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Cowboys opt for best player available, select Oklahoma WR Lamb in NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys chose to enhance their offense in the first round of the NFL Draft by selecting Oklahoma wideout CeeDee Lamb
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (2) celebrates a 30-23 overtime win against Baylor during the Big 12 Championship game, in Arlington, Texas. Lamb was selected to The Associated Press All-America team, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)

DALLAS —

The Dallas Cowboys likely didn’t think they’d be in the position they were in on day one of the NFL Draft when they went on the clock at No. 17 overall in the first round. They desperately needed defensive players, especially to get after the quarterback, and one of the favorites for Dallas was still available.

LSU DE K’Lavon Chaisson was on the board for the Cowboys to pair with DeMarcus Lawrence as the weakside pass rush specialist. However, in a twist, so was Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, one of the top three wideouts in the draft. Lamb was also considered one of the top 10-12 players heading into Thursday’s first round and his fall gave the Cowboys a tough decision to make. 

Would they make a choice based on the need at defense, or would selecting the best player available be the prevailing wisdom? It’s an age old question and a dilemma that some teams struggle with on draft day. 

On this day, the Cowboys went with the best player on their board. 

The choice couldn’t have been easy as the Cowboys already have two stud receivers who surpassed 1,000 yards last season. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup have established themselves as top options for quarterback Dak Prescott, so receiver wasn’t a predominant need.

The loss of Randall Cobb to the Texans in free agency might have elevated the desire to bring in more wideout help, but it was clear going into the draft that the defense was the area that Dallas needed the most improvement. 

The Cowboys also have Ezekiel Elliott as a focal point in the offense and they re-signed Blake Jarwin at tight end to give Prescott a presence over the middle. That’s a lot of mouths to feed on offense and only one football.

But that’s a problem for another day and one the Cowboys will embrace. It’s going to be extremely fun to watch Dallas’ offense moving forward.

Lamb was one of the best receivers in college football over the past two seasons. He lined up inside, outside, and is a terror with the ball in his hands in the open field. The Cowboys now have arguably the best receiving group in the NFL.

The offense’s gain, is the defense's loss. As dominant as Dallas’ offense should be, the defense still needs a lot of help. When Robert Quinn left, so did the Cowboys’ 2019 sack leader. When Byron Jones signed with Miami, the Cowboys lost their Pro Bowl cornerback. The hope is that defensive ends Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory will be reinstated, but that’s not a given.

Luckily, the Cowboys still have six selections over the rest of the weekend with which to fill those spots. Dallas really needed to address defensive end and Chaisson would’ve been a great selection. The need in the backfield at CB and safety are as apparent. However, the team will have the rest of the draft to figure it out.

If you were wondering if Cowboys were going to have another Randy Moss situation play out, Jerry Jones made sure that didn’t happen again. This time, the Cowboys went with the big play receiver over the defensive end.

Perhaps Jones should draft by himself more often.

How do you feel about the Cowboys selecting a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft? Share your thoughts with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi

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