Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers: 3 keys to victory

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Second Key To Victory

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws an accurate deep ball and is a master of drawing the defense offsides and using the penalty as a free shot to go deep. The Dallas defense needs to follow its defensive bend but don’t break philosophy.

The Green Bay offense under new head coach Matt Lafleur is still trying to find itself. LaFleur is trying to build a run identity to open up the play-action pass.

To date, the new strategy is proving difficult to start. The Packers are averaging 86.2 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry. Both of these stats put the Pack in the bottom ten across the league. Yet, the Packers have the same 3-1 record as the Cowboys.

In the opening game of the season, the Chicago Bears did a very good job containing both Rodgers and the Packers run game. The Bears forced Rodgers to fight for every yard except for one play.

Rodgers found wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 47 yard gain on a play-action pass against two high safeties. Three passing plays later and the Packers were in the end zone for the only touchdown of the game in a 10-3 win.

In the Packers’ second game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings, Rodgers threw a 39-yard bomb to wide receiver Davante Adams on a play-action pass against two high safeties. In Week Three, Rodgers drew Denver Broncos edge defender Vonn Miller offside and took a deep shot to Valdes-Scantling for a 40-yard touchdown.

Cowboys fans don’t need to dig too far back into history to remember Rodgers ability to beat them with a deep pass. His 35-yard pass to former tight end Jared Cook on the second-last play of the 2016 Divisional Round playoff game set up the Packers for the game-winning field goal.

It will be imperative for the Cowboys defense to stay disciplined particularly with their safeties and their deep coverage. The Packers are in the bottom ten in allowing quarterback pressures so the Cowboys will need to find ways to put pressure on Rodgers with four rushers allowing the linebackers to drop into coverage.

Despite the Packers troubles implementing their new offensive philosophy, Rodgers remains a challenge for any defense to contain. The key for the Cowboys defense will be to limit Green Bay’s big play ability.