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Cowboys vs. Bears Game: Spotlight On Alshon Jeffery

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Looking at the Bears biggest threat.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Alshon Jeffery doesn't often get mentioned when people ask you to name the top five receivers in the NFL. Names like Julio Jones, A J Green, and Antonio Brown dominate the conversation and guys like Odell Beckham Jr or Dez Bryant usually round out the list. But Jeffery is as good as any of them. He has the size/speed combination to make DBs weep and enough athleticism and body control that, much like, Dez, he's open even when he's well covered. How does that look?

Here we see Jeffery split far left at the top of your picture.

The Texans will try to cover him man to man. Jeffery takes off fast and then makes a hard move inside. His CB matches him. Notice the forward weight of the CB.

From here, Jeffery breaks back outside. It's a double move and the CB has bitten pretty hard. Jeffery has done a very good job of selling the inside route.

But Kevin Johnson is a pretty good CB and plays really good catch up, impressively retaining position.

Only to have Jeffery simply pluck the ball out of the air regardless. His extension, reach, catch radius, and hands are all top notch.

A few plays later, Jeffery ran the same route and CB Karim Jackson didn't even attempt to play the ball, but simply pushed Jeffery out of the play and drew a 30-yard pass interference flag.

Jeffery can affect plays when he doesn't get the ball, too. Once again he is lined up on the far left. Eddie Royal is in the slot next to him.

From here, I have several things I wish to track, so, much to BWaj22's relief, I'll go away from the blur, here. Notice the two safeties. The one in the blue circle is focused entirely on  the two men on his half of the field, while the other  is scanning the other half (blue arrow).

As the routes threaten deeper, the safety in the blue circle has to commit to stopping Jeffery, who can easily win a one on one jump ball. But Eddie Royal has broken his route inward and the CB covering him has to react to that. This puts him in trail. To his credit, the blue arrow safety has now seen that there is an issue in the center of the field. Any guesses where the ball is heading as we speak?

If you guessed deep center field, you are correct. the window is not huge, but it's big enough for Jay Cutler to hit no problem. Bigger than the distance from hashmark to hashsmark.

Cutler leads Royal perfectly into the window and the ball is there before the safety can close. In a testament to how fast this game moves, the safety does make a pretty good play on this and actually contests the catch. If Cutler had not thrown to this spot with anticipation this is incomplete or even a pick.

I get more respect for NFL QBs every day. Their minds have to work incredibly fast.

But the long and the short of it is that Jeffery is going to draw a lot of attention from Dallas DBs and Brian Hoyer alike on Sunday, and justifiably so. He's a terrific weapon that changes the complexion of any game he's in. Dallas absolutely must be ready to deal with him if they expect to win.