The history is there with Green Bay. The past haunts Cowboy fans everywhere, and this week could be the same if the team doesn’t do something about it.
Leading up to the game, the Cowboys are dealing with injuries on the offensive line, with Tyron Smith (high ankle sprain) and La’el Collins (back) dealing with their own.
Dak Prescott will need to come up big in a big moment of the season with the Eagles lurking at 2-2 coming off their own win against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
In 3 games against Green Bay, Dak is 1-2 in his career, averaging 266 yards passing and 3 touchdowns per game. His first 2 games against the Packers came as a rookie during a season where Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing as a rookie. The Cowboys beat the Packers in week 6 of 2016, when Dak threw for 247 yards on the road, averaging 9.1 yards per attempt.
However, the final 2 games against Rodgers came in Arlington, where both games were decided by less than a touchdown. Everyone remembers when Dak led the team back from down 14 points, scoring 18 points in the 4th quarter in the NFC Division round. With 40 seconds on the clock, Rodgers led his team within field goal range to steal the game from the Cowboys. Dak threw for 302 yards, scoring 4 total touchdowns in that game. In 2018, the Cowboys suffered the same fate as they fell 35-31, but the common denominator is that Aaron Rodgers has become a pain in Cowboys fan’s side.
Dak will have the luxury of getting Michael Gallup back after Gallup had a procedure on his knee after week 2. Gallup was easily a game-changer for the Cowboys when he was healthy, racking up 226 yards receiving on just 13 catches at 17.4 yards per catch. The Cowboys were in the top 5 in the NFL in big plays before their loss to New Orleans, where they did not record a play over 40 yards against a Saints defense that was in the bottom half of the league in giving up big plays. The return of Gallup will help this factor for the offense, having a season-long 62-yard reception in week one against the Giants.
The biggest factor, however, will be the offensive line and if Dak will be able to overcome the injuries to his star offensive tackles. In 2017, Tyron Smith went down with a back injury, and Chaz Greene “filled in” against the Atlanta Falcons, proceeding to give up 4 sacks to Adrian Clayborn, sending the offense into a downward spiral for the rest of the 2017 season that saw the team miss the playoffs, exposing the offensive scheme as too bland and not utilizing Prescott’s ability to move around inside the pocket.
With all the concern surrounding Dak Prescott’s contract extension, which is not close to being done, by the way, this is the type of game that will prove his worth to the team.
If he is able to defeat the depleted Packers at home with an injured offensive line, it’ll show that he doesn’t need a complete team around him in order to succeed, and that will bode well for his contract negotiations.
With the Eagles hot on the Cowboy’s tail, Dak will need to come up big this week.