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CeeDee Lamb sets new record, 'locked in' for playoffs


LANDOVER, Md. — It's often a challenge to appreciate the history you're witnessing when it's present-tense, but try and take a moment to understand exactly how legendary of a season it's been for not only the Dallas Cowboys, but also for CeeDee Lamb.

Lamb, a former first-round pick who entered the league with gargantuan expectations that were emboldened by the donning of the famed No. 88, has already become of the best players in franchise and NFL history — his latest bout of dominance helping to propel the Cowboys to their second division crown in three seasons, a third straight 12-5 record and a No. 2 playoff seed.

"I'm definitely blessed and grateful," said the three-time Pro Bowler.

On Sunday, against the Commanders, Lamb finished with 13 catches on 13 targets for 98 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns, taking his regular season tally in 2023 to 135 receptions for 1,749 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns; and with a career-best catch percentage of 72.76 percent.

He now owns not only the Cowboys' record for most receptions and receiving yards in a single season, but he's also the first player in franchise history to lead the league in receptions in a season.

From Drew Pearson to Michael Irvin to Dez Bryant, a compilation of incomparable talent, it goes without saying that such achievements being made by Lamb are history being witnessed in real-time.

"Shout out to the guys who wore the jersey before me," the All-Pro wideout said. "They set the standard, and it's my job to hold it up. I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job."

That last sentence is one hell of an understatement, but does underline the humility that exists within one of the quieter elite wideouts the NFL has seen.

Lamb now turns his attention to putting his dominance on display where it matters most: the NFL playoffs. The Cowboys will host the Green Bay Packers on Super Wild Card Weekend at AT&T Stadium, where the passing attack has been nothing short of lethal and in large part thanks to what Lamb is accomplishing on the field.

"The job isn't finished," said Lamb. "But we're definitely going to enjoy this moment. Happy to be back in the playoffs, of course, and happy to be back at home."

But, first, they had to reach out and grab destiny at FedEx Field, and they did precisely that when they dismantled the Commanders to the tune of 38-10 to close out the regular season. With so much on the line, Lamb says the Cowboys were not interested in leaving anything to chance.

"Everybody was locked in," he said. "We knew we couldn't mess this up. … Just staying locked in. … You always wanna put your best film out there, and we knew that. All week, it was definitely paying attention to and focusing on the details, being where you need to be and doing your job, and I feel we did that."

After a white-hot streak of performances in November, the Cowboys hit an ice-cold patch on their brief tour of the AFC East — losing two straight on the road to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, respectively — before bouncing back with a narrow victory over the Detroit Lions and, now, a bludgeoning of the Commanders on Sunday.

Elsewhere in the division, the New York Giants were obliterating the Philadelphia Eagles, but that was of no concern to the Cowboys.

"We knew what we had to do, and that was to win out and let everything else play out," said Lamb. "I'm happy we got the job done and we're able to control our destiny."

Up next comes the all-important postseason tournament, where one bad day at the office can abruptly make all of the work put in over the last several months worth nothing.

It's win and advance, or lose and wonder what if.

Lamb and the Cowboys are fed up with the latter, starving for the former. They're heating back up at the right time, and have earned the right to turn up the stove on their own field this January.

"Everybody in the NFL knows what kind of team we are," he said. "We just need to go out there and show it."

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