Once again, the Cowboys find themselves with over 20 players who have expiring contracts. But still, there's a large percentage of players on the roster already in place. Over the next few weeks, the staff writers will evaluate those players under contract, reviewing their past performances with an outlook to the future. Today, we'll continue the series with wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
What Worked: There was plenty of pressure on Lamb to be the Cowboys' primary receiving threat in 2022 and he delivered in every way the franchise could have hoped. After a slow start to the year mainly due to being without Dak Prescott and his injury, Lamb exploded once the two were reunited, strutting his way to his second consecutive Pro Bowl season with over 1,300 yards, 107 catches and nine touchdowns - all of which ranked top-10 in the league. He posted six 100-yard receiving games upon Prescott's return while averaging almost 13-yards a catch and 8- yards a game for the year to establish himself as the premier offensive threat for the Cowboys.
Needs Some Work: One of the more prominent knocks on Lamb over his first two seasons in Dallas was his percentage of drops given that he had eight in 2020 and 2021. He significantly lowered that number in 2022 from 6.7% in the season prior to 3.8% last season. From there, there once Prescott and Lamb got back together on the field miscommunication between the two reared its head a couple of times, leading to an odd trend of interceptions just before halftime in multiple games.
His Best Work: While Lamb's best game statistically in 2022 came against the Packers in an overtime loss with 15 catches for 150 yards and two scores, we'll point to another game that was just as impressive in Week 16 against the Eagles. Lamb racked up 10 catches for 120 yards and two scores as well, including his second touchdown late in the fourth to tie the game up and help catapult the Cowboys to a win over their division rival.
Contract Consideration: Lamb is under contract through 2024, but will have a base salary of just north of $2.5 million this upcoming season with a signing bonus of $1.9 million. Looking ahead, Lamb will see a substantial raise in 2024 with a base salary of $19.7 million in what would be the Cowboys exercising his fifth year option as a formality as they look to eventually work to get a long term deal done with the former 2020 NFL Draft first round pick.
What's Next: As mentioned above, the Cowboys will likely look to begin contract extension talks with Lamb over the coming year. In the meantime, Lamb's meteoric rise and growth in 2022 should only continue in 2023 especially with the addition of Brandin Cooks and a fully healthy Michael Gallup moving forward.