Cowboys Veteran Delivers Message to Holdout CeeDee Lamb

The Cowboys weren’t exactly surprised that star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb failed to make an appearance in the first round of practice as the team begins to dust off the smell of disappointment from the team in playoffs heading into 2024. Lamb remains without a contract extension. Among receivers in the NFL’s upper echelon seeking new contracts, sitting out OTAs is exactly what you’re doing.

Lamb did not report to Dallas this week. Brandon Aiyuk was not with the 49ers. Justin Jefferson wasn’t with the Vikings. Tee Higgins was not with the Bengals. Courtland Sutton was not with the Broncos. Darius Slayton (sure, why not?) wasn’t with the Giants.

Veteran receiver Brandin Cooks, however, said he wasn’t really bothered by Lamb’s absence. In fact, he wanted to make Lamb understand that this resistance just means he has to be bigger next time.

“I’m always here for him,” Cooks said according to the Dallas Morning News. “My biggest advice is just to make sure you do what you have to do so you can be ready for training camp, whatever the case may be, so you don’t miss anything and they don’t regret having you paid.”

The Cowboys also have a contract issue with Micah Parsons

The Cowboys were also missing Micah Parsons, who also needs an extension, although that deal is lower on the priority list as Parsons is only entering his fourth season and is comfortably under contract for the next two years. OTAs are technically voluntary, so opting out of an OTA isn’t exactly a drastic move.

Lamb is the big priority. Then again, the same goes for quarterback Dak Prescott, who is entering the final year of his contract and also needs an extension. But Prescott showed up.

He made it clear that he, too, supported Lamb in his contract decisions.

“Yeah, I mean, that’s my guy,” Prescott said. “There aren’t many people who are classier, cooler, and better players than this guy. So obviously, you’re going to miss him, you’re going to miss him. But I’ve been in this situation, it’s business, business is business.

“He has my support and that of almost everyone in this locker room. I know the support from the locker room and so that’s part of it. Let’s hope he gets everything he deserves and is worth.

Will CeeDee Lamb make $32 million a year?

That’s a pretty penny, by any standard. Lamb is currently scheduled to play in 2024 during his option year, worth $18 million.

He is coming off a year in which he led the league with 135 receptions and totaled 1,749 yards. Overall, he averaged 78.0 yards per game during his career and 102.9 yards per game last season.

Lamb was tied for fourth at Pro Football Focus among 2023 wide receiver grades, with a 91.2. That was behind Tyreek Hill, who averages $30 million per year, Aiyuk and Amon-Ra St. Brown. He was tied with Nico Collins and Jefferson.

This is one of the difficult parts of Lamb’s situation: he waits to see what Aiyuk and Jefferson do, while they wait to see what Lamb and each of them do. They were all watching St. Brown take on Hill at $30 million per year and saw AJ Brown of the Eagles sign for $32 million per year.

Important to note: Tory Dandy is Brown and Lamb’s agent. It’s highly unlikely he’ll accept less for Lamb than he did for Brown. This means that no matter how things shake out, expect the Cowboys to have one of the top 3 receivers in the game when Lamb signs – at least as much as Brown, more than Aiyuk, and probably a cut below of Jefferson.