The plays on the slide before were splendid, but what Lamb was able to do on third down for the Cowboys should be illegal this early on in his career.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- 3 burning questions for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023
- 2023 NFL Season: Is Dak Prescott on the hot seat this year?
- 2023 NFL Season: Three darkhorse candidates for the MVP
- 2023 NFL Season: Ranking the best wide receivers in the league
- 2023 NFL Season: Ranking the 32 starting quarterbacks
As stated prior in the article, Lamb was able to reel in half of his receptions on third down against Atlanta and this one went for 37 yards. The Cowboys are running “four-verts” and Lamb is the inside most receiver tasked with a seam route. Lamb sees that he has two safeties splitting the field so he knows that in order for his route to be a success he has to catch the ball somewhere in between the two safeties.
In order to do that, Lamb starts off by widening his route forcing the safety to widen out as well. Once Lamb feels he has created enough space over the middle he begins to bend his route back in and finds himself in the perfect place to make the catch, between the safeties and right behind the linebackers. At the top of his route, he does a great job maintaining space and not flattening out too much or getting too vertical; he finds the soft spot for a big gain.
This is one of the very few times where Lamb will get pressed when in the slot and it’s because he is on the line-of-scrimmage as opposed to hanging a yard or two off of the ball. When you’re facing press in the slot as opposed to on the outside, it can be a bit easier to get off of the press. When you’re outside, there aren’t many places to go, but when you’re inside at the slot spot, you can go outside, inside, or try to work through the press.
As you can see from the clip above, Lamb chooses to go inside and because he is in the slot he doesn’t have to work vertically he is allowed to work immediately into his route and he does just that. He gives the slot corner a quick jab outside then quickly starts to work across the field. When he hit the jab move, it made the corner stop and think for just a second giving Lamb enough time to get across his body without being touched. Lamb also does an extremely good job of finishing this play, displaying what he showed at Oklahoma, ball skills.
On this play, it appears Dak sees something he likes pre-snap (it’s likely the fact that the Falcons are in off-coverage on the trips side) and decides to have Lamb and Dalton Schultz (#80) swap positions. It’s hard to say whether or not the play remained the same, but nonetheless, it shows that Prescott has the confidence in his rookie receiver to pick up the first down.
CeeDee Lamb doesn’t do anything special on this play, but it does show that Dak and Dallas have a ton of confidence in him, even when they have Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on the outside. Having those two on his team has been huge for his success early on, and if he continues to get his reps out of the slot, it’s hard to see him slowing down anytime soon.