NFL 2019 (Week 5): Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
By Pete Fasulo
Special to Pro Football Guru
This Week 5 match-up pits two solid teams against each other. The Cowboys are coming off a loss which had some believing that their 3-0 record was strictly due to playing weaker opposition. Green Bay is also coming off a loss, one in which their defense was exposed. This game will be a test for each team as to the legitimacy as contenders. From the quarterback side of things this game is a match-up between wily veteran Aaron Rodgers and young stud Dak Prescott. Including the postseason the Packers have beaten the Cowboys in seven of their last eight meetings. Will that trend continue?
Packers: Green Bay is stuck between unleashing Aaron Rodgers and letting him be the gunslinger he has been in the past vs. letting head coach Matt LaFleur run his ball-control offense and chew up the clock. During their first three games this year, Lafleur used his conservative play-calling to get the Packers to a 3-0 start. Some complained that he was wasting one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history by not letting him air it out. Last week, Rodgers attempted 53 passes for 422 yards and the team lost. The sense is that Green Bay’s offense will find a happy medium between the run game and the pass game this week so that Rodgers throws somewhere between 30-40 passes and RB Aaron Jones gets 15-20 carries. On defense, Green Bay has given up just 17.2 points per game this season. Linebacker Blake Martinez has been solid, leading the team in tackles with 47 tackles and one sack. In addition, outside linebacker has Preston Smith has 4.5 sacks.
Cowboys: Last week, the Cowboys lost to their first quality opponent in the New Orleans Saints. Dak Prescott leads the ‘Boys offense and has been solid this year. He has completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 1,143 yards for nine scores compared to three interceptions. Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for 324 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Amari Cooper has reeled in 21 balls for 186 yards and four scores. Michael Gallup has also had a good start to the 2019 season with 13 catches for 226 yards. His 17.4 yards per catch average leads Dallas. On defense, the Cowboys are led by a solid linebacking corps that includes Jaylon Smith (36 tackles), Leighton Vander Esch (32 tackles) and veteran Sean Lee. Dallas has held their opponents to only 14 points per game so far. In addition, The Cowboys have limited their opposition to only 26.5 percent on third down.
Prediction: This should be a great game between two very good teams. Look for a more balanced attack from Green Bay’s offense that should be able to push the Cowboys’ defense to limits they have not faced yet this season. While Dallas will definitely keep it close, expect the Packers to pull this one out and return home with a 4-1 record.
Green Bay Packers 27, Dallas Cowboys 20
Pete Fasulo (@LISportsFans) is a freelance writer covering business, music, and sports. He has written for music publications such as Revolver and Aural Fix. His sports writing career has been resurrected here after numerous years at The Torch and The Long Island Tribune (many moons ago).