The Dallas Cowboys beat the Detroit Lions in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday. Next up for the Cowboys: a trip to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
Here’s an early outlook on the Packers vs. Cowboys playoff matchup. Look for much more coverage throughout the week here at ALLGBP.com.
The Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. But the Lions got to Tony Romo early with blitzes from all different directions. If I’m Dom Capers, I bring the pressure early and often. Not only will blitzing help chip away at a great offensive line, it’ll baffle Romo. Unlike Rodgers, Romo doesn’t do much of anything to adjust his protection pre-snap, which leads to unblocked rushers and mismatches.
I don’t think the Dallas defense stands much of a chance against the Packers’ offense unless the Dallas D forces turnovers like it did in the regular season. The Cowboys were second in the NFL with 31 takeaways in the regular season. The Packers only turned the ball over 13 times. As they say, something’s got to give. I’m confident Rodgers won’t throw any straight-up interceptions, but the Cowboys got their hands up and tipped some passes against the Lions on Sunday, resulting in one interception. They’ll try and do the same against Green Bay, hoping to get their fingers on a pass and catch it before it hits the ground.
Stars vs. Stars
Which teams stars will outperform the other team’s stars? If the Cowboys get big games from Romo, Demarco Murray and Dez Bryant, they’re as tough to beat as any team in the league. If Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson/Randall Cobb are rolling for Green Bay, the Packers might break the scoreboard. Rodgers hasn’t had a dominant postseason game since Super Bowl XLV. Let’s see if he cranks it up on Sunday and shines brighter than the other stars on the field.
The Cowboys’ victory on Sunday came with an *asterisk because the officials inexplicably picked up a pass-interference flag on Dallas during a key third-down play late in the game. Who knows if we’ll see something that egregious this Sunday, but how the game is called will be a factor. The way to slow down Rodgers and his receivers is to grab them, hold them, chuck them and pester them — straddling the line just enough to hope the refs won’t throw a flag, especially in a playoff game where the general sentiment is to just “let them play.”
The health of Rodgers’ calf is, obviously, the key to the game. Matthew Stafford had success running against the Cowboys on Sunday. A healthy Rodgers should too, but not if he’s limited to just standing in the pocket with a bum calf.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .