The Dallas Cowboys will face an old playoff rival in the Green Bay Packers this weekend. Here are some thoughts prior to the big game.
The Dallas Cowboys are heading into their first playoff game incredibly rested. The team will also be the healthiest they have been possibly all season long as they will see the return of cornerback Morris Claiborne and pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence. Several other players will also be returning from less severe injuries so Dallas should be ready for a fight against Green Bay.
This is a storied playoff rivalry that will add a new chapter this weekend as both teams will fight for their playoff lives.
Thought #1 – Air Versus Ground
The Cowboys have multiple strengths on the offensive side of the ball but the Packers are perfect in the passing game. Green Bay legend, Aaron Rodgers has been terrific in the last seven games and continues to be a tough task for opposing defenses. His Hail Mary against the Giants was incredible and showed just how much of a playmaker he can be.
The main difficulty the Packers will have is the loss of a playmaker that stretches the field. Nelson is the best talent in that wide receiving corps and also Rodgers most trusted target. Without him, the Packers will still be dangerous but Dallas will be happy that weapon is holstered.
The Cowboys can take advantage of single coverage especially now that wide receiver Dez Bryant is healthy and back in the mix. It is going to be hard for Green Bay to stop Dez as he will be driven to make big plays throughout this ballgame. Dallas will likely lean on the ground attack and attempt to control the clock as the Packers must prove they can shut down rookie running back sensation Ezekiel Elliott.
A rested Elliott will pose a big challenge for a Packers run defense that allowed him to gain 157 yards and average 5.6 yards per carry. The Cowboys star running back did not get into the end zone the last time these two teams faced off, expect that to change in this contest.