April 24, 2020
The Dallas Cowboys spoiled the hopes of many Eagles fans on Thursday night when they selected University of Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
It was a shock that Lamb, a top-three wide receiver prospect, slid as far down as he did. The Eagles had been closely linked to Lamb in scenarios that involved a trade-up from the 21st overall pick, where Philadelphia eventually took TCU's Jalen Reagor.
Decadent Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who conducted the draft from a yacht, now claims Dallas received "three worthwhile offers" from other teams hoping to move up to No. 17.
Jerry Jones’ draft room is on his $250 million super-yacht. Now that’s a super-flex. pic.twitter.com/ZJwgrUcehX— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) April 24, 2020
Jones told USA Today that Dallas had Lamb projected as the sixth overall pick. They didn't imagine he would fall, and despite the Cowboys' significant needs on defense, Jones and new head coach Mike McCarthy couldn't resist adding a top prospect to an offense that already features Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.
ESPN's Ed Werder later learned from Jones that the Cowboys felt they flew under the radar for Lamb because wide receiver wasn't considered a priority for Dallas. Werder said the Eagles attempted to make a deal with the Atlanta Falcons for the 16th overall pick, but it didn't work out.
Jerry Jones said opinion around the NFL that WR was not a priority for the #Cowboys prevented other teams interested in Cee Dee Lamb from trading in front of Dallas. A division rival tried. Failing to trade with Falcons at 16 for Lamb, the #Eagles took WR Jalen Reagor at 21.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) April 24, 2020
Lamb said he was "very surprised" that he landed with the Cowboys after two other receivers, the Alabama duo of Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy, were respectively off the board to the Raiders at No. 12 and the Broncos at No. 15.
We're on the phone with new Cowboys WR @ceedee Lamb. He's "very surprised" Dallas drafted him. But says he's versatile, comfortable in the slot and beyond.— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) April 24, 2020
CeeDee: "I’m thrilled."
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman explained that Philadelphia was unwilling to part with the draft capital that would have been necessary to leapfrog Dallas to get Lamb.
“It was important for us, certainly, that we kept our high picks,” Roseman said after the Eagles selected Reagor. “We haven’t had a lot of those. And guys really weren’t in the range where it was even in consideration that we could get somewhere with a really high pick.”
In a sense, this outcome was always part of the equation of coming out on top of last year's dismal NFC East. Had the Eagles sat home for last year's playoffs, they likely would have been in position to take Lamb. It's reminiscent of the Eagles swooping in to draft tight end Dallas Goedert in 2018, just before it appeared the Cowboys would have selected him.
Ultimately, the Eagles took Reagor because they believe he's a natural fit in their offense and an ideal complement to quarterback Carson Wentz.
If Lamb had landed anywhere else, even a pick earlier or later, there might not be the same sting that comes with the Cowboys taking a player the fanbase wanted. And if Dallas really did have three competitive offers for the pick, then the Eagles were likely looking at a price they couldn't stomach for the Atlanta pick, anyway.
With Reagor in the fold, the Eagles now keep their early-round picks and have an opportunity to add more youth to the roster, which was a goal Roseman stated at the beginning of the offseason.