Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers: Key Matchups
The Dallas Cowboys will face the Green Bay Packers in an NFC battle for the ages. Here we will discuss key matchups entering this Week Six contest.
The Dallas Cowboys are heading into their biggest game of the season so far as they head to Lambeau Field for a showdown with the Green Bay Packers.
Look, we have been here before comparing matchups, but something feels different about this game and it could be because of the Cowboys latest rookie class.
2016 Fourth round pick and current starting quarterback, Dak Prescott has been extraordinary this season.
Prescott has made plays with his legs as well as through the air.
He should continue to play aggressively seeking to expose a Packers defense that realistically has not faced any top competition but we will get into that later.
The biggest question mark for the Cowboys is seemingly will superstar wide receiver Dez Bryant make an appearance?
Bryant has been limited in practice all week and appears to be a game time decision.
If Dez can play that could make a world of difference however the Cowboys are not resting on that notion.
Even with Bryant out the Packers could be in for a surprise from a highly potent Cowboys offense.
Ezekiel Elliott versus Packers run defense
This game pits the number one rushing defense versus the number one rushing offense and really the Packers numbers are inflated.
The Packers have played against the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, and New York Giants and none of those teams have a running back that has been half as good as Ezekiel Elliott.
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The Giants had injuries to their top two running backs, Minnesota had a similar issue, and the Lions/Jaguars running attack have struggled all season.
Most of those teams are towards the bottom of the league in rushing so how can we really say the Packers are great at stopping the run? This is truly a matchup in favor of the Cowboys running game and Zeke will prove it on Sunday.
Ever since the loss to the Giants, the media has tried to predict when Zeke will have a bad game. The Bengals front seven would “shut him down”, the 49ers defense will be “stout” against the run; none of this happened just like the Packers will not shut down Elliott.
Sure the Packers 3-4 defense could stack the box against Elliott and bring down Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix but that would give Prescott all the time in the world to find his wide receivers down the field.
Even with a stacked box the Cowboys could see tremendous success finding holes along the edge of the line of scrimmage than inside. The read option should also be in play against the Packers who have struggled with dealing with that type of play calling in the past. Bottom line Elliott will get his numbers, and the Packers will come down to earth.
Two banged up secondaries
Both the Cowboys and Packers defensive backfields will miss key players. Green Bay will be without Sam Shields and they may also miss cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins who are both questionable thanks to hip injuries. This means the Packers will likely start rookies or inexperienced players against the Cowboys receiving corps and that could spell trouble for Green Bay.
Prescott has been tremendously accurate when looking deep down the field and passing lanes could be open all day if the Packers are thin at cornerback. On the other side the Cowboys will likely miss veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick for another game as he deals with a hamstring injury.
This means rookie Anthony Brown will likely get the start in the slot. The Cowboys secondary has been extremely productive all season and in total the defense have held teams to 18.2 points per game which ranks them eighth in the NFL overall.
This is seemingly another “somethings got to give scenario” where the Cowboys will try to limit the Packers from scoring like they have been doing to teams all season long.
Cowboys pass rush versus Aaron Rodgers
The Cowboys have failed to get pressure on Rodgers pretty much every time they have met in recent memory. Even when the Green Bay quarterback was hurt in the playoffs, the Cowboys barely pressured him.
Dallas has arguably the most talented pass rushers they have managed to put together in quite some time and the return of star pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence only enhances that notion.
The Cowboys will look to their rookie defensive lineman from Nebraska, Maliek Collins, to help get pressure on the Packers star quarterback. If the Cowboys can effectively blitz Rodgers and get him rattled at home, the Packers do not stand a chance.