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Why the Packers Will Beat the Cowboys and Why the Might Not

When the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys meet Sunday at Jerry’s World, it will be another installment of one of the NFL’s oldest and most storied rivalries, one that has heated up in recent seasons.

Back in 2014, the Packers and Cowboys played that epic playoff game at Lambeau Field, only to see the Packers come out on top, thanks to a late touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers. Oh, that and the Dez Bryant play that was ruled incomplete, those were the two defining plays of that game.

Then, last season, Dallas and Green Bay met twice. The first meeting came in the regular season at Lambeau. That was the game that Dak Prescott established himself as the Cowboys new franchise quarterback.

Yet, even though the Cowboys won in the regular season, when the two teams met in Dallas, in the playoffs, we all know the result. Rodgers to Jared Cook late, plus a long Mason Crosby field goal, meant a Green Bay victory.

With all that in mind, the two teams will meet this afternoon (3:25 PM CST) in Dallas in a rematch from the 2017 postseason. Both are still considered two of the best in the NFC and even at this point, it appears there could be major implications riding on the outcome.

So, without any further ado, here is a look at some reasons why the Packers will beat the Cowboys tonight and one reason why, they might not.

Certainly, for the Packers, any key to victory starts with Aaron Rodgers. The two-time MVP is off to a solid start in 2017, throwing for 286 yards per game. He also has 10 touchdown passes, compared to just three interceptions, as well as a 100 passer rating and a completion percentage of 66.9, while also averaging 7.2 yards per attempt.

In the first meeting between the two teams at Lambeau last season, Rodgers threw for 291 yards, to go along with one touchdown and one interception. But in the playoffs, in Dallas, he was even better, throwing for 355 yards, two touchdowns and just one pick.

Rodgers late-game heroics also will never be forgotten. And while the Green Bay defense appears much better than a season ago, there is a still a good chance, it will be up to Rodgers to pull a rabbit out of his hat at the end. 

Outside of Rodgers, another key for the Packers, is going to be health.

Bryan Bulaga, David Bakhtiari and Mike Daniels are all listed as questionable right now for the Packers, but each looks to have a good chance to play. If both tackles are able to go offensively, it would be the first time all season that Green Bay has its preferred starting five intact.

That will make a huge difference for Green Bay, which has struggled to protect Rodgers through four games. Yet, getting Daniels back would also be a game changer.

Not only is Daniels one of Green Bay’s best pass rushers, he is also stout against the run. His presence will be needed to try to contain Zeke Elliott and the vaunted Cowboys ground game.

Davante Adams is another player that looks ready to go for the Packers, while starting running back Ty Montgomery is listed as doubtful, meaning either rookie Aaron Jones or Jamaal Williams will make their first career NFL start.

Jones has 13 carries for 49 yards so far this season. Williams has nine rushes for 32. Both have had their moments and should be fine when called upon. 

But, another key factor for Green Bay and another reason why they might win, is the two rookies playing in the nitro package, Kevin King and Josh Jones.

Since the two rookies have been put into the lineup, essentially full time, the Packers defense seems better, faster and more athletic. Jones is a beast. He has two sacks and runs sideline to sideline as well as anyone on the roster. His presence should help against the run.

King, on the other hand, will probably get ample opportunities to cover Dez Bryant. King has had a few growing pains, but for the most part, he’s played well. Green Bay ranks 15th defensively in terms of yards allowed, but only sixth when it comes points allowed.

The Falcons offense ripped through the Packers back in Week 2, but with Jones and King now in the lineup, plus the return of Daniels, the defense should hold up better in its second test against an elite NFL offense.

Of course, it’s always possible that the Packers lose this game. After all, the Cowboys, who have lost two of their last three games, will be desperate. They lost at home to the Rams last weekend and will do everything possible to avoid back-to-back home losses.

While Dallas ranks just 14th running the ball, Green Bay sits at 18th when it comes to defending the run. That could mean Elliott will be showcased a lot. In four games, the second-year pro is averaging just 3.6 a carry, which might explain why Dallas is 2-2.

Prescott has helped carry the load with nine total touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also has a rushing touchdown. But if the Cowboys are going to beat the Packers, Elliott will need a big day.

When he gets going, the Dallas offense seems just about impossible to stop. So keeping the Cowboys as one dimensional as possible is essential. If Zeke goes off, though, which is a possibility, it’s hard to see Green Bay escaping Jerry’s World with a win.

