Jalen Ramsey is the best cornerback in football, and on any given day, he can erase the opposition’s No.1 wide receiver. So it is pretty baffling to me — and many other Dolphins fans and experts alike — that veteran defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has been stubborn with his usage of #elite, shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey at times this season.
I’m a nobody, and if I was playing Madden — and the feature was still in the game — the first thing I would do is align Ramsey against my opponent’s No.1 cornerback. Then, there is Xavien Howard vs. the No.2, Kader Kohou vs. the No. 3, and so on. But this isn’t Madden. And despite his impressive performance last week in shutting down Garrett Wilson, Miami’s defensive coordinator sounds ready to return to his old ways with X hopeful to return to the lineup.
When asked about Ramsey shadowing Wilson in Week 15’s 30-0 blowout win over the Jets, Fangio didn’t mince any words:
“It was because ‘X’ (Xavien Howard) was out.”
He was then asked about the potential battle between Dallas’ star wide receiver and Ramsey, and he wasn’t shy about his potential excitement.
“It’s one worth watching. Two really good players. Two capable players. CeeDee Lamb is one of the wide receivers in the league. Jalen is one of the top corners in the league. It will be interesting to watch. I wish I had popcorn to sit at home and watch it.”
However, the veteran defensive coordinator reiterated that you must always stay within the concept and that every matchup is critical. This leads me to believe we won’t get the matchup we covet, but you decide. Here’s what Ramsey said when asked about shadowing CeeDee Lamb by the South Florida media on Friday.
I’m just going to put this here and you can analyze it for yourself.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) December 22, 2023
Let me know what you think. pic.twitter.com/WcI4fuqPl9
Through 14 games, Lamb has caught 103 balls for 1,306 yards and eight touchdowns. However, the main reason we may not see this elite matchup is because of Lamb’s usage in the slot. This season, 58% of his snaps have come out of the slot. For comparison's sake, Ramsey has played in the slot only five times this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
That could be why Fangio seems fine reverting back to what Miami did before Howard’s injury. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, they say. However, Ramsey’s comments did raise a few eyebrows. And honestly, I’m #TeamRamsey. When you’re the best cornerback in football, you want to prove to the world that you can match up — and shut down — the best player in the opposite huddle. It’s also Christmas Eve, and what more could you ask for than a matchup between star players battling for conference supremacy for their ten-win teams?
The Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys kickoff this Sunday at 4:25 PM EST at Hard Rock Stadium.
(Note: At no point in this article am I trying to suggest I know more than Vic Fangio.)
What are your thoughts on Jalen Ramsey vs. CeeDee Lamb? Do you believe it can be a game-defining decision? How do you like Miami’s odds vs. the Dallas Cowboys? Are you ready for Christmas? Let us know in the comments section below!