Jerry Jones: Cowboys not going to play Rodgers any differently
Reports out of Green Bay are that quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been limited in practice this week, is still recovering from a calf strain. The injury could have an impact on how mobile the NFL’s all-time leader in passer rating actual is on Sunday.
Cowboys owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t believe his defense should treat Rodgers any differently, no matter how significant Rodgers’ calf injury is.
"I don’t think that we ought to go in there thinking that it’s going to be from keeping him from making extended bursts at all," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] Friday. "And I know we’re not practicing that way. There’s no need to practice that way. If he takes off and can run good, we just got to run him down."
Jones went on to say what Rodgers does so well is being able to break outside of the pocket and extend plays with his legs, whether by scrambling or tucking the ball and running. But Jones also respects the offensive framework of eight-year head coach Mike McCarthy.
"I think you’ve got to look at that entire offensive plan and structure," said Jones. "They’ve been doing it, or a form of it, for years. They’ve practiced in it for years. They’re just real good at what they do with their offense."
For Jones, the key to being effective against Green Bay’s offense is to force takeaways.
"We need to turnovers. That’s trite. Everybody says that, but if we can, which has nothing to do with Rodgers, it has everything to do with Rodgers, but someone’s got to be holding those balls other than Rodgers. We’ve got to figure out a way to get our share of a takeover if it’s possible for us."
There is good news for the Cowboys defense on the injury front. Though rookie linebacker Anthony Hitchens missed his third day of practice with an ankle injury and is a game-time decision, linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Jeremy Mincey both passed cognitive evaluations and practiced Friday.
"I would say that that’s good, but mainly from the standpoint that that’s an indicator of their condition — I mean, their status," Jones said. "And that’s the most important thing."
Since Week 16 against Indianapolis and throughout their playoff run, the Cowboys defense has had a linebacker intercept a pass and a defensive lineman sack the quarterback at least once per game.
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