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Saturday, July 20, 2024
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The NFL Regular Season still has almost three months left before it draws to a close. It is expected that Sunday’s vital clash between Green Bay Packers (3-1) and the Dallas Cowboys (3-1) at the AT&T Stadium in the city of Arlington, Texas might hold post season consequences which might be unpleasant in nature. Both teams are currently on top of their respective divisions and both of them have the similar belief that they are having a big year this time around. The winner of Sunday’s fixture might just move ahead of the other in terms of momentum and reaching the season end goals.

Here, let’s take a look at the positional groups of each team and which one is having the advantage.

Quarterbacks:

Dallas quarter-back Dak Prescott is 3rd in the passer ratings, with a score of 113.9. He has a pass success rate of 72.4 and is fifth in the league with nine touchdown passes. Green Bay quarter-back Aaron Rodgers is off to a slower start and he’s been on and off this season. He has a touchdown of 42.9%, resulting out of three in a total of seven trips.

Running Backs:

Ezekiel Elliot is perhaps the best running-back in football. Elliot has won two rushing titles in the last three years. He had an NFL best of 95 run-downs last year and caught 77 passes. With his new $90m contract spanning over 6 seasons, he is now the game’s highest paid running-back. Green Bay’s Aaron Jones has suffered a dip in form, as he is rushing just 3.3 yards per game, when compared to 5.5 yards on his previous two seasons.

Receivers:

Dallas have picked up Amari Cooper, the No.1 in the trade deadline last year and are reaping benefits after maintaining a pair of 1000 yard seasons in his first four years. Michael Gallup is the second man and he’s also a rising player with Randall Cobb manning the slot. Tight end Jason Garrett is also having a brilliant start to the season with 14 catches and two touchdowns.

Green Bay will be without the services of Pro Bowl wide-out Davante Adams due to injury, which leaves the Packers pretty much vulnerable and inexperienced in that position. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is now top No. 1, with Geronimo Allison moving to No. 2 and Darrius Shepherd becoming the shot receiver. Tight end Jimmy Graham is unfortunately not the player he was anymore.

Offensive Line:

Dallas’s offensive line-up is considered to be the best in the game, but it’s going to be tough for them this weekend without the services of Tyron Smith. He is confirmed to be missing the match, while right tackle La’el Collins is still a doubt for the weekend fixture. Packers too have their own set of injury issues as right tackle Bryan Bulaga is a doubt for the fixture after dropping off last week due to shoulder injury. He’s been in limited practice this week and is likely to feature though.

Defensive Line

Green Bay’s defensive line has been horrible this season, as they have allowed an average of 174.3 yards per game and 5.34 yards per carry over the last three contests. Dallas on the other hand rank at 11th in against the run (96.8) and 15th in sacks (10). They are deep upfront and have a continuous rotation of bodies.

Line-backers:

The Cowboys are blessed with one of the top young duos in middle back-liners, in the form of Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Vander Esch set a Cowboy rookie record last year with 176 tackle. The weak-side is taken care of by veteran Sean Lee. Packers field a duo of Preston Smith (4.5) and Za’Darius Smith (3.0), who have combined for 7.5 sacks. Oren Burks could make his 2019 debut while new signing Rashan Gary has offered nothing to the team so far.

Secondary:

Dallas’s Chidobe Awuzie is solid on his side. Byron Jones is fighting back from injury. Free safety Xavier Woods is making his mark and is on the rise while strong safety Jeff Heath is average. Packers have had a terrific start in this division ranking 4th in opposing quarter-back rating (73.2) and 3rd in passing yards per game (188). Standout corner Jaire Alexander is available while cornerback Kevin King is fighting to be fit after recovering from a groin injury.

Special Teams:

Randall Cobb of Cowboys has handled kick-offs (5.5 average) and punts (9.0) so far. Tavon Austin is an options for punts while running back, Tony Pollard might have some duty on kick-offs. Chris Jones is steady on punts while Brett Maher, the kicker is mediocre. Packers on the other hand have had three kick-offs returned by their opponents with an average of 45.7 yards per return,

“We have got to be able to do our jobs as a coverage units and return units and those kinds of things,” Packers special teams coach Shawn Menneaga said.

 Coaching:

Cowboys’s Jason Garrett is 80-60 since taking over midway in 2010 season. He is on the hot seat after having just two playoff wins in that time. Matt LeFleur is Packer’s rookie coach and talked a lot about implementing the pass and run games in the off-season. However, till now, the Packers have run the ball just 40.2% of the time.

Final Verdict

Cowboys are ahead of the Packers in most departments and are likely to win the match by a comfortable margin through their expertise, experience and coaching inputs.

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