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FRISCO, Texas --  Jersey No. 88, when worn by a Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, means that player is special. Pro Football Hall of Famer Drew Pearson began that trend, donning the number for 11 seasons from 1973-1983. Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin made 88 his own as the Cowboys' top receiver on their three Super Bowl title teams of the 1990s. Dez Bryant broke the team's all-time receiving touchdowns record with 73 in his eight seasons (2010-2017) while rocking the double eights.

Now the current No. 88, 24-year-old Pro Bowl wide out CeeDee Lamb, has a chance to record a signature milestone of his own in the jersey. He needs nine catches on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in Week 16 to break Irvin's team single-season catches record of 111 set back in 1995. He came close to breaking the record in 2022 with 107 catches, but with 103 in 2023 with three games to go, Irvin should justifiably start sweating. Lamb is the first player in franchise history to record 100 or more catches in consecutive seasons. His total of 210 since 2022 is the second-most in the NFL behind a player who'll be on the other sideline Sunday, Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill and his 216 receptions.

Most catches in a season in Cowboys history



Michael Irvin



Jason Witten



CeeDee Lamb



CeeDee Lamb*



Jason Witten


* Three games left in 2023 regular season 

A nine-catch game isn't out of the question for Lamb. He has five such games this season, tied with Hill for the most in 2023. 

"It's not necessarily really on my mind," Lamb said Thursday when asked about the record. "It's good to be reminded of those things, showing all the hard work that I've done. I'm not really too focused on that to be honest."

His focus for Week 16 resides with his upcoming battle against Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro who Miami acquired from the Rams in a trade this past offseason. 

"Jalen has been doing it for awhile," Lamb said. "He has had plenty of success. Coming in, it should be very exciting. I'm looking forward to it. We should get a lot of reps together."  

Since his 2023 season debut in Week 8 after dealing with a knee injury, Ramsey has returned to his peak form. His 6.6 passer rating allowed as the primary defender in coverage is the best in the NFL among 119 defenders with 25 or more passes thrown their way since Week 8. Lamb's 103 catches are the second-most in the NFL this season behind only Keenan Allen's 108 while his 1,306 receiving yards are the third-most in the league in 2023. 

"It's one worth watching," Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday of the matchup between the two Pro Bowlers. "Two really good players. Two capable players. CeeDee Lamb is one of the top wide receivers in the league. Jalen is one of the top corners in the league. It will be interesting to watch. I wish I had popcorn to sit at home and watch it."  

Fangio has certainly liked his view of what his defense has done since Ramsey returned to action, leading the league in opponent scoring offense (15.0 points per game), total yards per game allowed (241.6), rushing defense (68.4) and opponent touchdown-to-interception ratio (7-10)

Dolphins defense since Jalen Ramsey made 2023 debut (Week 8)

NFL Rank

PPG Allowed



Total YPG Allowed



Yards/Play Allowed



Rushing Yards Per Game Allowed



Passing Yards Per Game Allowed



TD-INT Allowed   



Passer Rating Allowed



However, without forcing the football outside of the confines of his reads or natural route progressions, Dak Prescott is going to do what he can to get Lamb atop the Cowboys' history books. 

"It would mean a lot," Prescott said Thursday when asked about helping Lamb break one of Irvin's franchise records. "Obviously he's a younger player [age 24], got a lot of career ahead of him. But to be able to do that so young, understanding that what last year, he was right there [107 catches], he's already put himself in the top three. I know he doesn't play for them [records] at all. But I'm the guy that has the ball, so maybe I could feed him a couple of more times when the opportunities are even. At the end of the day, he's a hell of a player and that's only the beginning of the records that he's going to hold for this organization. Thankful to have him, thankful to play with him."