The Dallas Cowboys have flirted with greatness over this NFL era, but the 2023 squad is starting to feel like they have the juice for a real playoff run on the back of arguably the best quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league.
Dak Prescott is playing out of his damn mind lately, throwing with pinpoint accuracy, making plays outside the pocket and being so in control pre-snap that the Cowboys' offense moves like a well-oiled machine. He has been performing like an MVP for the vast majority of this season, but with Thursday night's performance in an exciting prime-time game against the Seattle Seahawks, he’s going to have more momentum to actually win this thing.
Prescott has helped the Cowboys maintain long streaks of scoring touchdowns with one simple trick: just spam targets to CeeDee Lamb, who is without a doubt an elite wide receiver right now. Lamb received another 17 targets this week, giving him at least 14 in four of the Cowboys’ six previous games. Lamb already set a record for the most consecutive games with 10 catches and 150 yards a few weeks ago and got back on the 100-yard train during the Cowboys 41-35 win over the Seahawks.
Lamb has developed into one of the most versatile wide receivers in the league, showing the capability to dominate from the slot and the outside. According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Lamb ran 21 routes from the slot and 23 from the outside. He caught six passes in each alignment and his versatility makes it damn-near impossible to slow him down because he can break down cornerbacks at any point on the field.
Even a Seahawks secondary featuring stud cornerbacks like rookie Devon Witherspoon and Riq Woolen had no chance to slow down the Prescott to Lamb connection. Lamb saw 12 of his 17 targets against Witherspoon and Woolen, converting those targets into 10 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Stopping this duo is going to be a nightmare for any defense, even ones that are theoretically equipped to stop it. There’s still five games left on the regular-season schedule for the Cowboys, so there’s still a ways to go until the season ends, but until someone shows they can slow down what Prescott and Lamb are accomplishing together, the Cowboys are firmly in the ranks of the Super Bowl contenders.
Prescott had the perfect quote in his postgame presser for folks who still want to doubt his skills or what he has accomplished this season.
“I appreciate them,” Prescott said of his critics. “People can say what they want, but I have the pen and I have the paper, so I’m the one doing the writing.”
That’s a bar — and legitimately true.
According to RBSDM.com, Prescott is second in expected points added per play this season (0.256) and third in success rate (51.5%). He’s putting together the best season of his career (right before a soon-to-be lucrative contract extension) and Lamb’s skills give the Cowboys a duo they can rely on at any time when they need to generate offense.
The Cowboys' defense has normally been a stalwart unit this season, but the game against Seattle showed that even if they have an uncharacteristically bad performance, they have the offensive firepower to make up for it. Giving up 35 points on 64 plays is a pace that most offenses won’t be able to keep up with, but Dallas’ version of Captain America and Falcon have enough juice to fly past any team.
Dallas has a gauntlet to close the season, with their next four games against the Eagles, Bills, Dolphins and Lions, but those teams should be fearful of the Cowboys as well. If Prescott and Lamb can keep this level of play up through the rest of the regular season, Prescott and the Cowboys will have a chance to take home a lot of hardware.