 

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Rossonero's picture

The key is loading the box on Zeke. Our safeties are excellent in run support. Due to our better CBs, Capers doesn't have to play two deep safeties like last season because he knew Gunter needed help.

The loaded boxes, plus the loss of Doug Free and Ronald Leary on the Cowboys offensive line, are the two main reasons for Elliott's slow start. Getting Daniels back is just what we need. Oh, and if you thought the Dallas secondary was bad last year, they're even worse now. Packers 31, Cowboys 23.

Nick Perry's picture

There's a good chance Tyron Smith won't play either. Even if he does suit up I've heard several "Experts" say the injury to his back has really hindered him. Watch for both Kenny Clark and Quinton Dial to be big in this game. Dial is one of Thompson's best FA signings this year IMO because he's getting better and better each week he plays in the defense.

Rossonero's picture

Good call about Smith, I forgot about that. If he's out, that's a huge loss for them.

GBPDAN1's picture

Smith is active for Cowpies. No Lee. Daniels and Bulaga active for Pack. No Bak. Hope Bulaga can make it through the whole game? Start Bulaga at LT??? Go Pack!

Jonathan Spader's picture

I anticipate Bulaga at RT and LT at LT. It'll be interesting to see if it's Patrick or McCray at LG. Patrick played there last week when McCray was at RT.

dobber's picture

It's interesting that Bakhtiari still can't go. I expect Dallas to attack heavily on that left side (#12's blindside).

Rollouts, screens, and RUN the football!

EdsLaces's picture

Josh Jones and Kevin King are comin baby ...watch out Dak!

Savage57's picture

Big game for both teams for different and the same reasons.

We want to see a win, but it's probably safe to expect to see more intense, backs-to-the-wall energy from Dallas.

MM's teams have a history of playing small when the stakes are biggest and the lights brightest.

Both these teams leave Jerry's World 3-2 with the Packers having seriously messed up any chance of home field throughout.

Handsback's picture

It seems that the national sportswriters/football experts are for the most part picking Dallas to win. Locally in Dallas, they are picking the Packers. It seems that some may be looking at press clippings while others see the how good the two teams have really looked.

I think the Packers should win it for two reasons....Daniels is back, and Adams will play giving another playmaker for Rodgers to target.

mrtundra's picture

GO PACK, GO! Wipe the always smug look off of Jerry Jones' face! We need to stop Elliott at the line and our DBs need to cover Beasley, Witten and Dez B. If we can generate a consistent pass rush on Dakky Boy we should come home with a win. GO PACK, GO!

Since '61's picture

5 reasons why the Packers will win:

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Josh Jones
4. Return of Mike Daniels
5. Return of our OTs

Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

cheesehead1's picture

Aaron Rodgers of course, but let’s have a solid game by our D, not a repeat of the ATL game.

Nick Perry's picture

"Oh, that and the Dez Bryant play that was ruled incomplete, those were the two defining plays of that game."

IMO the defining "Drive" of the game didn't even result in points.

Dallas fans are still posting comments about that play. EVERYBODY assumes the Cowboys would have won that game had it been ruled a catch. BULLS***!!!!!!!!!!!

The Packers took over the ball with about 3 minutes and change to play deep in their own territory. Shortly after the 2 minute warning the Packers had a 1st and 10 AT the Dallas 23 yard line. In other words the Packers drove RIGHT DOWN THE FIELD and the Cowboys COULDN'T, DIDN'T do a damn thing about it.

Sorry but with all this crying starting up again this week on NFL.com and ESPN I needed to vent...Again!

Just shut the F up already. If you were good enough to win you should have stopped them .

stockholder's picture

The cowboys don't have any scruples or morals anymore. Let alone star power. The NFL should make them remove the star on their helmets. It looks like an asterisk to me today.

dobber's picture

Saw a meme earlier that showed the lone star on the Dallas helmet and read:

"Not a logo: it's a rating"

Loved it.

johnnyd17's picture

closer to 5 mins

Lphill's picture

I am not so sure our tackles and Daniels are playing , usually when Packers are questionable that means they are not playing. I think we need Daniels today more than Bat and Bulaga .

dobber's picture

We'll learn a lot about what to expect today when the inactives are reported. If those guys are active, they're playing.

johnnyd17's picture

as a longtime Packers fan living in central Texas, ive tried to remind cowpie fans many times, ok Dez caught ball, still 4;50 remains on clock, could they stop Rodgers n company? and how much worse did Lions get screwed the week before ?

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