The Cowboys have had a red-hot air attack over the past several weeks, with wide receiver CeeDee Lamb setting an NFL record (and earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors) and quarterback Dak Prescott amassing 300-plus passing yards in three straight outings and posting three of his highest single-game completion percentages ever within the 2023 season.
But the skies might not be so friendly over Charlotte in Week 11.
At 1-8, the Carolina Panthers are hovering near the bottom of every set of power rankings out there. But they’re getting a key piece of their defense back soon- possibly even this week when Dallas come to call- and he’ll no doubt make the Panthers a tougher out than they’ve shown of late.
Third-year cornerback Jaycee Horn, who has been sidelined since suffering a serious hamstring injury in Week 1, had his 21-day activation window opened by Carolina on Monday. Wednesday marked his first practice back with the team, and he reportedly looked good despite a “limited” designation. He could be moved to the active roster at any time, maybe even prior to Sunday’s meeting with the Cowboys.
Panthers CB Jaycee Horn seems to be moving well after missing eight games with a hamstring injury. pic.twitter.com/ytq4tc7xNv
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) November 15, 2023
Horn was the eighth overall pick in the 2021 draft, part of the same South Carolina secondary as current Cowboys defensive back Israel Mukuamu. He intercepted three passes in 13 games last season and is considered one of the top corners in the league when healthy.
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Teams haven’t been passing much on the Panthers in 2023. They’re seeing an average of just 28 pass attempts per game against them and allowing only 176 yards per contest. Both stats are already top-10 among all defenses; Horn’s return to the lineup will likely only further encourage offenses to pound the ball via the run game, where Carolina has been much weaker.
Expect Mike McCarthy, Bran Schottenheimer, and Dak Prescott to keep a very close eye on whether Horn is given the green light to make his return this week.