Cowboys spotlight: Bears WR Alshon Jeffery quickly developing into legitimate threat

Posted Tuesday, Dec. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 216

Season: 2nd College: South Carolina

Strengths: Jeffery has prototypical size for a receiver and strength to go with it. He has good hands, which measure 101/4 inches, and good hand-eye coordination. Jeffery’s body control is as good as any receiver. He will get the ball at its highest point, making it tough for smaller cornerbacks to cover him effectively. Jeffery has a 361/2-inch vertical leap. He is extremely tough to bring down, with 351 yards after the catch.

Weaknesses: He is not the fastest receiver in the game. He ran a 4.48 on his Pro Day last year. But Jeffery is a long strider. He has 15 catches of 20-plus yards, including five of 40 or more. Jeffery’s route running still is developing. He did not run a diverse route tree at South Carolina. Jeffery has come a long way since he entered the league. He had only 24 catches for 367 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie.

Last week: He caught 12 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ 23-20 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Who has to stop him? Brandon Carr is tied for third for the most catches allowed, with 46. He has allowed 750 yards and two touchdowns, according to STATS. Orlando Scandrick has had a solid season, with 31 receptions allowed for 344 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys rank 32nd in overall defense, including 31st against the pass. They are on pace to allow 4,719 passing yards this season, which would set a team record for most allowed.

Notable: Jeffery has gone over the 100-yard mark in five of his past nine games. … Jeffery and Brandon Marshall have combined for 2,099 receiving yards, the most of any duo in the league. Their combined yardage is third-most in franchise history for a single season by a duo. … Marshall has 990 receiving yards. The Bears will have multiple 1,000-yard receivers for the first time since Jeff Graham and Curtis Conway in 1995. … Jeffery is on pace for 1,478 receiving yards this season, with Marshall on pace for 1,320. … Jeffery is one of eight players in NFL history with two 200-yard receiving games in the same season. … Jeffery has 115 rushing yards, the most in franchise history for a season by a receiver. … Jeffery had a 38-yard run in Week 2 against the Vikings.

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