Cowboys vs Packers: Gut projection
Projection: Dallas Cowboys 24, Green Bay Packers 17
It’s Aaron Rodgers. It’s the Packers at home at Lambeau Field. Even in a down year, there’s something about Rodgers going up against the Cowboys. He always seems to hang tough and make this a game. He is 8-2 against Dallas in his career with nearly 2,000 yards throwing.
That said, this Packers offense isn’t their usual self. They are struggling mightily on the passing game with just 224 passing yards per game and a bevy of struggles with Rodgers throwing to young receivers. This matchup tilts to the Cowboys who only give up 178 passing yards per game, fourth-best in the league. The Cowboys’ cornerbacks should be able to stick with these receivers Sunday afternoon.
Another advantage for the Cowboys is their own ground game. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott are well in the top half of the league averaging 132 rushing yards per game. The Packers are the 26th-ranked run defense giving up 139 yards per game on the ground. With snow in the forecast and cold weather, the Cowboys would love nothing more than to pound the rock and keep Rodgers on the sideline.
Ultimately, the Dallas defense matches up well this weekend. They are the third-best scoring defense giving up just 16.6 points per game. The Packers are the 27th-ranked scoring offense putting up only 17.1 points per game. Add in the Cowboys’ league-leading pass rush tossing in a handful of sacks, they do enough to hold the Pack to their season-average scoring total.
Being on the road, enduring cold weather, and Aaron Rodgers seeming to always make it interesting against the Cowboys will keep this one within striking distance, but America’s Team holds on and gets their third straight win against the NFC North to move to 7-2 overall.
Mike McCarthy gets a win against his former team in their stadium which feels very sweet for him. This win keeps the Cowboys right there in the NFC East, but more importantly right there as a top NFC contender.