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CeeDee Lamb
Dallas Cowboys

Are Troy Aikman’s Comments About CeeDee Lamb Correct?

  • Justin Melo
  • January 19, 2022
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The Dallas Cowboys are still reeling from Sunday's disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Winners of the NFC East, the Cowboys entered the playoff contest with home-field advantage and were largely viewed as favorites to progress to the divisional round of the postseason. It ended in disappointment as the 49ers reigned victorious in the house that Jerry built. The Cowboys offense, which led the league in yards gained per contest (407) and points scored per game (31.2) throughout the regular season were held to a mere fraction of those averages (307 yards and 17 points) as they made yet another early and disheartening exit from the playoffs. Several pressing and difficult questions will be asked of the Cowboys coaching staff and star players. All parties involved failed to execute their assignments at the desired level, which ultimately led to an early offseason. Cowboys legend Troy Aikman had plenty of thoughts to share regarding Dallas' usage of star receiver CeeDee Lamb, who somehow secured just one-of-five targets for 21 yards. There are plenty of discerning factors to digest. Head coach Mike McCarthy, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and even starting quarterback Dak Prescott absolutely deserve blame for failing to establish their dominant offense that took the league by storm throughout 2021. With a plethora of offensive weapons at their disposal, including Lamb, there's no reason for Dallas' offense to perform as pedestrian as they did on Sunday. Witnessing an uber-talented receiver such as Lamb secure just one reception in a tightly-contested showdown is simply inexcusable. 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans got the better of McCarthy and Moore from a game plan perspective. Although San Francisco possesses a haunting and hungry front seven with plenty of talent at defensive end and linebacker, their secondary is a clear-cut weakness. Dallas' failure to take advantage of the mismatches they naturally entered the contest with is an unforgivable offense. This is a 49ers secondary that was torched by Cooper Kupp (7-118-1) in Week 18, and flat out embarrassed by A.J. Brown in Week 16 (11-145-1). Rookie third-round cornerback Ambry Thomas played 72 defensive snaps for San Francisco in the victory over Dallas. Dallas' failure to expose an inexperienced cover-man that gave up 19 receptions on 28 targets (via Pro Football Focus) while earning a coverage grade of 47.1 is unjustifiable. Fellow cornerback K'Waun Williams, who played 62 snaps, entered the game having given up 40 catches on 50 targets throughout the regular season, via PFF. There are simply no words for Dallas’ ineptness in the passing game. Credit is due for a 49ers pass rush that routinely placed pressure on Prescott. They stormed the pocket on a snap-by-snap basis and made Dallas' elite quarterback rather uncomfortable. Prescott was sacked an astounding five times and was hurried, hit, and pressured on several more occasions. Dallas' passing game suffered and struggled mightily as a result, and the implications helped lead to the crisis we are currently discussing. Cowboys fans have plenty to be sour about. A well-built roster that appeared primed to make a deep postseason run ultimately disappointed. Coach Moore will spend the next several weeks interviewing for a plethora of head coaching vacancies. The 33-year-old Moore might have to explain Lamb's lack of involvement and Dallas' overall passing-game struggles to any and all potential employers.

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Justin Melo