NFL Week 8 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 43, Los Angeles Rams 20

Eatman: When these No. 88s get hungry… feed them!

NFL Week 8 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 43, Los Angeles Rams 20

This is a recurring situation that has occurred on numerous occasions in the past, and it’s likely to repeat in the future, possibly even later this year.

When these top-tier wide receivers are eager to receive the football, the most effective solution is to target them with passes. Their sideline displays and, at times, distracting behavior can be addressed in various ways, but the most reliable method for quelling their demands is simply to get them involved in the game.

I often liken these star receivers to hungry children. The surefire way to quiet them down is to provide them with the ball.

In the three weeks since CeeDee Lamb’s emotional display on the sidelines during the game against the 49ers, it appears that the Cowboys have indeed increased their efforts to target him with passes.

While he did express some regret in his subsequent media session and acknowledged that he should handle his emotions differently, Lamb did not retract his belief that the Cowboys could be a more potent offense and a stronger team if he receives more passes.

Is he wrong? No, and the same can be said for Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant. While there may not be clips or highlights of Drew Pearson vocally demanding more passes, given his competitive personality, it’s safe to assume that he also expressed the desire for more opportunities.

These top receivers believe they are the best in the NFL, and they have the confidence that they can make a significant impact on the game, whether they are seemingly covered by one defender or even two. They possess the belief that they can be difference-makers and execute the critical plays.

It’s commendable that the Cowboys seem to be going the extra mile to accommodate CeeDee Lamb in this situation. While you may not hear Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott, or offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer explicitly state that they are altering the offense to prioritize getting the ball to CeeDee, it’s quite evident that Dak is making a deliberate effort to release the ball more quickly, often targeting number 88.

In the past two games, which were victories against the Chargers and Rams, CeeDee Lamb has been the target on 21 occasions, and he has successfully caught the ball 19 times. These statistics certainly align with the performance of a No. 1 receiver. It’s important to note that Lamb hasn’t always been wide open during these 21 targets, but he’s demonstrated the ability to secure catches even when defenders are in the vicinity.

One notable adjustment has been the increased utilization of bubble screens and quick hitches to get the ball into CeeDee’s hands swiftly. This strategy is a prime example of the team’s commitment to getting the ball to their playmakers and allowing them to showcase their skills.

Interestingly, these last two games have also seen Brandin Cooks deliver his two best performances of the season. It’s hard to believe this is a mere coincidence. The games in which CeeDee Lamb has been making impactful plays and demanding increased attention from opposing defenses appear to be the same games where Cooks is hitting his stride, scoring his first two touchdowns of the season.

Moreover, in this week’s game, Jake Ferguson also reaped the benefits by making four receptions on four targets, one of which was an impressive touchdown grab in the first quarter.

This tradition of star receivers demanding the football and ultimately benefiting the entire offense has a ripple effect. It starts with players like CeeDee Lamb and trickles down to others like Brandin Cooks, Jake Ferguson, and even Michael Gallup, who made a couple of crucial catches to extend drives.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that this offense isn’t without its flaws. The running game still lacks consistency. In order to secure victories in the impending close games, especially as the weather gets colder and the passing game becomes less reliable, a strong running game will be a key asset.

Certainly, history has shown that starting the passing game with No. 88, such as CeeDee Lamb, has yielded positive results in the past, and it continues to be a successful strategy.

SCORE

Passing
Los Angeles Rams
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int Long Sacks Rtg
Matthew Stafford 12.38 13 / 22 162 7.4 1 1 32 1 78.2
Brett Rypien 1.68 5 / 10 42 4.2 0 0 13 1 61.3
Dallas Cowboys
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int Long Sacks Rtg
Dak Prescott 32.06 25 / 31 304 9.8 4 1 26 3 133.7
Cooper Rush -0.18 2 / 3 3 1 0 0 5 0 70.1
Rushing
Los Angeles Rams
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long Fum Lost
Matthew Stafford 12.38 1 9 9 0 9 0
Darrell Henderson Jr. 11.5 12 31 2.6 0 7 0
Royce Freeman 10.4 9 44 4.9 1 10 0
Tutu Atwell 6.9 2 8 4 0 8 0
Dallas Cowboys
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long Fum Lost
CeeDee Lamb 44 1 12 12 0 12 0
Dak Prescott 32.06 4 19 4.8 0 9 0
Brandin Cooks 14.2 1 3 3 0 3 0
Tony Pollard 6.5 12 53 4.4 0 13 0
Rico Dowdle 4.5 5 18 3.6 0 7 0
Cooper Rush -0.18 3 -3 -1 0 -1 0
Receiving
Los Angeles Rams
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT YPR TD Long
Darrell Henderson Jr. 11.5 3 3 54 18 18 0 32
Tyler Higbee 9.5 7 5 45 6.4 9 0 20
Ben Skowronek 9 1 1 20 20 20 1 20
Puka Nacua 7.3 7 3 43 6.1 14.3 0 22
Tutu Atwell 6.9 4 2 21 5.2 10.5 0 20
Cooper Kupp 6.1 10 4 21 2.1 5.2 0 9
Dallas Cowboys
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT YPR TD Long
CeeDee Lamb 44 14 12 158 11.3 13.2 2 26
Jake Ferguson 14.7 4 4 47 11.8 11.8 1 18
Brandin Cooks 14.2 4 3 49 12.2 16.3 1 25
Tony Pollard 6.5 1 1 2 2 2 0 2
Rico Dowdle 4.5 2 2 7 3.5 3.5 0 5
Michael Gallup 4 3 2 20 6.7 10 0 14
KaVontae Turpin 2.3 2 1 13 6.5 13 0 13
Luke Schoonmaker 2.3 1 1 13 13 13 0 13
Hunter Luepke 0.8 1 1 -2 -2 -2 0 -2
Sean McKeon 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jalen Tolbert 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

 

 

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