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5 things to watch when the Cowboys head to Lambeau and face the Packers

We got the important points covered for the Cowboys when they face the Packers.

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

For over a decade the Green Bay Packers have dominated the Dallas Cowboys. Dating back to 2009, the Packers have won eight of the last nine games against the Cowboys, including the last three. This also includes a couple of heart-breaking playoff losses where some craziness happened at the end of the game to put a dagger in the Cowboys' season. Not fun.

For many, this game has all the makings of a revenge game for both fans who have had to sit through these losses, but for also head coach Mike McCarthy who will travel into Lambeau as a visiting coach this time around. The Packers have fallen on hard times as they are losers of five straight. They already have as many losses this year as they did in the previous two years combined. You won't hear much sympathy from Cowboys fans as a win in Green Bay will be just as satisfying regardless of how much of a fight they put up.

Here are five things to watch as the Cowboys try to get a rare win against a long-time conference foe.

1. Remind Rodgers he’s a mere mortal

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been such a playmaker over the years and you don’t have to remind Cowboys fans what type of damage he can do. But this year has been a struggle for the veteran quarterback. Of course, when you lose one of the game’s best wide receivers, that’s going to be tough to overcome.

Rodgers has tried to work through this, but he’s just not making those same plays this season. His 89.0 passer rating is his lowest rating over his 15 years as the team’s starting quarterback. Maybe he’s trying to do too much or maybe he’s just too frazzled, but if the Cowboys' pass rush can attack him like they’ve been doing everyone else this year, things could get ugly for Rodgers.

2. The Lambeau game-wrecker, part II

As mentioned above, the Cowboys have only won one game over their last nine contests against the Packers, and that was oddly the last time they were in Lambeau back in 2016. Many remember this as Dak Prescott’s coming out game as he continued his incredible season by doing something many before couldn’t - beat the Packers.

But that game wasn’t just about Dak. He had some help on the other side in the form of game-wrecker David Irving who had a sack and forced three fumbles in that game. The Cowboys have their own game-wrecker these days in Micah Parsons and after a week of rest, look for him to feast. The Packers are having all types of health issues along their offensive line and this could set the table for an absolute monster of a day from the game’s best defensive player.

3. Running into problems

If Green Bay is to have any chance in this one it’s going to come on the heels of their rushing attack. The Cowboys have given up 1,081 yards on the ground this year which is ranked 24th in the NFL. If there is a weakness in the Cowboys’ defense, it’s their ability to stop the run.

The Packers have one of the best rushing tandems in football with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillion. They have a good balance as Jones averages 12 carries a game compared to 11 for Dillion. If the Pack can get these two going, it could help the offense move the chains and keep the Cowboys’ pass rushers from being able to tee off on Rodgers.

4. Right back atcha

As not great as the Cowboys' run defense is (giving up 135 yards per game), the Packers are even worse (138 yards per game). And both teams are really good in pass defense, so that means we should be in store for a good dose of the ground attack.

While the Packers will employ the Jones/Dillon combo, the Cowboys have a pretty good running-back tandem with the dynamic duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.

  • Rushing yards per game: Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillion = 110
  • Rushing yards per game: Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard = 127

Surprisingly, Zeke and Tony are each averaging 63.3 yards per game. How’s that for balance?

Pollard unloaded on the ground last week against the Bears in solo duty as Elliott was dealing with a leg injury, but he should have his crime-fighting rushing partner back with him this week.

5. Get ahead of the Pack, and don’t look back!

Similar to how the Cowboys’ offense was operating with Cooper Rush at the helm, this Packers’ team is a grinder. They don’t have the offensive firepower as they are rank 27th in the league in points scored. This means Green Bay relies heavily on the defense to keep them in games as their days of scoring in bunches have diminished.

The Packers aren’t built to overcome big deficits so if the Cowboys get themselves an early lead, this could put Green Bay in a bad spot. During the five-game losing streak, the Packers haven’t scored more than 10 points in the second half in any of these games. They are just not the comeback kids they once were. The Cowboys' defense has been boa constrictors late in games, slowly squeezing the life out of their opponents. This does not bode well for Green Bay down the stretch if they find themselves trailing.

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