The Dallas Cowboys play host to the Green Bay Packers this Sunday at AT&T Stadium. The teams have matched up three times during the Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott era, with the Packers coming out on top twice. Each game has produced something memorable: the first saw Dak Prescott go into Lambeau and win without Dez Bryant, the second was a playoff game that came down to the wire, and the third contest was won in the final seconds.
It seems as if these two teams are destined to produce a good game on the field. With Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers leading these two teams again on Sunday, it looks like we are poised to see more of the same this week.
Stopping Aaron Rodgers from doing Aaron Rodgers things will obviously be key on Sunday, but the Packers have other players on the offensive side of the ball that can play a big role on Sunday. Here are three offensive players to know for the Cowboys’ week five matchup.
The Packers offense has struggled at times this season, but Aaron Jones has reached the end zone in three of the team’s first four games — including score twice on the ground versus the Broncos in Denver. Jones also found some success against the Vikings defense: rushing for 116 yards on 23 carries, good for a 5.0 ypc average.
Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys have had some success in defending the run — thanks, in large part, to a pair of athletic linebackers. Alvin Kamara was held to less than 70 yards on the ground; Washington, as a team, rushed for less than 50 yards; the Dolphins’ leading rusher, Kenyan Drake, totaled less than 40 on the ground. Saquon Barkley did find some success running the ball, but he has been the outlier thus far.
As great as Aaron Rodgers is, Green Bay cannot afford to be one-dimensional against a fast, aggressive Cowboys defense. Getting Jones going on the ground will be key for the Packers on Sunday. If the last three weeks are any indication, this defense should be up to the challenge in stopping the talented back.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is not the number one target in the Packers offense that Davante Adams is, and he doesn’t even have the name recognition that tight end Jimmy Graham has, but the second-year wideout is coming into his own this year for Green Bay.
Through four games this season, MVS is averaging nearly 14 yards per reception on 16 catches as he has developed into a reliable deep target for Rodgers and the Green Bay defense.
Aaron Rodgers is off and running. 40-yard TD to Marquez Valdes-Scantlingpic.twitter.com/j95bLLHykj— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 22, 2019
With Davante Adams ruled out, the Cowboys secondary must be prepared for what MVS can do.
If you want to have a good offense, you need to have a good offensive line. Green Bay knows that they have the quarterback, a good running back, and some weapons on the outside, so they went ahead and added an offensive lineman through the draft this past April.
Elgton Jenkins was an All-SEC and All-American offensive lineman during his career at Mississippi State as he played all over the line for the Bulldogs before being selected in the second round of the 2019 Draft. The Packers inserted their rookie into the starting lineup in week three, and he has produced since then. Dane Brugler named Jenkins to his quarter-mark All-Rookie Team:
Elgton Jenkins, Green Bay Packers (2nd round, No. 44 overall)
After coming off the bench in the first two games, Jenkins has started at left guard the last two weeks for the Packers and played very well. Firing out of his stance, Jenkins has created movement and opened holes in the run game. And in pass protection, he has done a great job staying balanced in his mirror and resetting his hands to counter interior rushers.
The position versatility that Jenkins showed at Mississippi State was a strong selling point with starts at tackle, guard and center. And even though guard was the position in which he had the least amount of experience from his time in the SEC, Jenkins has looked comfortable at left guard so far for Green Bay.
This was Jenkins’ first snap against the Eagles:
Elgton Jenkins' first snap against the Eagles pic.twitter.com/6czK0t79lf— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 28, 2019
Controlling the line of scrimmage could play a huge factor in who comes out on top on Sunday. It has only been two games, but Jenkins has played much better than you would expect a rookie to perform.
Aaron Rodgers is obviously the best, and most important, player on the Green Bay Packers, but the Dallas Cowboys need to be prepared for the Packers’ running back, their young wide receiver, and their rookie offensive guard. If the Cowboys can step up to the challenge, good things should follow.