No pressure, kid: Cowboys give iconic No. 88 jersey to new rookie WR CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb wanted to wear No. 10. Jerry Jones wanted his new rookie receiver to wear No. 88.

Jones signs the checks, and it looks like Lamb will wear No. 88.

Lamb, the exciting rookie first-round pick from Oklahoma, will seemingly follow in a long line of great Dallas Cowboys receivers to wear No. 88. Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant all wore the number. It’s as close as the NFL has to some of the legacy numbers in college that get handed down to special players, like No. 18 at LSU.

Nothing like adding some expectations to Dallas’ newest rookie.

CeeDee Lamb apparently gets No. 88

Lamb didn’t exactly ask for No. 88. Lamb, who wore No. 2 at Oklahoma, wanted No. 10, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic. Jones had other ideas.

There was more to it than just the Pearson-Irvin-Bryant connection. Jones had a college teammate, Jerry Lamb, who wore No. 88 and died last year. Jones mentioned he wanted Lamb to wear 88 to honor his old Arkansas teammate.

Even though there was no official announcement, apparently Jones convinced CeeDee Lamb.

For the top rookies in the draft, the jersey numbers are a big deal. Fans want to buy a jersey with their favorite team’s newest star. Joe Burrow will wear No. 9 with the Cincinnati Bengals. Chase Young will wear No. 99 with the Washington Redskins, as big of a departure from his college No. 2 jersey as he could get.

Plenty of Dallas fans probably have a No. 88 jersey in the closet. They’ll just have to repurpose it.

Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb will be switching from No. 2 to No. 88 in the pros. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb will be switching from No. 2 to No. 88 in the pros. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)

Long history of No. 88 in Dallas

Lamb steps into a jersey worn by three of the greatest players in Cowboys history.

Pearson has come painfully close to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a star in the 1970s and caught one of the most famous passes ever, Roger Staubach’s Hail Mary to beat the Minnesota Vikings in the 1975 playoffs.

Irvin is in the Hall of Fame, a great receiver who was a key member of the 1990s Cowboys championship teams. Bryant, who like Lamb was a first-round pick out of the Big 12, carried on the legacy. Bryant’s 73 receiving touchdowns set a Cowboys all-time record.

Lamb was going to have a lot of hype no matter what number he wore. Getting No. 88 just adds to the expectations.

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