Tank, CeeDee Set To Face Ex-Teammates Sunday – DallasCowboys.com

Tank, CeeDee Set To Face Ex-Teammates Sunday - DallasCowboys.com

FRISCO, Texas Not only will it be a contest in which the Cowboys will face a laundry list of odds to overcome as they try to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start to their 2022 season, but adding insult to literal injury will be the fact that there are two. very familiar faces looking to help the Bengals take advantage of Dak Prescott’s absence and others — namely right tackle La’el Collins and safety Chidobe Awuzie.

Both Collins and Awuzie are former starters for the Cowboys, who no doubt add their knowledge to the Bengals’ coaching staff for the upcoming battle in Week 2, but two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Lawrence and Pro Bowl wideout CeeDee Lamb are just as familiar with. them and their skills.

And, come Sunday, someone will lose in this battle of former compatriots.

For Lawrence, seeing Collins again means something on both a personal and professional level — after the Cowboys’ decision to release the starting tackle in March.

“It’ll be good to see La’el,” Lawrence said after Thursday’s practice. “I haven’t seen him since he left to go to Cincinnati. It’ll be good to go against him – check him out and see how he’s doing … He’s a good player.”

The two spent seven seasons together in Dallas, and that also means they matched up against each other time and again in practices for more than half a decade. Collins is coming off an unpleasant debut with the Bengals against TJ Watt, on the other hand, and Lawrence is all-in on trying to win the job against his friend and former teammate to help lead the Cowboys to a 1-1 record through two games.

And that includes deploying the weapon that is Micah Parsons against Collins as well.

“He wrestled with (Watt) last weekend, so I’m going to send Micah out there to him,” Lawrence said. “I’ll be here regardless.”

Another matchup to watch is Lamb vs. Awuzie, a former Cowboys second-round draft pick and starter who signed a three-year, $21.75 million deal with Cincinnati a year ago. Last season, Awuzie posted two interceptions and had another pick against Super Bowl MVP Matthew Stafford in the Bengals’ title game loss.

Lamb and Awuzie were teammates during Lamb’s 2020 rookie season.

“Great guy,” Lamb said. “He is a great athlete. Very athletic. Very strong. His point of attack ability to impose his will on the opponent is excellent.”

Lamb and the offense will be looking for a rebound game after the Cowboys posted three points in Week 1 against Tampa Bay, their lowest point total since Oct. 25, 2020 against Washington.

Lamb had two catches for 29 yards on 11 targets last Sunday, and as the new No. 1 receiver — replacing former starter Amari Cooper — he’s not surprised that a bigger spotlight comes with perhaps more outside scrutiny.

“No, because I hold myself to that standard,” he said. “Everybody has their own opinion and you’re entitled to it. And obviously after Week 1 everybody’s going to have something to say. It’s Week 1. You’ve got to understand we’ve got 16 more.”

Lamb and Prescott have always had a good relationship — with a Pro Bowl season in 2021, Lamb posted the second-most receiving yards by a Cowboys player in his first two NFL seasons (2,037) — but his most recent 100-yard reception. game was actually last Halloween against Minnesota, the last time backup Cooper Rush filled in for an injured Prescott.

Now, without Prescott in the lineup for perhaps the next month, and veteran receivers Michael Gallup and James Washington also still working their way back from injury, Lamb knows everyone has to raise their game again.

“I feel like in the situation we’re in, you always have to step up,” he said. “In the receiving room, I feel that I have to step up, and now losing QB1, the situation does not change. The opportunity is much greater and then we have to play for our brothers.

“Obviously we’ve lost a lot of guys and we’re going to get them back in the back half of the season. So until then, we’ve got to step up and play the brand of ball that we know how to play. And. I have the utmost confidence in (head) coach (Mike) McCarthy and (offensive coordinator) Kellen (Moore) to do that.”

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