Anyway you try to dissect the Dallas Cowboys Week 5 matchup with the Green Bay Packers you’re more than likely going to come away with more negatives than positives. That’s just the way the chips fell last Sunday after an all-around poor performance on the Cowboys part. But if you sift through all the negatives, of which there were plenty, you might just be able to find a few of the positives.
Today, I’m going to try to share with you some of the positive aspects I observed from this matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. It took quite a bit of doing and a little skewed thinking on my part, but I managed to put together a handful of positives for the Cowboys. Hopefully you agree.
Let’s take a look…
Backup Tackles Hold up – We all knew Cameron Fleming would start for the injured Tyron Smith, but we didn’t know Brandon Knight would end up having to take over for La’el Collins. This could’ve been Dak Prescott’s worst nightmare. Things could have gotten really ugly without his two bookends to protect him. Fortunately, both Fleming and Knight performed admirably in their first extended playing time this year. In fact, if not for their play towards the end of the game the Cowboys wouldn’t have come close to mounting any semblance of a comeback.
Cowboys Dynamic Duo at WR – It’s only the third game Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup have been able to play together this season, but it really looks as if the Dallas Cowboys have something special in their two starting receivers. Cooper ended up catching 11 passes for 226 yards and Gallup hauled in 7 for 113. They were also both able to find the end zone. If these two can remain healthy throughout the remainder of the season the Cowboys passing game could be dangerous. Opposing defenses would no longer be able to focus all their attention on containing Cooper as long as Gallup is on the field.
Ezekiel Elliott’s Production – Ezekiel Elliott was expected to have a huge game against a Green Bay Packers team who has struggled to stop the run so far in 2019. Unfortunately the hole the Cowboys found themselves in early in the game didn’t allow Zeke to really establish himself. Despite that though he was still really productive in his limited touches. He average 5.2 yards per carry and turned 12 carries into 62 yards. He also unfortunately had several other long runs called back due to penalties. If not for the early setbacks, it very well could have been No. 21 who had the huge game instead of the Packers RB, Aaron Jones.
Cowboys Pass Defense – If someone would’ve told you before the game between the Cowboys and Packers that Aaron Rodgers would throw for less than 300 yards and zero touchdowns, would you have predicted a loss by Dallas? I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t have. Never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted RB Aaron Jones single-handedly gash the Cowboys defense on the ground and through the air for nearly 200 total yards and four TDs. But, that’s what happened. It’s hard to say for sure if Dallas’ pass defense was that good or if Jones’ ability to take over the game by himself negated their effectiveness. I for one want to believe in the Cowboys secondary.
“Never say die” Mentality – In a game that was so hard to watch from beginning to end only salvageable for me because of the Dallas Cowboys “never say die” mentality until the bitter end. There were several times during the game last Sunday that I wanted to turn it off but couldn’t do so because I was still captivated by the way they continued to battle. They could’ve easily rolled over and given up against the Packers. It’s unlikely anybody would have faulted them for doing so. They didn’t do that though. They continued to fight and nearly mounted a comeback in the end. It’s an admirable trait of this team and one that will hopefully pay off for them eventually.