The Dallas Cowboys took care of business in the nation's capital this weekend in a game that was both important and not so-important by halftime for Dallas. The Philadelphia Eagles are in a complete free fall and handed the Cowboys the NFC East crown. As much as this team would like to celebrate, the Cowboys need to get ready to face off against a young and hungry Green Bay Packers team.
This game is shaping up to be a good one both on the field and in the headlines, with Mike McCarthy facing off against the team he won a Super Bowl with. The last two times the Cowboys have faced off against the Packers it didn't end the way Dallas had hoped but this time around there's no Aaron Rodgers that can bail out the team this time around and the Cowboys team as a whole is a lot better than in the past.
That doesn't mean the Packers aren't going to put up a fight, this team will be ready to go and the Cowboys need to be ready to take their best shot early in this game. While we wait for the game let's take a look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of this Packers offensive and defensive units to get a better sense of how the Cowboys stack up.
Green Bay Packers Offense
Offensive Scheme: West Coast Offense
Overall Offensive Ranking: 12th in the league (22.5 ppg)
Passing Yards Per Game: 233.4
Rushing Yards Per Game: b
Total Yards Per Game: 359.7
Third Down Conversion: 5th in the league (47.1%)
Red Zone Conversion: 20th in the league (51.6%)
Key Offensive Injuries: Romeo Dobbs (Chest), Christian Watson (Hamstring), A.J. Dillon (Neck), David Bakhtiari (Knee-IR)
Offensive Playmakers: Jordan Love, Aaron Jones, Jayden Reed, Luke Musgrave, Dontayvion Wicks, Tucker Kraft
Packers Offensive Strengths
This Packers offense isn't one that the Cowboys have seen this season, most offenses have players that are the focal point and give Dallas a roadmap to defending them. Against the Packers things are going to be tricky, they are a team that spreads the football around so much that there isn't a true number-one receiver on this roster—forcing defenses to cover everyone or risk quarterback Jordan Love finding the uncovered receiver and making a play.
Head coach Matt LaFleur has made things easy for Love as well, giving him shorter reads in the middle of the defense and along the perimeter to draw defenders in before taking shots downfield, an area where Love is surprisingly accurate this season. If the Cowboys are going to win this game they are going to need to keep this offense in front of them and try and throw off the timing in this passing game if they can do that it will make things tougher on the young quarterback. If they can't and allow this Packers passing game to march up and down the football field then the outcome for the Cowboys becomes a little less clear.
Packers Offensive Weaknesses
Now if there is one area where this offense can be attacked with great success it's in the trenches; their offensive line did play well against the Bears in week 18 but over the entire season they have made things harder for Love. This offensive live has given up 18 sacks on the season along with 155 pressures and pressure is the Dallas defensive line specialty and something they need to exploit in this game. Of all the players along their offensive line that are the most vulnerable, it's center Josh Myers who has given up five sacks and 28 pressures this season. We've seen the Cowboys line up their best pass rusher against centers before and they could do it again in this game.
They could also look to attack tackle Rasheed Walker who's given up six sacks and 33 pressures this season. If the Cowboys can do what the Bears failed to do last week -- win the battle at the line of scrimmage -- and put pressure on Jordan Love they are going to put themselves in a great position to start forcing turnovers.
Love has thrown 11 interceptions this season and they've all come when he's under pressure in the pocket. Pressure Love and we've seen just how good this defense is at creating turnovers and how the offense rewards them with points if the defense doesn't score themselves.