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NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys pick OU's CeeDee Lamb, follow trend of powerful offenses adding even more punch

OU reciever CeeDee Lamb left Baylor defenders grasping at air during the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. After drafting him Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys hope that happens regularly when he plays there. [BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN]
OU reciever CeeDee Lamb left Baylor defenders grasping at air during the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. After drafting him Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys hope that happens regularly when he plays there. [BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN]

When it came time for the Dallas Cowboys to make their first draft pick the other night, owner Jerry Jones appeared on our TVs looking like he might be on the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise.

He sat on a long cream couch, and behind him on the matching cream walls were a pair of large translucent circles. They seemed to have ghostly images projected onto them — coordinates for warp speed, perhaps?

Turns out, Jones was doing the NFL Draft from his $250 million superyacht.

Quite the power move.

It wasn’t the only one he made.

Thursday night, Jones and the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb with their first-round pick and added even more firepower to an already weaponized offense. The former OU receiver will join Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in making what some are saying is the NFL’s best receiving trio. It’s definitely the Cowboys’ best in years.

You might have to go all the way back to the late 1970s and early 1980s to find a better bunch in the metroplex.

The Cowboys won’t be hurting for offense next season — Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott expect to be involved, too — and they won’t be alone. Teams at the top continue to add to their super-charged offenses.

Kansas City, the defending Super Bowl champs, drafted LSU speedster tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I’m not sure anyone thought Andy Reid and Co. needed more offensive talent to go with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and the rest, but that’s what they did with their first-round pick.

San Francisco, which lost to KC in the Super Bowl, did a trade with Minnesota to move up and snag Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The 49ers already have George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne, but they hope Aiyuk can fill the void left by Emmanuel Sanders’ departure in free agency.

Tennessee, which lost to KC in the AFC Championship Game, drafted an offensive tackle. You thought the Titans were pretty good with Derrick Henry running the ball? Isaiah Wilson is a mauler and may open even bigger running lanes.

Not every top-tier team went with offense in the early rounds, but there were lots.

Dallas, of course, is not currently in the top tier. The Cowboys were disappointing last season, failing to even make the playoffs. But with the addition of Lamb, they are clearly looking to follow the leaders.

Even though they have needs on defense, they couldn’t pass on Lamb.

“We thought he was a top-10 pick,” Dallas chief operating officer Stephen Jones told reporters Thursday night. “We never really thought we had a chance to get him.

“Every mock draft we did, we had him long gone.”

Dallas didn't even interview Lamb, but when he was still on the board at No. 17, the Cowboys pounced.

He’s sure to end up with a lot of one-on-one coverage since most defenses are likely to keep an extra eye on Cooper. Or Gallup. Both went over 1,000 yards receiving last season, so Lamb could have all sorts of mismatches in his favor.

He hasn’t had many of those in the past three years at OU.

Sure, playing his first two seasons with Marquise Brown took some defensive pressure off Lamb, but because of his 6-foot-2 frame and his tenacious streak, he commanded attention. Double teams and more were common.

Now, Lamb will see more man coverage. Granted, the defenders will be better than the ones he faced in college, but he should have more room to operate.

Good for him.

Great for the Cowboys.

Jerry Jones told reporters after the proceedings Thursday night he had three trade offers on the table before making the pick. While Jones thought about taking an offer and moving back, he told those teams no because he felt he had to say yes to Lamb.

Jerry doesn’t always pick the best-available player, to the chagrin of many a Cowboy fan, but he couldn’t pass on Lamb. He’s the type of receiver who could help propel a team not only to the playoffs but also to the Super Bowl.

Jerry Jones made a power play Thursday night.

Soon enough, we’ll see how much more power Lamb gives an already big offensive punch.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 405-475-4125 or jcarlson@oklahoman.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK or follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok.

Related Photos
<strong>CeeDee Lamb, third from right, talks on a phone in Houston after being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft on Thursday. [NFL via AP]</strong>

CeeDee Lamb, third from right, talks on a phone in Houston after being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft on Thursday. [NFL via AP]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1b479fc04ab72fcdc38321b77bad15b8.jpg" alt="Photo - CeeDee Lamb, third from right, talks on a phone in Houston after being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft on Thursday. [NFL via AP] " title=" CeeDee Lamb, third from right, talks on a phone in Houston after being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft on Thursday. [NFL via AP] "><figcaption> CeeDee Lamb, third from right, talks on a phone in Houston after being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft on Thursday. [NFL via AP] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-74a0ba7240cdbfb07a7365a35cb0a2da.jpg" alt="Photo - OU reciever CeeDee Lamb left Baylor defenders grasping at air during the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&amp;T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. After drafting him Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys hope that happens regularly when he plays there. [BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" OU reciever CeeDee Lamb left Baylor defenders grasping at air during the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&amp;T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. After drafting him Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys hope that happens regularly when he plays there. [BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> OU reciever CeeDee Lamb left Baylor defenders grasping at air during the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&amp;T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. After drafting him Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys hope that happens regularly when he plays there. [BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure>
Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

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