Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones still needs to see a little more from star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
Regarding the team's receiver play as a whole, Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan the Cowboys "have got to get better there." He then highlighted Lamb specifically.
"CeeDee has got to improve and work his way into being the No. 1 receiver," he said.
The comment can be read as unfairly dismissive of Lamb's work to date. The 23-year-old caught 79 passes for 1,102 yards and six touchdowns in 2021 and earned his first Pro Bowl nod.
There's no question Lamb's performance (two catches, 29 yards) Sunday night in a 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was disappointing, but it was only one game. It doesn't erase what he did in his first two seasons.
Dallas' front office hasn't exactly set Lamb—or the offense as a whole for that matter—up for success, either.
The team traded Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns and replaced him with free agent James Washington and third-round draft pick Jalen Tolbert. Michael Gallup also missed the opener as he continues working his way back from his torn ACL in 2021.
Opposing defenses basically have free rein to zero in on Lamb on every passing down.
Compounding matters, Dak Prescott is expected to miss six to eight weeks because of a thumb injury he suffered on Monday night, per ESPN's Todd Archer. Barring an outside addition, Cooper Rush will be the starting quarterback for the next two months.
Look at the present state of the Cowboys offense:
RJ Ochoa @rjochoa
Potential Dallas Cowboys offense in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals <br><br>LT: Tyler Smith<br>LG: Matt Farniok<br>C: Tyler Biadasz<br>RG: Zack Martin<br>RT: Terence Steele<br>QB: Cooper Rush<br>RB: Ezekiel Elliott<br>TE: Dalton Schultz<br>WR: CeeDee Lamb<br>WR: Noah Brown<br>WR: Dennis Houston
Maybe Lamb ultimately isn't the kind of receiver who can anchor a passing game like Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp do for their respective teams.
But the circumstances Lamb is facing would make it difficult for any wideout to shine on the field.