When the Dallas Cowboys take on the Baltimore Ravens on December 8, they will be looking to keep pace in the poorest NFC East in which no team has recorded more than four wins. However, there’s another interesting dynamic to this matchup.
Rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who took over the responsibility of wearing the number 88 for the Cowboys, will square off against the last man who made a name for himself wearing the same number in Dallas, Dez Bryant. When speaking to the media on Wednesday, Lamb expressed his feelings about facing Bryant.
“For me to go against a guy I actually watched growing up excel in this jersey number, to have the opportunity to play against him, is a huge honor on my end and speaks volumes on his part,” Lamb said. “He definitely did a great job here, and I’m looking to continue the legacy with the jersey number.”
Bryant left the Cowboys as its all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 73. The best stretch of his career was from 2012 to 2014 in which he posted at least 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns on a minimum of 88 receptions (how ironic). Lamb wants to emulate that same steady production.
“Definitely seeing how he was consistent throughout his career,” Lamb said. “You could tell every year he got better, and that’s definitely what I’m trying to do. Every game get better, every week get better, every rep get better. That’s kind of how I take this approach.”
Following the legacy of the number 88 in Dallas after big names such as Drew Pearson, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, and the aforementioned Bryant is a huge responsibility and one Lamb doesn’t take for granted.
“It’s a very prestigious number,” Lamb said. “I’m grateful that I get to wear that number on my back every Sunday and every day in practice.”
Lamb has done an excellent job living up to the expectations of wearing the infamous 88. He ranks third in receiving yards (650) and fourth in touchdowns (4) for all rookies, ranking second and first in those categories for the Cowboys this season. His 53 receptions have already broken the franchise rookie record set by Bob Hayes in 1965 and he also became the first player in NFL history with at least five receptions in his first six games.
Although his production has dropped slightly without Dak Prescott, he’s still only a few yards per game off of a 1,000-yard pace. He’s already a stud and he’ll only get better with time and experience.
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