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Cowboys news: Dallas continues NFC North tour at reeling Packers

It’s game week again for the Cowboys!

Chicago Bears v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Cowboys vs Packers: A trip down memory lane - Shane Taylor, Inside The Star

The Cowboys have learned to never take the Packers lightly.

I don’t care how much Aaron Rodgers is struggling this season, and this might be the worst start of his career, but he is 7-3 all-time against the Cowboys, which includes two wins in the playoffs.

Over the years, this matchup has been one that has kept me on my toes; the two teams haven’t met since the 2019 season, but whenever I think about a matchup with the Packers, I am sure you can guess what two years come to mind.

The 2014 and 2016 seasons were two of my favorite Dallas Cowboys teams over the years, the two I thought had a chance to do something special.

I remember both of them well, and of course, Aaron Rodgers ended the season in the divisional round both times.

Dez Bryant caught that ball in the 2014 playoffs.

Dallas lost 26-21 after having a two-score lead; DeMarco Murray put Dallas up 21-13 late in the third quarter, and that was the last time the Cowboys would score.

It would have been nice if the catch rule was what it is now in 2022 because the Cowboys would have finished that drive with a touchdown and could have won it all that year.

The other is from the 2016 season, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott’s rookie year.

The Cowboys beat the Packers in week six of that year, 30-16, but in the playoffs, Aaron Rodgers found a way to beat them again.

Lambeau Limp: Cowboys McCarthy Reveals Emotions About Returning to Green Bay - Richie Whitt,

America’s Game of the Week is a homecoming for Mike McCarthy.

Lambeau Field has been a House of Horrors for America’s Team, with the Cowboys losing nine of 11 visits to the Green Bay Packers’ fabled stadium. From the infamous Ice Bowl in 1967, to the 45-7 lackluster loss that got Wade Phillips fired in mid-season in 2010, to Dez Bryant’s controversial catch-non-catch in the 2015 playoff loss, the “frozen tundra” has generally been inhospitable to the Cowboys.

Heading to eastern Wisconsin in November can always be a dicey - icy? - proposition, but next weekend the Cowboys and coach Mike McCarthy just might be catching the Packers at a cozy time.

The forecast Sunday calls for temperatures in the mid-30s with clear skies. The outlook for the struggling Packers couldn’t be more inviting.

McCarthy, who coached the Packers to a Super Bowl championship during his 13-year career, won’t recognize his former team when returns to Green Bay as an opposing coach for the time since he was fired in 2018.

“Trust me: I’m the last person who ever wants to create a distraction or questions for somebody else,” McCarthy said Monday afternoon at The Star in Frisco. “I’m very grateful for my time there. But you have to get ready to go win a game. That’s where my mind is as far as this game.”

Cowboys’ HC Mike McCarthy on Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors: I’m a ‘Huge Fan of His’ - Timothy Rapp, Bleacher Report

Free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. has more fans in Dallas than just Jerry Jones.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of his. ... I’ve just heard so many excellent, excellent things about him,” he told reporters on Monday.

However, he added, “We really love our receiver group.”

It appears the Cowboys might be in the mix.

On Sunday, Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported that Beckham is “firmly on the Cowboys’ radar, sources say, and they are expected to be in the mix when he’s ready to pick his team upon full recovery from an ACL tear.”

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer added that Beckham should be “fully cleared” in his injury recovery by the end of the week and that teams like the Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams were expected to be in the running for his services.

5 things to watch in second half of Cowboys’ season: Wide-open NFC race heating up - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News

Will the Cowboys offense be able to build on their 49-point performance from before the bye?

The offense picks up

In 2021, the Cowboys offense was best in the NFL. Today, the numbers are drastically different. After eight games in 2022, Dallas is producing 5.4 yards per play in comparison to last season when it averaged 6.5 for the same amount of games. Last season, Dallas scored 30 or more points four times in the first eight weeks of the year. This year, it’s scored 30 or more points just once. Dallas has run fewer plays (474) at this time compared to 2021 (488).

McCarthy said the offense needs the ball more to work the play clock so it can control the game. That hasn’t occurred for a number reasons, starting with the loss of Dak Prescott at quarterback. Yet, Prescott’s return in the Bears game before the bye week resulted in a season-high in points (49), total yards (442) and rushing yards (242).

Dallas also scored on its first four offensive possessions. Whether this is attributed to Prescott finding a groove at quarterback after missing five games, the production of running back Tony Pollard (three touchdowns in the Bears game) or offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, it’s something to build on.

The Cowboys also used an up-tempo offense earlier in the game against the Bears, something to keep an eye on as we enter the back half of the season.

This Cowboys CB needs to step up in the second half of the season - Mitch Larson, The Landry Hat

The bye week came at the perfect time for the Cowboys secondary to get healthy, but they still need depth players to step up.

When the Cowboys selected cornerback Kelvin Joseph with the 44th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, expectations were understandably high. Joseph showed great ball skills at both Kentucky and LSU, and his lofty draft pedigree indicated how much confidence the Cowboys had in him to be a contributor sooner rather than later.

Joseph frequently flashed ball-hawking ability in college and the hope was that he would combine forces with Trevon Diggs to give Dallas two shutdown corners on the outside. However, so far, Joseph hasn’t held up his end of that bargain at all.

Eighteen games at the professional level are hardly a large enough sample size to definitively label a player as a bust. However, it’s pretty safe to say at this point that Joseph hasn’t had the start to his career that neither he nor the Cowboys would have liked.

In a rookie season largely overshadowed by injury, Joseph played in 10 games, starting just two and failing to record an interception or make a meaningful impression. He was looking to get back on track in his sophomore season. But, after an offseason dominated by off-the-field controversy, it just hasn’t happened yet.

So far in 2022, Joseph has largely been relegated to special teams, playing just 3% of the team’s defensive snaps, compared to 83% of the Cowboys’ special teams snaps. Joseph has been solid on special teams, but he’s struggled to carve out anything close to resembling a consistent role on Dallas’ defense. There have been four games this season where Joseph has even failed to get on the field for a single defensive snap.

2022 NFL schedule: Game-by-game predictions for the Cowboys after the bye - KD Drummond, The Cowboys Wire

The Cowboys can’t afford a letdown at the Packers, but the path to surpassing the Eagles is still narrow.

Week 10: Away vs Green Bay Packers, 11/3, 3:25 pm Central. FOX

The Packers are sliding, but it’s so hard to imagine them losing six straight games.

But we are.

Cowboys win, 31-21 to improve to 7-2.

Week 16: Home vs Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday 12/24 3:25p, FOX

The rematch! But Dallas isn’t winning out. Yes, this will anger every Cowboys fan to read but sticking with our preseason prediction the Eagles sweep the regular season matchups.

Cowboys lose 31-27, fall to 12-3.

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