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Training Camp | 2020

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With CeeDee Lamb, Expect The Unexpected


FRISCO, Texas – Running back Tony Pollard summed up CeeDee Lamb's first week with the Dallas Cowboys in four words.

"He's worth the hype," Pollard said after Friday's practice.

A half-hour earlier, Lamb ended practice with a leaping touchdown catch from Dak Prescott against fifth-year veteran cornerback Daryl Worley, keeping his feet in bounds in the right corner of the end zone.

It wasn't the first ridiculous catch Lamb has made since training camp practice opened a week ago. It won't be the last.

But the Cowboys' first-round pick understands his first camp is a learning process, particularly with the nation's COVID-19 crisis preventing the Cowboys from having any on-field reps until August.

"Just coming in with the same mentality that I'm the new kid on the block," he said. "I'm respecting everybody, just playing my role, and whenever my opportunity or name is called, just make the most of it."

Coaches and teammates have praised Lamb's work ethic and attention to detail. And while it's early, the results are there.

The former Oklahoma star has been productive at receiver alongside veteran starters Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup since the pads came on last Sunday. He has shown fluidity as a punt return candidate. And he does seem to make a 'wow' play in every practice to date.

"Very, very gifted," Prescott said. "Great hands, has a great feel for the game. I think that's probably the most impressive thing, to be a young rookie playing in the slot and just have a feel for the game and know where to be. I think that's going to go a long way and serve him really well in this league."

Prescott says trust with a new receiver can happen fast when he's consistently in the right place and finishing plays. That rapport seems to be building with Lamb, who's also able to make tight, contested catches from a variety of angles.

Lamb's one-handed reception on the first day of practice was one example. His touchdown grab Friday was another.

"I feel like as a receiver, you have to expect the unexpected. No matter where the ball is, it's your job to catch it," Lamb said. "The quarterback has done all the hard parts. He got the ball out of his hands. He made checks. He did everything else. Now for you, all you've got to go catch the ball.

"Just understanding that everything is not going to go as planned and the ball is not going to be where it needs to be all the time. Just prepare myself for the worst, and when the best happens, it feels great."

Lamb might make things on the field look easy, but make no mistake, the first six practices of his NFL career have been an eye opener.

"Everything I got warned (about) is definitely here -- everything as far as the speed, the tempo, how smart guys are and how talented guys are," he said. "You've got D-Linemen running 4.7 (40 times). You've got DBs running 4.2s-4.3s, linebackers flowing sideline to sideline at 4.4-4.5s. It's things that you can't teach."

Lamb has some unteachable skills himself.

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