The 2019 season couldn’t have started out anymore similar for the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers if it had been scripted. Both teams started the year undefeated, but failed to remain so after Week 4 despite both teams having a chance to win in the final minute of their respective games. Now at 3-1, both the Cowboys and Packers are looking to bounce back this week.
With that in mind, this only intensifies a game that could have playoff implications down the road. Recent history would suggest the Packers should be favored in this matchup, but it’s the Cowboys who could be holding all the cards this time around. I believe there are a few storylines that should help shift the game in Dallas’ favor.
Let’s take a look…
WR Davante Adams’ toe
Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Davante Adams had a career night (10 catches for 180 yards) last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, but failed to finish the game after sustaining a toe injury. While he hasn’t been officially been ruled out against the Dallas Cowboys as of yet, it sounds unlikely he will play in Week 5. Even if he does happen to suit up, he won’t be at 100%.
This would be a huge hit to the Packers offense. Adams is without Aaron Rodgers favorite target in the passing game and without him in the lineup there is a lot of youth and inexperience behind him. I don’t think there’s a single WR the Cowboys secondary can’t handle in man coverage. That means the defense can focus more of their attention on shutting down the running game, which is struggling right now, and applying pressure to Rogers.
RT Bryan Bulaga’s Shoulder
Davante Adams isn’t the only Green Bay Packers player who left last week’s game against Eagles prematurely due to an injury. Although Right Tackle Bryan Bulaga didn’t return after hurting his shoulder last week, he has been working his way back into practice in hopes of playing against the Cowboys this week. But, if he’s not at 100% this is a matchup Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence can exploit.
Lawrence may not be lighting up the stat sheets so far this season, but he’s still been really effective in both the running and passing game despite all the extra attention he’s receiving. If Bulaga is anything less than his normal self, No. 90 will find a way to get the better of him. And if Bulaga suffers a setback Alex Light will be asked to step in once again like he did against Philadelphia. That’s a matchup the Cowboys and DeMarcus can absolutely exploit.
Ezekiel Elliott and Cowboys’ Rushing Attack
The Dallas Cowboys may have been held to just 45 rushing yards last week against the New Orleans Saints, but that shouldn’t be the case this week against Green Bay. As of late, the Packers have really struggled to stop their opponents rushing attack. The last two weeks they’ve given up 176 rushing yards to the Eagles and 198 yards to the Vikings. For a team that is still averaging 143 rushing yards a game, this is a matchup that favors the Cowboys immensely.
After being bottled up last week against the Saints, Ezekiel Elliott will without a doubt want to be unleashed this week. I expect him to have a big game against the Packers and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Pollard gets in on the action as well. Maybe both of them can rush for over 100 yards again for the second time this season. Regardless, the Cowboys rushing attack should be a big part of the game plan, especially since it would help control the clock and keep the Aaron Rodgers led Packers offense off the field.