Wed, 27 Jan 2021

Inside CeeDee Lamb's 'Unbelievable' TD Catch

Dallas Cowboys
23 Nov 2020, 19:24 GMT+10

Rob Phillips

The first glimpse of CeeDee Lamb in a Cowboys uniform featured a one-handed catch on the rookie's first day of training camp practice in mid-August.

And now the best catch of Lamb's young NFL career - so far, anyway - is another highlight-reel reception that helped Dallas end a frustrating four-game losing streak.

Lamb's 4-yard touchdown in Sunday's 31-28 comeback win over Minnesota - a twisting, contorting catch as he fell backward onto the U.S. Bank Stadium turf - put the Cowboys back in front 13-7 late in the second quarter.

More importantly, it marked the first time since Oct. 11 against the Giants - the game in which quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his ankle - that the Cowboys posted more than one touchdown in a game.

"Unbelievable body control and discipline and focus," head coach Mike McCarthy said of Lamb's touchdown, his fourth in 10 games.

Andy Dalton, back in the lineup Sunday as Prescott's injury replacement, lofted the ball to the back left corner of the end zone on second-and-goal from the Minnesota 4-yard line.

Lamb, working against Vikings rookie cornerback Jeff Gladney, had a hard time tracking it at first.

"Honestly in that position it was very hard to see," he said. The lights from the stadium made it difficult. I ran my route and Andy gave me a great opportunity, a great ball to have the opportunity to make the catch. ... At the end of the day you've got to win your individual battles, and I did.

"As a receiver, you don't really get too many opportunities to catch a corner-of-the-end-zone type pass at the 4-yard line when you have a great running game, with Zeke (Elliott) in the backfield and the O-Line that we have. ... I made the most of my opportunity. I saw the ball that was in the air, he gave me a shot and I definitely didn't want it to hit the ground."

At first glance, it looked like Dalton's throw didn't have enough air under it for Lamb to make the catch.

"I let it go before he kind of set his angle on the route," Dalton said. "He took it a little flatter than I thought. For a guy like that to be able to make that kind of catch, you can see the talent that he has.

"CeeDee's so good when the ball is in the air, him being able to make his body in position to make acrobatic catches like that. You saw everything that he's done in college and some of the stuff that he's already been able to do since he's been here. I'm just trying to lay it up there, let him go have a chance at it. And he made an unbelievable catch."

Highlight-reel catches - the ones made and the ones that fall incomplete - are the ones receivers don't easily forget. Lamb still remembers a one-handed catch he made his sophomore year at Oklahoma against UCLA in 2018.

"Out of bounds," he said, regretfully.

He got this one. He also finished with four catches for 34 yards, three punt returns for 48 yards and a successful two-point conversion run on a pitch from Elliott that gave Dallas a 24-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Lamb, the 17th overall pick in April's draft, surpassed Hall of Famer Bob Hayes' record for most catches by a rookie in a season (46) Sunday.

There are many more to come.

"I go back to draft day. I'm so glad he's a Dallas Cowboy," McCarthy said. "I think we're all seeing the beginning of a tremendous career."

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