This week, the Green Bay Packers will face a stouter defensive foe than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in the form of the Dallas Cowboys.
During the Cowboys current four-game winning streak, it has been their defense that has stepped up after not playing up to expectations during the beginning of the season. That’s bad news for the Packers, who, as you probably know, have given up a league-leading 37 sacks this season.
Dallas is tied for seventh in the NFL with 21 sacks and features one of the best pass rushers in the league in outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who has five sacks and two forced fumbles so far this season.
Ware got off to a slow start this year. He didn’t register a sack in the Cowboys’ first four games, but has mirrored his team’s hot streak in the last four, registering all five of his sacks in those contests.
Another guy the Packers will have to be wary of is Cowboys’ nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who has four sacks on the season and is coming off a two-sack performance against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Although they have no idea who starts at guard for the Packers, ESPN Dallas expects Ratliff to feast on the Packers interior linemen, pointing out that left guard Daryn Colledge has allowed 7.25 sacks on the season (according to Stats Inc.).
Watch for Wade Phillips to try to create one-on-one matchups against the guards for Ratliff out of the nickel package. Ratliff wins those matchups against most guards. The Packers’ pair ought to be easy pickings.
Of course, these idiots think Allen Barbre plays right guard (Josh Sitton has started at RG since game one) and don’t take into account that some of Colledge’s sacks were given up when filling in for Chad Clifton at left tackle, so their logic is flawed.
I would also argue that since replacing Jason Spitz, center Scott Wells has more than held his own against opposing nose tackles. He’s handled both Cleveland’s Shaun Rodgers and Minnesota’s Pat Williams, two of the larger and better defensive tackles in the league. It would be surprising if Wells wasn’t at least partially responsible for Ratliff most of the game.
Despite such ignorance in the Dallas media, one thing is for sure – the Cowboys are good at rushing the passer and the Packers are poor at protecting him. Factor in the fact the Packers will likely be using their sixth starting offensive line combination of the season, and well, it could be a recipe for disaster.
Despite their penchant to get to the quarterback, the Cowboys defense is ranked in the bottom half of the league (20th) and gives up 336 yard per game. The Cowboys are average against the run (12th, 103 yards per game) and less than against the pass (20th, 233 yards per game).
If the Packers establish their running game to keep the Cowboys’ pass rushers honest and Aaron Rodgers utilizes short drops and quick throws, the Packers have a real shot of winning.
I understand everyone is in love with the deep ball, especially Mike McCarthy, but this isn’t the week or the line to be utilizing seven-step drops and plays that take four seconds to develop. If the Packers do, look for a replay of the last Vikings game.
(full disclosure) – I’m a Cowboys fan.
Your are 100% correct about how to beat Dallas. If you notice in the Philly game, Wade blitzed McNabb alot in the first half. After halftime, Reid countered by going 3-step drop and quick screens on their first 3rd qtr drive. Wade then backed off and focused on preventing the deep ball (which Eagles rely on too much). For some reason, both Philly and Seattle moved the ball well with 3-step drop but abandoned it?! I agree – if the Packers can avoid the deep drops they can sustain drives and our safeties are very average.
Jay Ratliff is a beast but because he’s a small NT not big like Rogers or Williams. I know….NT are supposed to be massive but he’s not. He’s super athletic and is too quick for most NFL guards/centers especially against the pass. He’s having another pro bowl year. Thank you Bill Parcells.
With pass protection being a season long problem, do any of us believe McCarthy is smart enough to employ a quick release pass attack? Nope. No.
Here is a preemptive congrats to you and your Cowboys, Greg.
Haha your such an idiot moron. Keep downplaying how good Dallas is to make yourself feel good about your lousy excuse for a team.
You have one superbowl in 40 years, and it’s from a guy you kicked out of town, who in turn came back and already basically ended your season. You won’t win your games against pittsburgh, and baltimore, and san fran, and arizona. This team hasen’t beaten a winning team yet, and is one play away from being 3-5. Rodgers is crap, and only pads his stats against awful teams. He is no leader, and you can’t name one game he has been clutch in against a BIG NAME team. Remember, this is the same team Brett took to 13-3.
Dallas could be almost ranked last against the rush, and they will have no problems stopping Ryan Grant. Most awful back in the league. Last year, Dallas easily shut down the pack at lambeau with less of a defense. I won’t be suprised if Rodgers get’s knocked out for the season this game.
If you want a taste of a real running game please watch barber and felix and choice. Also, a real QB who knows how to win games who is 2-0 against the pack. Try not to drool too much ok?
The Packers always have a shot against a team whose owner/gm is every bit of a moron as theirs. ;-P
True. So weird, being a GM behind 5 superbowl victories and the richest new stadium in the league. Along with running the richest sports franchise in the world, now even in front of manchester united, is really pathetic.
Wow, you really got me there.
Now, when the NFL becomes like the MLB in 2 years with no new labor agreement and salary caps and Jerry can pick up whoever he wants like the Yankees do, that’s a real disaster waiting to happen. God I hate being a cowboys fan.
Packers are worthless, and only won back in the 60s and 70s when there was like 8 teams total. It’s a broke organization, that is very poor. I feel bad for them when the labor agreement breaks. I think i saw them like 21st on the forbes list for teams.
JA did you read the article or just the headline?
There’s an old saying… something about glass houses and stones…
Answer this one question… when was the last time your almighty Cowboys won a frickin’ playoff game?
Look, I think the Cowboys will win this week, but honestly dude. 1996. Thirteen years.
JA do you live in WI??
I want to hit you in the FN skull
If you do let me know where Id gladly
drive to beat your face in….First Ill
watch the pack dismantle the almtighty
cowboysblow? your a pu$$y, bottom line. I live downtown milwaukee in a real real tall building. That’s why it’s called downtown. Do you have a car to drive or do you only have a bike your trailer park? Let me know bitch.
Steffen, your right 13 years. Take away Brett’s one ever, how long has it been for the packers? 41 years? Ha ha ha. WOW. Once again, read the posts. Richest franchise ever, and NFL is soon to be the MLB if you can understand that concept. It’s close now for us, how long till you think your next one comes? Another 30? Yea, think about that for a while. Take away Brett’s years and you had 30 + years with only 2 or 3 winning seasons, and now your back to that. =) Congrats.
cowboysblow – p.s., if you had any money you would probably be at the game on sunday, but you are a poor bastard arn’t you? Probably collecting unemployment??
Anyways, if you somehow got some tickets free, look for the guy with the Romo jersey on bitch. Need seat numbers? I think my friend want to record me kicking the shit out of you. At least wait 3 quarters though. The game will be over by mid 3rd already.
How ’bout them Cowboys JA?