5 pivotal matchups to watch during Panthers at Cowboys in Week 4

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson vs. Amari Cooper/CeeDee Lamb

The Carolina Panthers’ secondary looks stout in the early going. Donte Jackson has continued his peak performance from last season and has taken another step forward.

Things change however and with Jaycee Horn out for the season with his broken foot, Jackson will have to step up and be the No.1 guy yet again as new acquisition C.J. Henderson will most likely not be up to speed in time.

This will be no easy task against the likes of CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper and it will be interesting to see how Jackson handles the pressure.

Lamb and Cooper both tallied more than 100 yards in Week 1 against the Buccaneers and showed just how good this team can be when firing on all cylinders.

Cooper may not be the superstar that he was for short periods with the Oakland Raiders or during the early going with the Cowboys, but the big-bodied Alabama star is still one of the best route runners in the NFL and always seems to be open when it matters.

On the other side is Lamb, who was a revelation last season. Apart from a drop happy first week, this has continued to be in Year 2. A more shifty receiver who still has the size to go up and get a contested ball while also being able to run around and make a guy miss.

This is where Jackson’s aggressive style may come back to haunt him as one wrong move against either of those receivers will result in a huge play. Dak Prescott doesn’t miss those opportunities.

Because of their wealth of talent, the Cowboys don’t have a true No.1 guy and that causes even more problems for a secondary. Especially one with only a single cover corner.

Even the best player can’t be in two places at once and wherever Jackson goes Prescott will just throw the other way. That is if the new corner can hold up.

No matter who Jackson lines up against, this will be something to watch closely as it could very well be the tipping point of the entire game.