reason why CeeDee can't get to a similar body type. It's a good, next-level question but I just don't really think it's a big issue for him.

Jonny: I think he will be just fine. Sure, he'll need to bulk up to reach his potential at some point. But I don't see why that wouldn't happen naturally assuming he sets goals for himself every offseason. He's coming in with elite speed and athleticism. Maybe he won't break a ton of tackles as a rookie, but defenders are going to have to catch him first.

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