Game: Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys
Time & Location: 4:25 EST; AT&T Stadium; Dallas, Texas
Previous Meeting: NFC Divisional Playoffs, Packers Won 34-31
The Packers come into this matchup riding a two-game winning streak over the Bengals and Bears to a 3-1 record overall, while the Cowboys have had a mostly up-and-down season coming in at 2-2 after a hard-fought loss to the upstart Los Angeles Rams. Last season, Ezekiel Elliot ran roughshod over the Packers to the tune of 282 yards between two games, while averaging an astounding 5.6 ypc. This season he has not been nearly as effective as last, though some of that comes down to the matchups he has faced and an offensive line that lost two of last seasons’ five starters. The Broncos and Cardinals both rank within the top 10 in rushing yards allowed this season.
The Packers went through a major personnel overhaul in the offseason, spending their first two draft picks on defensive backs, as well as, bringing back former Packer Davon House to try to shore up a passing defense that ranked an abysmal 31st overall last season. Thus far it appears to be paying off, as the Packers have allowed the 5th fewest passing yards in the league this season.
Dak Prescott came into this season after a breakout rookie season and has continued to play at a high level this year. He has continued to use his athleticism and smart decision making that he demonstrated last year, while having to make up for a running game that is not nearly as strong as last season. Last year in the two meetings against the Packers he averaged 274 yards per game while throwing for 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in each.
This season has seen the Packers struggle to play up to their full potential due to inconsistency and injuries. They have yet to have all five starters on the offensive line play together, however, the injury report for this game is projecting well for them to have their first chance for them to be together with each of the injured tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari participating in practice, albeit in a limited fashion, every day this week.
Ty Montgomery comes into the game with a limited designation, and he could see a reduced workload which would mean an increased dose of two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers for the 21st ranked Dallas passing defense. Rodgers should also have last seasons’ breakout receiver Davante Adams available for Sunday after he passed the concussion protocol and is expected to play, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
The Cowboys will have their work cut out for them when trying to slow down Rodgers, who has looked at the height of his powers over the last 6 quarters of football after seemingly bottoming out with a pick-six versus the Cincinnati Bengals in week three. The Packers are starting to get healthy on both sides of the ball, and their passing defense has thrived when stifling the run, which bodes well for them based on Dallas’ step-back on the ground thus far. Although this game will be played in Dallas, I like the Packers to win this game in what should be one of the higher scoring matchups of the weekend.
Final Score Prediction: Green Bay Packers 31, Dallas Cowboys 27