CeeDee Lamb Sends Strong Message to Cowboys: ‘Gotta Grow Up’

The Cowboys‘ CeeDee Lamb knows what his potential is. It’s not just that he is a No. 1 wide receiver for a contending team in the NFL—it’s that he has the ability to be the best receiver in the NFL. The numbers show it. Lamb has improved every year in the NFL, and this year put up an eye-popping 1,749 yards on 135 catches.

Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb

That put him first in the league in receptions and No. 2 in the NFL in yardage, just 50 yards behind Tyreek Hill of the Dolphins. He was third in receiving touchdowns, with 12.

Lamb wants to be the best in the league. But he thinks there’s one thing are in which he needs to improve—his attitude in the locker room. He sent a clear message to the Cowboys that he is aware of that shortcoming.

“First and foremost, I do gotta grow up,” he told teammate Micah Parsons on his podcast, “The Edge.” “There’s plenty of ways of me handling different situations. Me being mad is not one of the answers, you know what I’m saying? I feel like that’s contagious.”

Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb: ‘I Could Be More of a Leader’

That’s encouraging for Lamb, who is only 24. While he has not earned the “diva” label that so many top wide receivers wind up with in the NFL, he has not been shy about showing frustration at various times in his career, maybe most notably in the Cowboys’ disastrous loss to the 49ers back in Week 5, when he actively separated himself from the rest of the team.

Those frustrations cropped up again during the season, and Lamb acknowledged that he needs to take more responsibility when things do not go well if he is serious about being the best receiver in the NFL.

“I could be more of a leader, I could be more vocal. Even though I know that’s not me,” he said. “But, understanding the situation, if I am going to take this label of being (number) 1, I take full accountability. If I want to take this label of being 1, I can’t—sometimes I gotta get out of my shell.”

$30 Million Per Year Contract Ahead?

Of course, that is especially important for Lamb this offseason, as he looks to secure a new contract with the Cowboys entering his fifth season. Lamb is under contract for 2024, as the Cowboys exercised his fifth-year option at $18 million, but it would suit both him and the team to get a new deal done.

Lamb wants to be paid like the best receiver in the NFL, even if he is not there yet.

“Gotta secure it,” he told Parsons. “I can’t give you no numbers right now. But I’ll tell you this. One of the top paid receivers. If not ‘the’ (top), if not ‘the.’ That’s always the goal. You work hard to be in this position so it’s just, having this opportunity, I am trying to take full advantage.”

The Chargers duo of Keenan Allen ($34.7 million) and Mike Williams ($32.5 million) are currently the highest paid players at the position entering 2024, followed by Hill ($31.3 million). Spotrac puts his value at $115.5 million over four years, or $28.8 million per year, but it is safe to assume he will want to join the $30 million per year club established by Allen, Williams and Hill.

The Cowboys probably would like to see Lamb become the best receiver in the game before they officially pay him like it. But given his trajectory, he’s likely to get there, and the Cowboys are likely to pay him.

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