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Cowboys news: Two of Prescott’s favorite targets are heating up at the right time

Your Thursday morning news for the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

‘The Ascension’: How High Can Cowboys CeeDee Lamb Rise? - Adam Schultz, Sports Illustrated

Consistently producing WR1 numbers may just be the beginning for CeeDee Lamb.

Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb has taken all before him this season en route to breaking the franchise records for receptions and yards in a single season, both previously held by Michael Irvin.

Lamb has totaled 1,651 yards and 10 touchdowns on 122 receptions as he seems to be getting better with each game.

“The year has been phenomenal, what again amazes me, is it’s been four years, it’s just a constant ascension,” Cowboys coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. “He’s just doing different things every week, it’s at a high level that just kind of makes you go wow. As long as I’ve been around the game I can honestly say there’s not been a year of production that I’ve ever been around by a receiver that’s doing it as consistent as he is.”

And now comes the next natural question: How high can CeeDee Lamb fly?

“You start with his skill set, he’s extremely talented, both route-running ability, strong hands, really good after the catch,” Schottenheimer said. “I’m always going to talk about the work ethic and the practice ability, he’s one of the most instinctive football players I’ve ever been around. He’s just a dynamic player, dynamic person. I love coaching the guy, he’s so receptive to it that’s what you love about working with a guy every day.”

Lamb has developed into one of the better receivers in the NFL and when the ball is in his hands, good things happen for this Cowboys offense.

Nick at Nite: Every dish needs its Cooks - Nick Harris,

Lamb isn’t the only WR coming into form as the season has progressed.

Going into the week ten matchup against the New York Giants, the noise around Brandin Cooks and his lack of production in the Dallas Cowboys offense up to that point had grown to a deafening noise.

Only 17 receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns in seven games had created a buzz in the fanbase and the media about what exactly he was capable of doing in the Cowboys offense.

“I’m just gonna keep trusting it,” Cooks said leading into that week ten matchup. “That’s just who I am. In my mind, it’s about getting back to work and work harder. When it comes, it’s gonna come. And I mean that, I really do.”

And trusting it, he did. And come, it was.

Cooks exploded with nine receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown in one of the bigger games of his career against the Giants at AT&T Stadium that day, and since then, he has proved to be one of Dak Prescott’s most reliable weapons in the Texas Coast offense.

In the eight games since Cooks took those questions about his production, he has put together 31 receptions for 453 yards and five touchdowns – proving his worth when the Cowboys sent a fifth and sixth-round draft pick to the Houston Texans to acquire his services over the offseason.

That has culminated here at the end of the regular season with back-to-back weeks that have seen Cooks help put together a late scoring drive for Dak Prescott and the offense to take the lead.

NFC East update: Cowboys hope to continue 18-year streak - Jess Haynie,

The NFC East once again proves why it’s one of the most interesting divisions in football.

To the surprise of many, the Cowboys are just one win away from clinching the NFC East. No help is needed; they already got that with the Eagles’ 1-4 record in December. Not only would beating the Washington Commanders this Sunday give Dallas the division, but it would also perpetuate the 18-year streak of there being no repeat champions in the NFC East.

Since the Eagles claimed four-straight division titles from 2001-2004, no team has been able to win the NFC East in back-to-back seasons. The Cowboys and Eagles are tied at six division wins apiece during this period, while the Commanders and Giants each have three.

It’s not hard, especially with Dallas, to see the causes of this anomaly. The Cowboys followed up a division-winning season with a Tony Romo injury year a few times. There was Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension in 2017 which altered things. Or with the Eagles, they had to deal with the fallout from Carson Wentz’s return in 2018 after winning the Super Bowl with Nick Foles.

No other NFL division even comes close to this kind of parity. The NFC South has belonged to Tampa Bay the last two years, and New Orleans for four-straight seasons before that. The Seahawks won the NFC West three years straight from 2015-2018. And the Packers have mostly dominated the NFC North for years, including three-straight wins from 2019-2021.

It’s no different in the AFC. Buffalo has won the East the last three seasons and New England for 11 years before them. Kansas City has dominated the AFC West since 2016, winning the division every year. The AFC North has had multiple repeat champions between the Bengals, Ravens, and Steelers over the last decade. Similarly, the Colts, Texans, and Titans have all had back-to-back division titles since 2013.

Sure, this is more of a trivia fact than anything. But it does add to the NFC East’s enduring reputation as one of the best and most entertaining divisions in football.

Cowboys Rumors: Will McClay Valued by DAL, Would ‘Likely Spend Big’ to Keep Exec - Tyler Conway,

A key piece in the Cowboys’ recent success deserves all the recognition coming his way.

Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay is expected to garner significant interest from rival teams, but the Cowboys would “likely spend big” to retain the prized executive.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported the biggest potential snag in McClay returning to Dallas is if he seeks a general manager title, which belongs to owner Jerry Jones. It’s considered highly unlikely that Jones would relinquish that title, as he’s long had a strong hand in football decisions.

McClay joined the Cowboys as a scout in 2003 and has been working his way up the organization for the past two decades. He was hired for his current role, which makes him Jones’ right-hand man on football-related matters, in 2017.

The Cowboys have drafted several standouts since McClay’s promotion, with Leighton Vander Esch, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, Tyler Biadasz and Micah Parsons all earning Pro Bowl selections since 2018. Cornerback DaRon Bland, a 2022 fifth-round pick who currently leads the NFL in interceptions, will likely join that list this season.

Contributors Jake Ferguson and defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa have also been plucked out of the middle rounds.

The Cowboys already clinched their third straight playoff berth and could win their third division in the last six seasons with a win Sunday over the Washington Commanders.

Here are the initial injury reports for both the Cowboys and Commanders ahead of their Week 18 contest.

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