The Dallas Cowboys enjoyed a pretty successful season, going 12-5 and winning a wild card playoff game before losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round. But one glaring weakness with the Cowboys this season was its lack of playmakers.
Minus breakout star receiver CeeDee Lamb and explosive running back Tony Pollard, they just didn’t have many other players capable of making game-changing plays. Lamb had 107 receptions for nearly 1,400 yards and nine touchdowns this season. The former Oklahoma star is in Arizona for the Super Bowl, and he stopped by the “Around The NFL” show on the NFL Network set to talk about what he feels is prohibiting the Cowboys from taking the next step.
“You gotta surround the quarterback,” Lamb said. “You go look at the Eagles, and they’ve got three receivers, a great tight end group, run the ball well, their 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.”
Sounds like Lamb was throwing his teammates under the bus at first, then he came back saying Dallas needs to add that one missing piece. They had that piece, and his name was Amari Cooper, and they traded him away last offseason.
A disappointed Lamb also touched on how coming up short year after year isn’t good enough.
“Unfortunately, here we are again,” he said. 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 we had a Lombardi come back to Dallas.”
Joining @DanHanzus, @greggrosenthal and @MarcSessler on the ATN pod, Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb says Dallas needs to surround QB Dak Prescott with weapons to take next step in playoffshttps://t.co/tEi4eGR5NY pic.twitter.com/m2ArvbrpXR
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) February 9, 2023
Injuries + Erratic QB Play Play A Role
With any football team, injuries will always play a role, and the Cowboys were no different. Key playmakers like tight end Dalton Schultz and wide receiver Michael Gallup were in and out of the lineup or just not themselves this season. Schultz battled the injury bug all season, and Gallup still hasn’t recovered from his torn ACL. Even though he was on the field, it’s still a process.
And then there’s the five games star quarterback Dak Prescott missed that in some ways affected his play. This season Prescott, known for taking care of football, tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions. Running back Ezekiel Ellliott also looked as if his best days are behind him, so what Lamb is saying has some validity to it. But no one is gonna feel sorry for the Cowboys, who need to upgrade their weaponry via the draft or free agency.
CeeDee Lamb on the hate Dak Prescott receives pic.twitter.com/pwCDLDa2LW
— PFF (@PFF) February 10, 2023
Mike McCarthy Now Calling Plays
Earlier this month Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy decided not to bring back offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, instead opting to call plays himself. He’ll be the first Cowboys coach to call plays since Jason Garrett did it in 2012. McCarthy will run a version of his West Coast offense he ran in Green Bay from 2006-2018 with quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center.
During an interview with Yahoo Sports at Radio Row at the Super Bowl, an excited Lamb talked about how he can’t wait to learn the new offense.
“I don’t know what to expect, but I’m very excited. You look at what he’s done. He was calling plays out in Green Bay. So it’s nothing new to him. He’s been in this position, and he knows what he’s doing.”
"We're about big plays." @DallasCowboys WR CeeDee Lamb on his 2022 season and QB Dak Prescott. #DallasCowboys | #Cowboys | @_CeeDeeThree pic.twitter.com/56cS2HOSwA
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 9, 2023
McCarthy experienced a lot of success as the play-caller in Green Bay, leading the Packers to a Super Bowl win 2010. Now he’ll look to do the same thing with Dallas. But to do so, Lamb says they’ll need an upgrade in talent.