OXNARD, Calif. – The reputation seems to grow with every practice.
CeeDee Lamb is just beginning his second year in the league, but the expectation is that he's going to do something impressive every time he steps on the field. To this point in camp, he almost always delivers.
"CeeDee continues to make play after play, catch after catch that are jaw dropping," said Dak Prescott on Friday. "He looks like another 88, I guess, that wore that number."
Perhaps Lamb isn't yet on the level of Dez Bryant, who dominated these Oxnard practices on an annual basis. But he's close.
Saturday saw him at it again down near the goal line, as he broke out of the slot and tracked down a lofted ball from Garrett Gilbert. Looking a lot like Willie Mays, he tracked the ball over his shoulder for a tip-toeing touchdown against Nahshon Wright.
It's understandable to not want to put too much expectation on such a young player, but Lamb's consistency makes it hard to avoid.
Here are some more practice points from Saturday:
- Jeremy Sprinkle had his most active day of practice at this camp, as Garrett Gilbert looked his way often. The offense worked extensively on goal line situations, and Sprinkle was targeted several times, catching two touchdowns. Sprinkle was also targeted during the regular team period and managed several catches to move the chains.
- With Sprinkle receiving so much attention, Dorance Armstrong found himself in an unusual place – pass coverage. On several occasions, Gilbert motioned Sprinkle out wide off the line, and Armstrong had to follow him. For a guy who's listed at 6'3, 260 pounds, Armstrong handled himself fairly well. On one rep, Gilbert threw Sprinkle a back shoulder ball, and Armstrong cut under the pass and batted it away. It could have been an interception, but it's hard to blame a defensive end for having shaky hands. Armstrong also showed up in team period, notching at least one sack and a handful of pressures.
- Rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph returned to team drills after being limited the last couple practices, and the second-round draft pick had two pass breakups. Wide receiver Michael Gallup also got back into practice after tweaking his ankle on that fence-flip play Monday.
- While Tyron Smith did return to practice on a limited basis, Brandon Knight and Terence Steele took reps at left tackle. Knight has mostly worked at guard in camp but filled in at tackle last season while Smith and La'el Collins were injured. Ty Nsekhe, signed in the offseason to compete for the swing tackle job, did not practice. Rookie tackle Josh Ball also went to the medical tent briefly before returning to the field.
- A lot of pressure from the defensive line in team work. Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch converged on quarterback Garrett Gilbert for a would-be sack, and Randy Gregory got around the right edge the very next snap.
- If the Cowboys were indeed keeping the idea of signing veteran center Joe Looney in their back pocket, that scenario is now off the table. Looney is expected to sign with the Giants and reunite with NYG offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. On Friday, Cowboys OC Kellen Moore seemingly alluded to the possibility when he said "Joe isn't with us right now" when talking about the depth at center. For now, Tyler Biadasz is working with the first unit and Connor Williams is taking reps as well.
- Isaac Alarcon has moved to guard full time now after spending last year at tackle. He's getting a roster exemption because he's with the NFL International program. Alarcon will get to play in the preseason games and unless he makes the 53-man roster, he will get to be on the practice squad for one more year – also with an exemption.