Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb is the NFL’s breakout star in 2021

According to former Jacksonville Jaguars Jimmy Smith, expect the second-year receiver to be the next big name in 2021

Wide receivers seem to have a rep as a quarterback’s best friend. The connection between pass-catcher and pocket-passer can lead to success for a decade  —  including multiple trips to the postseason and the end zone.

The Dallas Cowboys have a trio of talented receiver for the 2021 season. Of the three, 2021 might be the season where CeeDee Lamb elevates his game to All-Pro level.

When selected with the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Cowboys fans were shocked Jerry Jones would elect to add a No. 3 target instead of a pass-rush. Even with Dak Prescott playing in just five games, Lamb’s ability to thrive both in the slot and on the perimeter kept Dallas in the playoff hunt until Week 17.

Now, one Pro Bowl receiver expects  a jump in production come Year 2.

“He’s going to be one of the top receivers in the league,” Former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith told Fansided’s Matt Lombardo on the Matt Lombardo Show.

“CeeDee Lamb has come in and obviously, he’s their No. 1 receiver. He has a passion for the game. He has a good feel for positioning in the slot, as a rookie, and he’s going to get better.”

Should the Cowboys rely on Lamb as the new No. 1 option?

It’s always about improving in the NFL at a week to week basis. Lamb only showed that No. 1 mentality early with Prescott still as the starter. He recorded 433 yards in his first five games, including two 100-plus yard outings.

Lamb was one of three rookie wideouts to finish with over 900 receiving yards on the season. Although Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson set a rookie record, imagine what the former Oklahoma product could have done with a full 16-game season working with Prescott?

The return of Prescott and a healthy offensive line should be enough to keep Dallas in the race for the NFC East. It also should catapult Lamb into the No. 1 spot for years to come down at “The Star”. With Michael Gallup in a contract year, they’ll need both Lamb and Amari Cooper to step up and show they can each be 1,000-yard targets.

Smith, who ranks 24th all-time in receiving yards, believes Lamb has just come out of the breaks for his career. A promising second season will show that names costing top dollar might not be worth the price.

“He’s going to make guys who are making more than him expendable,” Smith said. “That’s what’s going to happen.”

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