Dallas Cowboys

December 24, 2013

Cowboys Extra: Spotlight on Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson

Height: 5-10   Weight: 175

Season: 6th   College: California

Strengths: Jackson is a dangerous home-run threat. He has 4.38 speed and uses it well, with 24 catches of more than 20 yards this season, including eight over 40. Jackson has quick feet. He is a natural receiver and not only runs precise routes but adjusts well. Jackson is a tireless worker, is intelligent and is a good leader. After five years in Andy Reid’s West Coast offense, Jackson is having his best season in Chip Kelly’s offense with 79 catches for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns.

Weaknesses: His size made scouts nervous, with questions about his ability to stay healthy at 169 pounds, his weight before the 2008 draft. But he has missed only nine games in his six seasons. Jackson has played all 15 games this season, meaning he should play all 16 games for the first time since his rookie season. Jackson can be frustrated by a lack of targets, and he sometimes loses focus against mouthy cornerbacks. He sometimes has a tough time getting separation against press coverage. Jackson has not been a big part of the punt return game this season, with only 12 for 47 yards.

Last game: He had four catches for 29 yards and two rushes for 12 yards in the Eagles’ 54-11 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Who has to stop him? The Cowboys rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense. They have allowed a team-record 4,360 passing yards, putting them on pace to allow 4,650 this season. The NFL record is the 4,796 the 2011 Green Bay Packers allowed. In the teams’ first meeting in October, Brandon Carr had Jackson one-on-one on the outside and Orlando Scandrick handled him in the slot. Jackson had three catches for 21 yards, the fewest yards he has ever had against the Cowboys.

Notable: Jackson has 1,304 yards this season, 13 from passing Irving Fryar for second on the team’s single-season yards list. Jackson is 106 yards from passing Mike Quick, who had 1,409 yards in 1983. Jackson has 32 career receiving touchdowns. He trails Calvin Williams (34) for seventh in team history. Jackson was a second-round pick in 2008. He is a two-time Pro Bowler, with berths in 2009 and ’10. He is the first player in NFL history with at least 3,500 receiving yards and 1,000 punt return yards in his first four seasons. Jackson has five 100-yard games this season. He has three seasons with 1,000 yards, tying the franchise mark set by Harold Carmichael and Mike Quick. The Eagles are 25-6 all time when Jackson scores a touchdown.

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