When the virtual dust came to its settling point on the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, just as many had predicted, there was no surprise that an abundance of wide receivers had been plucked in the opening salvo. Six were taken in all.
However, in a borderline stunning development, Oklahoma wideout CeeDee Lamb was still there for the taking at No. 17. And the Cowboys, seemingly shaking off their bewilderment, pounced and got perhaps the best receiver of this stellar class.
It was a shock to just about everyone involved -- including the standout Sooner.
"I didn't [think it was possible], but I'm happy that's where I ended up," Lamb said, via the team website.
"He trumped them," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of the three trade offers he said existed. "He earned the pick."
Lamb earned far better than the No. 17 pick.
He emerges from Oklahoma after a solid freshman campaign and two terrific years to follow in which he surpassed 60 catches in each of the last two campaigns, toppling 1,100 yards receiving just the same and combining for 25 touchdowns.
"We thought he was a top-10 pick," Cowboys chief operation officer Stephen Jones said Thursday night. "We never really thought we had a chance to get him. Every mock draft we did, we had him long gone."
Hardly long gone, Lamb will now play in front of the NFL's largest fan base, many of them familiar with his Big 12 acclaim.
Not all surprises are good ones. For Lamb and the Cowboys, however, his availability at No. 17 might well be one that continues to surprise and be a boon for Dallas in seasons to come.
Thus far, it's already been the proverbial dream come true for the 21-year-old who now almost seems as if he was destined to have a star on his helmet.
"Honestly I didn't know if they were going to take me," Lamb said. "When my phone rang it surprised me. Everything that I dreamed of was in that phone call."