It may sound like a coaching speech at first glance, but the kicking play is usually the biggest exchange of yards expected from a single play, with the field position often swapping over 40 yards when the boot meets. the ball. With kickoff rule changes reducing the number of big comebacks in recent years, the Cowboys are looking to take advantage of the hidden distance available in the punt return game by deploying Lamb.
As a rookie, the No.88 ranked 11th in the league (min. 20 returns) averaging 7.2 yards per return on 24 returns with a length of 27 yards. If he pushes his average over 10 yards in second year, Lamb gives the Cowboys offense a free first try. In addition, he puts the offense in a better position to score with a better position on the field.
From a development perspective, the kickback role gives Lamb a chance to contribute while still occupying the WR3 spot on a unit with five-star playmakers at each of the skill positions. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound player can add a few touches to the stats line as the Cowboys’ leading punt returner while also sharpening his tools as a free-field runner.
As a scout with the Seattle Seahawks, I have often heard head coach Mike Holmgren suggest that former punt returnees have the potential to become dangerous playmakers because of their tenacity and skill. racing skills in traffic. Based on his experiences with John Taylor, Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman with the 49ers and Packers, he believed that punt returns were the perfect training ground for a young player to develop skills that could ” help become a Pro Bowl catcher.
McCarthy has also seen returning former players emerge as All-Star-caliber receivers during his time with the Packers. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb played key roles as return specialists as youngsters before becoming playmakers in the passing game. Cobb, in particular, provided a spark in the kicking game before making his way into the rotation as a key contributor.
“I’ve been through it before. Randall Cobb would probably be the last player I lived where he started out mostly as a returner and then as he got older and his numbers increased you start to watch the numbers. throws and things like that, ”McCarthy said. “I don’t see us there with CeeDee. But at the end of the day we’ll have more than one comeback.”
As McCarthy continues to look for ways to help the Cowboys advance to the playoffs, I think he’s making a wise move in using Lamb as a punt returner to help him continue to develop his game in the game. during the second year.