Lamb, Prescott clicking with playoffs looming; Cowboys single-season record within reach

In March, the Cowboys dealt away four-time Pro Bowler and former trade prize Amari Cooper after just three and half seasons with the club, leaving then-22-year-old CeeDee Lamb as the offense’s No. 1 receiver.

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In May, veteran quarterback and face of the franchise Dak Prescott asked the Cowboys to relocate Lamb’s locker to be right next to his own to foster more communication and a stronger chemistry between the two.

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In Week 12, Lamb set a new personal best for receiving touchdowns in a season.

In Week 15, he set new personal bests for targets and receptions in a season.

In Week 16, he set a new personal best for receiving yards in a season.

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It’s been Lamb’s most prolific regular season since turning pro. What he and Prescott do Sunday will only add to it.

“We’ve been clicking,” Lamb said Thursday on SiriusXM NFL Radio with hosts Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon. “Quite honestly, I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I feel the most confident I’ve ever felt within the scheme, the offense, and- honestly- myself. I’m growing.”

That growth has netted Lamb his first outright Pro Bowl nod- after being selected as an alternate in 2021- and put him on the cusp of making franchise history.

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With 10 catches versus Washington, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2020 will become the Cowboys’ all-time single-season leader in receptions. And with 100 more yards, he’ll turn in the third-best single season in that category, trailing only Michael Irvin in a pair of Super Bowl-winning campaigns.

Yes, he’ll be breaking marks that were set in 16-game seasons. But consider that Lamb will have done it this year with a backup quarterback for nearly one-third of his outings.

“I didn’t have my quarterback the first five games [after the season opener], Lamb recalled. “Obviously, we didn’t have the position to really just build and grow together with the defense. Granted, we had a whole training camp and all of that, but you can’t really prepare for the real thing unless you go through it.”

The difference between the two halves of Lamb’s season is stark:

Games 1-8

42 receptions

556 yards

3 TDs

Games 9-16

60 receptions

751 yards

5 TDs

Lamb called the five weeks without Prescott “an opportunity to grow” into the WR1 role, seeing things on the field in a way he hadn’t previously.

Prescott’s first two games back after a fracture of his throwing-hand thumb served almost as a preseason for the pair as they worked to establish their connection. In Week 10, though, they caught fire. Lamb finished that day in Green Bay tying career highs in targets (15), receptions (11), and touchdowns (2); and setting a new career best in receiving yards (150).

The accelerated pace they’ve been on since then has Lamb entering the final weekend of games ranked No. 7 in the league in receiving yards and No. 5 in receptions. He finished 2021 in 15th and 21st place, respectively.

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“We’re growing as a unit, as a quarterback-and-receiver duo,” Lamb explained. “I love every bit of it. The process is amazing, and all of the work that we put in in the offseason leading up to this point has been a grind. We’ve done it behind closed doors. So no one really understands the type of time and type of effort and conversations that we’ve had, once again, coming up to this point, but [we’re] just letting it all show in our play and us just being always on the same schedule and just connecting.”

Now Lamb will look for that connection with his quarterback to click into an even higher gear as they aim for places that neither has seen before.

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Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire