For the past decade, the Packers have owned the Dallas Cowboys in both the regular season and the playoffs. Since 2009, the Cowboys have lost eight of their last ten meetings against Green Bay, including two playoff losses in 2014 and 2016.
But when the Cowboys travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers in Week 10, things will be different than the last dozen times these teams have played. For the first time since 2004, Green Bay will come into a game against Dallas with an under .500 record.
With the Packers sitting at 3-6, the Cowboys enter the contest as 4.5 favorites on the road. Despite how Green Bay’s season has gone, they seem to always be ready to play against America’s Team. In fact, this Cowboys and Packers duel over the years has become a rivalry between two of the most winningest franchises in NFL history.
That’s why, despite Green Bay’s early struggles, Dallas can’t come into this game slow. They have to come out ready to play after the bye.
The offense has to move the ball against a Packers’ defense that ranks top six in yards allowed per game (309.1) and passing yards allowed (170.6) and the defense has to continue their dominant ways. The Cowboys are giving up just 16.6 points per game and now face a Green Bay offense that averages 17.1 points per game, the sixth worst in the NFL.
This game has big implications for a team that is trying to keep pace with the undefeated Eagles. So who should you keep an eye on? Let’s see.
3 Cowboys players to watch in Week 10 against the Packers
3. Tony Pollard, RB
All eyes will be on Pollard after his incredible 141 yards and three touchdown performance before the bye. Of course, that came with Ezekiel Elliott missing Week 8 with a knee injury. If Elliott is out again, Pollard would be in line for another start at running back. He now has five touchdowns and 279 scrimmage yards in two games as a starter for the Cowboys.
But if Elliott, who did some team drills on Wednesday, suits up, will Pollard get fewer touches? Will the fourth-year running back take a back seat yet again in the backfield and not be utilized in the offense?
The answer is not necessarily. Although Pollard had a career day on the ground, it came on just 53% of Dallas’ snaps in the game. Even with Elliott out, the former Memphis star played only 31 snaps and had 15 touches.
Yes, the Cowboys were up big against the Bears in the fourth quarter, but it didn’t appear that Pollard was on track to play 65-70% of the team’s snaps. So, not much should change with Elliott back in the offense.
Even if Elliott plays, the biggest thing to watch when Dallas plays the Packers is how Pollard is utilized on offense. His touches have increased every week since Week 6 and now offensive coordinator Kellen Moore had the bye to get creative and try to get the young back some more looks in the offense.
Pollard only has five catches over his last three games and 12 in eight games this season, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Cowboys try to use him more in the passing game.