The Packers come into Texas with two things, a six game winning streak and a huge chip on their shoulders due to the Cowboys early season victory in Green Bay and you can bet your last dollar that they are looking forward to the opportunity to avenge the loss and knock Americas Team out of the playoffs. Jordy Nelson has been ruled out of Sundays game and i’m sure that Brandon Carr and Co. won’t be shedding any tears or feel sorry for Aaron Rodgers. The reality is that the Packers are still dangerous and have enough weapons to make this a high scoring affair. In the beginning of the season there were questions about Rodgers play and if he was starting to slip in his twelfth season due to his uneven play and poor accuracy but as history shows you can’t keep an all-pro down with Rodgers throwing forty touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
The Cowboys will finally get Morris Claiborne back after missing six games and his presence and physicality will be needed in this game. Although Nelson will miss the game, Rodgers will have Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison who has come on with eight of his twelve catches at the end of the regular season. It will be interesting to see who draws the assignment of covering Adams because he has the skill set to cause this secondary issues if he gets off to quick start. Adams at 6’1 and 215 pounds has the speed to blow the top off the secondary allowing Cobb and Jared Cook to work the intermediate routes in the middle of the field. If Claiborne is truly healthy, he has the skills to rough up Adams on the line which would disrupt the timing in the Packers passing game and stop him from getting into his routes cleanly. When the defense is playing zone, it will be important for the linebackers to have the correct depth in their drops because the crossing plays that the Packers offense love to use will give Sean Lee the opportunity for an interception. Anthony Hitchens, Justin Durant and Damien Wilson will have to be strong at the point of attack on early downs when the Packers will try to run which will allow Marinelli the opportunity to play his dime defense on third downs.
If the Cowboys are going to win this game it will be on the backs of the secondary and Coach Eberflus who is the Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator/linebackers coach. I’ve mentioned in previous articles that he’s responsible for insuring that the back end of the defense is in sync. Orlando Scandrick will be just as important when Cobb lines up in the slot and i’m sure that the rest has helped him and the plethora of injuries he’s played with this season. There are questions about Anthony Brown possibly having his playing time decrease with the return of Claiborne but I do not see that happening due to the fact that he could help the team in its dime package and he’s earned the right to play with the solid season that he’s had. I’m hoping that Marinelli gives JJ Wilcox some more playing time because I believe that he gives wide receivers second and third thoughts about crossing the middle of the field due to his hitting skills.
The Cowboys will win a shoot out 28-17 where we will see Rodgers rack up 350 yards and throw for two touchdowns. Sean Lee will have an interception from a batted ball by a defensive lineman. Randall Cobb will have an 100 yard day and score a touchdown but that will not be enough for the Packers to win.
So Mote It Be!