Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have been able to both maintain and strengthen their presence as a major force in the NFC from year-to-year thanks in large part to the quality of their draft picks. In 2020, the Cowboys used their first-round pick to take wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. One year later, they used the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 Draft to take linebacker Micah Parsons. Both have become among the best players at their position, and Lamb in particular has excelled in 2023.

Week 17 saw Lamb take an All-Pro-worthy season to the next level, as he caught a season-high 13 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown against the Detroit Lions. In the process, Lamb broke Cowboys records for the most receptions (122) and most receiving yards (1,651) in a single season, surpassing Michael Irvin's 1995 marks in both categories.

Lamb's season has strengthened his case as perhaps the top receiver in the NFL, a case that Parsons -- his outspoken teammate -- made for him on "The Edge" podcast.

"The best receiver in the NFL," Parsons said of Lamb. "Not top five, not top three, he's top two [and] not two. He probably should be Offensive Player of the Year. CeeDee Lamb, congratulations brother. You're truly showing why you're the No. 1."

In making his argument, Parsons pointed out how critics -- namely former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman -- claimed Lamb was not a top-five receiver and wasn't capable of filling the No. 1 receiver spot vacated in Dallas by Amari Cooper's trade to the Cleveland Browns.

"CeeDee is still here," Parsons said. "He just continues to get better. And he's having the year of his life and he's going to have a big pay day coming soon."

Lamb's performance puts him in line for a massive contract extension this offseason, and he's one of several players the Cowboys will likely have to hand huge money to. In addition to Lamb, Parsons will also be eligible for an extension with the team picking up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.