Dallas Cowboys @ Packers: Six Questions with Lombardi Ave
The Landry Hat goes behind enemy lines to get the inside scoop on the upcoming Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers matchup with Freddie Boston of Lombardi Ave.
One of the great things about working for FanSided is our access to NFL team site experts. In this case, I was able to ask Freddie Boston, the co-expert at our Green Bay Packers site, Lombardi Ave, some questions about Sunday’s upcoming matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. Checkout his answers below to get a view of the upcoming contest from behind enemy lines.
1. There’s been a lot of talk about Aaron Rodgers having a slow start to the season (56.1% completion percentage). Can you elaborate on that and give us your views on his play so far?
FB: Rodgers certainly hasn’t been at his best, but the offensive issues don’t fall entirely on him. While he has missed open receivers and shown some poor mechanics (particularly not setting his feet while throwing), the offense falls flat largely by its design.
Mike McCarthy’s offense is known for its timing and rhythm, yet we’ve seen very little of this. Instead, the Packers run a lot of isolation routes which requires receivers to consistently beat their one-on-ones.
When this doesn’t happen, Rodgers is forced to dance around in the pocket and extend plays like few quarterbacks can. Without any kind of rhythm, it’s no surprise to see Rodgers’ statistics suffer.
2. One of the bigger offseason storylines in the NFL was the weight loss of running back Eddie Lacy. Have you seen positive results due to his physical transformation on the field yet this season?
FB: While it certainly doesn’t look as though Lacy has lost much weight, his play has been noticeably better. He’s shown better explosiveness and an ability to run over tackles and break out big runs.
He looked far too sluggish last season. While he’s not yet back to his 2014-best, Lacy has been a positive this season and needs more of the ball. His ankle injury is worth monitoring this week.
3. Who is the one Packers player that will surprise Cowboys fan this Sunday and no one is talking about?
FB: Nick Perry. Perry was a first-round pick in 2012 but has been plagued with injuries and inconsistent play throughout his career.
Finally healthy, [the linebacker] is making regular visits to opponents’ backfields.
He leads the Packers in sacks with 4.5, already surpassing his previous season-best. His play against the run has also been strong.
Perry will be key for the Packers in this game.
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FB: There are certainly parallels between the Romo/Prescott situation to the Favre/Rodgers handover.
Rodgers did have the benefit of backing up Favre for three years, while Prescott has been thrown in as a rookie (and risen to the challenge).
Cowboys fans appear to be more open to a permanent change too.
Packers fans didn’t greet the move quite so warmly.
I believe Prescott has passed his audition as the stand-in and very much looks like the Cowboys’ future.
While some will say “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, I still feel this is Tony Romo’s team.
As long as he’s fully healthy, I’d like to see Romo take the job back.
5. The Packers rushing defense is currently the best in the NFL. What’s your take on that statistic and why have they been so good against the run?
FB: Mike Daniels is a disruptive force up front for the Packers and one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league, and he’s been helped with some excellent linebacker play.
The Packers have been dominating their one-on-ones up front, which has been a big surprise.
Despite that, I’m not going to get too carried away with the league-leading numbers.
While the run defense has been dominant, they are yet to face a challenge quite like this Cowboys offensive line.
Green Bay has largely played backup running backs, although they did a tremendous job shutting down Adrian Peterson before he got hurt.
If the Packers pass this test, we can believe the run defense is as good as the statistics suggest.
6. Finally, what’s your prediction for the game?
FB: It’s difficult to beat Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau, but this Cowboys team is built to do exactly that.
If Dallas can impose its will and wear down the Packers defense with a strong dose of the ground game, they will win.
This is a major test for the Green Bay front seven, and the offense must also show some more consistency.
As it’s in Lambeau, I’m picking the Packers to edge it, but I certainly don’t make this pick with a lot of confidence. Packers 27, Cowboys 21.
The Landry Hat would like to thank Freddie Boston and the great folks over at Lombardi Ave for their time and expertise.
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