Cowboys playoff opponent: Identifying the Packers strengths and weaknesses

Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers
Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
2 of 2

Green Bay Packers Defense

Defensive Scheme: 3-4 Defense
Overall Defensive Ranking: 10th in the league (20.6 ppg)
Passing Yards Per Game: 206.8
Rushing Yards Per Game: 128.3
Total Yards Per Game: 352
Third Down Conversion: 25th in the league (41.1%)
Red Zone Conversion: 10th in the league (50.9%)

Key Defensive Injuries: Rudy Ford (Thumb), Isaiah McDuffie (Concussion), Eric Stokes (Hamstring-IR),

Defensive Playmakers: Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, Quay Walker, Darnell Savage Jr.

Packers Defensive Strengths

When the Packers win if it's not the offense clicking at the right time then it's their defense that's carrying them, specifically that defensive line with Clark, Gary, and Smith. That group has done a really good job of putting pressure and racking up sacks on quarterbacks with 24.5 sacks and 78 pressures for this group. If the Cowboys want to win this game, they are going to need to be able to control or slow down these players and give Dak Prescott the opportunity to attack a suspect Packers secondary.

The Cowboys have too many weapons for the Packers to account for in the passing game and could have a huge game from tight end Jake Ferguson in the middle of the field if Prescott has the time to find him. But they have to slow the Packers' big three, defensive coordinator Joe Barry is someone who likes to blitz quarterbacks because of their poor secondary play, and he will look to ramp that pressure up on Prescott to try and slow down the Cowboys' high-powered offense and hope they can get home against a quarterback that is very effective against blitzing defenses.

Packers Defensive Weaknesses

We already know that the Packers' secondary can have plays made against them but another area where this defense can and should be attacked by the Cowboys is this linebacker group. Teams when attacking this group through the air have completed 83% of the passes, which is music to the Cowboys' ears. We've seen how this coaching staff has been able to create positive matchups against defenses and this gives the Cowboys another area of the defense to attack along with the secondary.

This defense outside of their defensive line as a whole is not a very good group this season compared to last season and with multiple avenues to attack them, the Cowboys must prepare for a heavy dose of blitzes to try and help cover up their pass coverage woes. If they can handle the Packers' pass rush then this game will turn in the Cowboys' favor very quickly.

More Cowboys news and rumors: