NOTES: WR Lamb eclipses century mark

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Jenkins/AP/Shutterstock (13435805no) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) carries the ball against the Washington Commanders during an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas Commanders Cowboys Football, Arlington, United States – 02 Oct 2022

NOTES: WR Lamb eclipses century mark

Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb has turned into one of the best quarterback-wide receiver combinations in the NFL.

Now in their third year together, they have become almost unstoppable.

Lamb has exerted himself as the No. 1 receiver for the Cowboys, and one of the top go-to guys in the league, and his numbers reflect it.

“All the side conversations those guys have now, and so much time they spend together,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said about the connection between Prescott and Lamb. “That is the coolest part when you just kind of step back when you are at practice or in a game, and you see their discussions and talking through things. How on the same page they are.”

With his 11-catch performance on Sunday, Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb passed the 100-catch mark of the season, finishing the game with 102 catches on the season. Good enough for fifth best in the NFL and third among receivers, behind only Justin Jefferson (124), Tyreek Hill (117), Travis Kelce (104), and Austin Ekler (103).

Lamb, who still has one game to play this Sunday in Washington, is just the third player in team history to catch more than 100 passes in a season.

“I have the utmost confidence in myself, regardless of who it is guarding me,” said Lamb, who has 1,307 yards receiving and eight touchdowns this season. “I’m ready for the ball. I’m never running away from it, so just whenever my number is called, I am ready to step up to the occasion.”

Michael Irvin’s 111-catch season in 1995 is the team record, with Jason Witten’s 110-catch season in 2012 just behind him on the list.

“He is just so quick, decisive,” Moore said. “To get the (defensive backs) to move off their spots. Then after that, he can really dictate how the play is going to ultimately happen.”

Lamb, who has averaged 6.3 catches per game this season, has a chance to set the record if he has another game like his last two – double-digit catches against Philadelphia and Tennessee.

“Certainly, you see it on the field with just how decisive Dak is when he goes to him,” Moore added. “They trust each other; they see it. They see the same picture. CeeDee does a tremendous job of getting out of breaks, and Dak lets it go. It’s pretty special. Those guys are in a really special place right now together.”

NFC East crown, top seed still in play

Even though the Cowboys have clinched a playoff berth, their seeding and opponent are still very much up in the air.

The Cowboys head into the final week of the regular season with an NFC East title, the NFC’s top postseason seed, and a first-round playoff bye all on the line when they play Commanders in Washington on Sunday.

“We understand what is in front of us,” McCarthy said. “But once again, I, frankly, didn’t talk about the (playoff) seeds in the team meeting (Monday), because it’s really just about getting ready to beat Washington.”

So first, the Cowboys must win.

A Dallas victory, combined with a Philadelphia loss to the Giants, would give the Cowboys the NFC East title, and provide them with a home playoff game in the first round.

If the Cowboys win and the Eagles lose, then a 49ers win over Arizona locks the Cowboys into the No. 2 seed. If the Cardinals can pull the upset, then the Cowboys end the season as the NFC’s No. 1 seed and earn the first-round bye and home-field advantage that comes with it.

However, a loss in Washington and the Cowboys will hang on to the No. 5 seed and play the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay on Wild Card weekend.

Maher sets scoring record

With his 45-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s win over Tennessee, Cowboys kicker Brett Maher set the franchise scoring record for kickers at 137 points.

Maher has made 29-of-32 field goals and 50-of-52 extra points for the best season of his career.

“I’m so proud of him, that he has proven himself again,” Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel said. “He is a huge part of our football team and has become quite a leader for our special teams. …. He’s been great to have.”

With a big game on Sunday against Washington, Maher can pass Emmitt Smith, who holds the team scoring record with 150 points on 25 touchdowns in 1995.

Dan Bailey (2011) and Greg Zuerlein (2020) were tied at the top of the kicker’s list for single-season scoring with 135 points.

Prescott owns Commanders

Quarterback Dak Prescott will get a chance to add to his 27-6 record against the NFC East on Sunday.

Prescott was hurt in the first meeting between the Cowboys and Commanders, a 25-10 win for Cooper Rush and Dallas.

Prescott will be looking for his 11th straight win over an NFC East opponent, his last loss coming in December of 2019 to Philadelphia.

Prescott, who is 9-1 against the Commanders in his career, completed 28-of-39 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns in his last start in the series just over a year ago.

Offensive line shuffles

The Cowboys are having to shake up the starting offensive line after center Tyler Biadasz went down with a high-ankle sprain during the Cowboys’ win over Tennessee.

When Biadasz went down, Connor McGovern moved from left guard to center, Tyler Smith moved from left tackle to left guard and veteran Jason Peters was inserted at left tackle.

“Everyone in our O-line room know all five positions,” McGovern said. “We have spent time going over what each guy does. So, I feel like any one of us could step up and play. You have (Jason Peters) left tackle now, Tyler (Smith) at left guard and I’m at center, but we practice it every week and I think we’ll be ready.”

The Cowboys will go with those three this week, along with right guard Zack Martin and current right tackle Tyron Smith.

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