IRVING, Texas – Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate. These are the best receivers that the Cowboys have faced through two games. None of them scored a touchdown against Dallas. In fact, the Cowboys have yet to give up a touchdown to any receiver this season.
The receivers mentioned above and most of the ones the Cowboys have faced so far are known for their dangerous quickness. Vincent Jackson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers poses a whole other problem.
At 6-5 and 230 pounds, Jackson is a strong and physical receiver that the Cowboys will have to prepare for almost as if they are playing a fast tight end. This could mean trouble for the Cowboys who might not have given up touchdowns to receivers yet, but they have seen tight ends catch touchdown passes on them in each of the first two games.
In his first season with the Buccaneers, Jackson seems to have already picked up some nice chemistry with quarterback Josh Freeman. Last week in a loss to the Giants, he caught five passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Cornerback Brandon Carr, who has been instrumental in shutting down receivers this season, talked about preparing to face Jackson.
"You just got to be ready to go 60 minutes," Carr said. "Be prepared for a battle every time you come to the line of scrimmage."
As a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Carr faced Jackson when he was playing for the San Diego Chargers. He explained that he knew what to expect when lining up against Jackson.
"I just played him for four years so I kind of have a feel for his capabilities on the field. He's a big, powerful receiver and he's very physical at the line of scrimmage. … I'll have my work cut out for me."
Carr was asked if it would be fair to compare Jackson to Miles Austin or Dez Bryant, who Carr competes against in practice.
"Yes and no," Carr said. "He has a different skill set. They do things differently. Off the line of scrimmage he's more physical, more of a bully, so to speak. When the ball goes up, it's either he's catching it or the opposite, nobody's catching it."
Although Carr described Jackson as a "bully" he made sure to point out that he is not intimidated by the big receiver. In fact, he relishes the opportunity.
"I like checking big receivers," Carr said. "This will be a good matchup for me, a good test. I'm ready for the challenge. I just can't wait for Sunday to get here."
Safety Barry Church took time to praise the Cowboys' cornerbacks and what they have been able to do thus far. He is confident that they will continue their success against Jackson.
"Our corners are playing pretty well this year," Church said. "Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, they're showing up all over the field and becoming lockdown corners. I look forward to continuing to play with them and continuing to shut down wide receivers."
Church elaborated by explaining that the Cowboys know the formula to containing a big target like Jackson.
You've just got to be more physical with him at the line of scrimmage," Church said. "You can't let him get on top of you because he's going to out-jump you. He's got a couple of inches on our corners so they've got to be real physical with him at the line of scrimmage."