When the clock strikes 3:25 p.m. CT on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) will face off against the Green Bay Packers (3-6) at Lambeau Field. In the past, we have seen games between these two go down to the wire, and they were arguably must-watch on television.
However, on Sunday, there isn't much hype around this game, as the Packers have looked like a shell of themselves. But despite the lack of glamour around this matchup, I'm not taking the rat poison (shoutout to Alabama HC Nick Saban for the analogy), as I expect a competitive game between the two.
With that in mind, I'm providing you all with three things to watch for Sunday's game. Expect to read about one of the league's best defenders, another possible massive performance in-store from a running back, and one head coach joining an exclusive club if his team is victorious.
1. Micah Parsons versus Aaron Rodgers Part I
Here's a fun fact for everyone: Cowboys DE Micah Parsons and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will face off against each other for the first time in their careers.
And while they will be rivals for four quarters on Sunday, Parsons has respect for Rodgers as a quarterback, as he believes that he will make him a better player. He also added he wanted a jersey from him.
But once the game is over and two go to mid-field, I'm betting that Parsons will joke with Rodgers on how he got two sacks on him. (Yes, a mini-prediction from me.)
Through Week 10, the Cowboys lead the league with 33 sacks. The Boys are the best defense the Packers have faced all year, and despite only giving up 18 sacks on the year, it will be a tough day for them to neutralize the Cowboys' pass rush.
Add in that the Packers have no receiving weapons (beyond Allen Lazard) that strike fear into the Cowboys' defense — I expect Rodgers to dance in the pocket for someone besides Lazard to get open– but eventually, Parsons or the pass rush will get to him.
Seeing two elite players go at it will be a sight to watch, but I'm taking Parsons to win this duel.
2. The Tony Pollard Show Part II
Before the Cowboys went on bye, the whole world saw running back Tony Pollard explode for a career day, as he ran for 131 yards and scored three touchdowns. Now fresh off the bye, Pollard gets another easy matchup as the Packers give up 4.8 yards per carry.
While RB Ezekiel Elliott is projected to return to the lineup, I wouldn't be surprised to see the team ease Elliott into the snap count and for Pollard to get more touches.
An explosive back, Pollard adds a new element to the Cowboys' offense. He doesn't need to get all the workload, but having him and Elliott as a Batman-Robin duo will be huge for the team's foreseeable future.
To go even further, I'm riding with Pollard as the best back between both teams on Sunday. While the Cowboys are excited about running the ball down the Packers' throats, there has to be some excitement from running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, as the Cowboys' run defense is subpar too.
Let's hope the Boys' run-defense shows up. (I suppose you can add that as something to watch too.)
3. HC Mike McCarthy possibly joining an exclusive coaching club
According to Pro Football Reference, HC Mike McCarthy ranks 23rd with wins all-time for NFL head coaches, as the Cowboy coach has 159 wins to his name. You can also add one Super Bowl trophy to his resume.
Well, on Sunday, McCarthy can add another accomplishment to his NFL coaching resume, as he could become the eighth head coach to beat all 32 teams if the Cowboys win.
Add that he could accomplish the such feat against his former team — this game has to mean a lot for him. While McCarthy said at the beginning of the week that he didn't want to be a distraction, there is no doubt the players know the importance of this game.