Why Kellen Moore needs to take the offense out of Ezekiel Elliott’s hands and put it in Dak Prescott’s - Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News
While the Packers defense has shown to be susceptible to the run, maybe we need to see less Zeke, and more Dak on Sunday.
Dak’s play in those first three wins was a revelation in some aspects, but it wasn’t entirely a surprise, either. One of the reasons he’s been so good in fourth quarters and comebacks is because of his proficiency in no-huddle and hurry-up offenses. He played a lot of it at Mississippi State. Fits his makeup. Maybe it’s fair to say that it took until this season — with Jon Kitna working on his mechanics and Moore tinkering with his head — for Dak to experience what was shaping up as a breakout season. Or maybe it was the product of an offensive coordinator showing confidence in him to make plays instead of simply driving the bus.
If Moore gives Dak the opportunity to be the man Sunday, we’ll start to see how good he really is, and how good the Cowboys are. Before what happened in New Orleans becomes a trend.
Dallas should be able to run the ball effectively against a weak Packers run defense, but they shouldn’t ignore the importance of a good passing attack.
The Cowboys are likely to have success against Green Bay with Ezekiel Elliott and the running game, but they shouldn’t allow that success on Sunday to inhibit the transition to a more passing oriented approach to their future gameplans. The team we saw struggle for most of the game against the New Orleans Saints needs to remember to be aggressive on first and second down so they aren’t facing as many third-down situations. Kellen Moore needs to remember who he is and what brought them success in the first three weeks of the season.
20 Cowboys notes: How Dak prepares after a loss, the Dallas player GB doesn’t want to face - Jon Machota, The Athletic
Machota goes through his weekly notes, including what we should expect from the return of no. 13.
3.) What can be expected from Michael Gallup on Sunday?
Even if he doesn’t immediately return to his normal workload, having Gallup back is a significant boost for the passing game. It was obvious in the first two games before Gallup’s injury that the combination of him, Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb gave Dak Prescott three weapons on the outside who can consistently get open against man or zone coverage. Gallup’s mere presence should give the Cowboys more opportunities for explosive plays against a Packers pass defense that has been one of the NFL’s best through four weeks. Cooper said Gallup looked like the player he was before the injury during practice this week.
“He’s a very big piece to our offense, “ Cooper added. “We need him out there.”
The staff over at the Mothership gives us their ‘gut feeling’ for the Cowboys Week 5 matchup against the Packers.
Nick Eatman: So the Cowboys couldn’t beat Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints, but they can expect to beat Aaron Rodgers? Yeah, pretty much. That’s kind of how the NFL works and it’s definitely how the Cowboys seem to work. I know we’re only a quarter of the way into the season and there’s still so much to find out, but I still think the Cowboys are a better team. They might not have the QB edge, or even the offensive tackle edge for this game, but I think they’re way better in just about every aspect. That has to mean something, especially considering Dak Prescott is one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks so far this year. Rodgers is better, but even that difference might not be as great as it was a few years ago. All in all, I think the Cowboys bounce back and win this game. I’ve got Randall Cobb scoring against his old team, two sacks by DeMarcus Lawrence, an interception by Jeff Heath and the Cowboys figure out a way to knock off Rodgers at home, 28-18.
What’s the skinny on the injury front with the Cowboys?
There was some concern about the other tackle spot early in the week as La’el Collins (back) did not practice early in the week and was a limited participant on Friday. He’s officially listed as questionable for Sunday. Should Collins not be able to participate then Connor Williams could take his spot after sliding over from guard. Willams took reps at tackle during practice this week in case his services are needed there, as did youngster Brandon Knight.
Also listed officially listed as questionable are nose tackle Antwaun Woods (knee), defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford (hip), and wideout Michael Gallup (knee). There is a high possibility all three are available to play on Sunday.
Another player to watch is All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (heel). Lawrence was limited early in the week, but was a full participant in Friday’s practice and should be good to go Sunday.
Fish provides each team’s final injury report:
What’s it going to take to beat the Packers? Here are three reasons why the Cowboys should have success on Sunday.
The prowess of Ezekiel Elliott is, hands down, the No. 1 reason the Cowboys should be able to cruise to victory on Sunday. If Zeke has anything short of 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns, then he is simply not worth the six-year, $90 million contract extension he signed to end his holdout. The Packers have allowed 569 rushing yards (26th in the league) through four games, allowing opposing running backs to average 5.0 yards per carry (29th in the league). Green Bay has also allowed five rushing touchdowns on the year.
With the superb blocking from Dallas’ line, the improved offense under first-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and an unproven Green Bay defense against worthy opponents, Elliott is going to put on a clinic against this Mike Pettine defense on Sunday.
Examining the matchup between these two teams, what does the Packers defense do well, and where are they vulnerable?
Question 1: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Green Bay defense?
The strength of this Packers’ defense is their ability to put pressure on the quarterback which leads to turnovers. Their offseason additions have been huge. Edge rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith have combined for 43 total pressures and 7 sacks this season and on the back-end, Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage – along with second year corner Jaire Alexander – at safety has helped takeaway the big play. When Green Bay can force the opposing team to pass, that is when the Smiths have been able to get pressure which has led to turnovers. The Packers have forced eight turnovers and have 12 sacks this season, both of which are top ten in the league. However, against Philadelphia, they were unable to do either of those things effectively.
Their weakness on the other hand is slowing down the opponents run game, particularly between the tackles. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine likes to utilize three safeties on the field quite a bit with the third safety in that hybrid inside linebacker role. But with Raven Greene out injured, they’ve either had to use linebacker B.J. Goodson who can be taken advantage of in coverage or safety Will Redmond who struggles in the run game. This is something that they must figure out or teams will continue to pound the rock as Denver and Philadelphia did.
Did you know the Packers never have lost at AT&T Stadium? That’s just one of the not-so-fun facts you’ll find over at Packers base camp as they provide a little history of this historic matchup.
The Green Bay Packers head to Dallas for a showdown with the Cowboys. Take a closer look at what will be an exciting matchup at AT&T Stadium.
The Athletic previews the five most intriguing games this week, with the Cowboys/Packers game clearly making the list. They channel their resident Cowboys expert Jon Machota to provide his insight.
The Cowboys win if: They don’t allow Aaron Rodgers to have one of his signature big games at AT&T Stadium. Regardless of who is on the field with him, the Packers quarterback usually plays well against the Cowboys. In seven career games against Dallas, Rodgers has thrown 11 touchdowns and only one interception. Dak Prescott and Co. should be able to score enough points to win, but it will come down to the defense getting fourth-quarter stops against Rodgers. That hasn’t happened the past two times he has played at AT&T Stadium.
Game prediction: Cowboys 24, Packers 20
Six Key Matchups That Will Determine the Winner of Packers vs Cowboys - Gil Martin, The Sports Daily
Sports Daily takes a look a six key matchups in this game, including their final score prediction.
This game will be a challenge for the Packers. Their weakness on defense, stopping the run, is the Cowboys strength on offense. In addition, Dallas is at home and they are healthier than they have been in recent weeks while the Packers are without some key players at RB, WR and in the secondary. Rodgers always plays well against the Cowboys, but he will face a tougher challenge without Adams. The Packers should be able to keep this one close, but the Cowboys will win unless the Pack slows Elliott down or wins the turnover battle decisively.
Cowboys 23, Packers 20