Week 6: Cowboys Roll Over Packers Behind Rookies

Gary: The Packers have just defeated the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, and now they welcome another NFC East opponent in the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are finding themselves with a good problem on their hands. They’ve got a hot rookie quarterback in Dak Prescott, and they’ve also got a veteran in Tony Romo who was injured in the beginning of the season and is scheduled to return soon. 

What do we know about the Cowboys at this point? Well, we don’t know much. They’ve only beaten up weak teams, with their best win coming against the Redskins. The record of the four teams they’ve beaten is a combined 7-13. 

Meanwhile, the Ezekiel Elliott train is hoping to be stopped by a Packers defense that has in their first four games allowed a total of 171 rushing yards. That’s the second-fewest in the Super Bowl era. The Packers are favored by five points in this game, but that’s not exactly how it went down.

Packers unable to contain Prescott as Lacy, Starks fall to injury

Jon: No it’s not, even though it seemed like the Packers might be getting to Dak Prescott early in the first half. There was an odd situation where Julius Peppers comes around hits Prescott from behind. 

The ball pops up in the air, and it is caught by Packers linebacker Joe Thomas. To that point, Dak Prescott had not thrown an interception in his NFL career and was on pace to set a record for the most consecutive completions to start a career without an interception. It looked like Thomas was going to have been the first person to pick him off, but that play was later ruled a fumble. 

Later in the game, Morgan Burnett came up with the first interception of Dak Prescott just shortly after he passed the record for most consecutive completions to start a career without an interception. 

On offense, the Packers really couldn't get anything going. It was pretty emblematic of how the Packers were doing was on the possession after Burnett intercepts Prescott. The Packers went three and out, and as Aaron Rodgers walked off the field, he was booed by the crowd at Lambeau Field. 

Rodgers himself had a pretty rough game, all things considered. He threw an interception and fumbled two times. This was a stretch in the season, and in his career, that was pretty unique. He was having a very hard time protecting the ball. The two fumbles in this game were his fourth and fifth of the season. 

But late in the game, things get really bad for the Packers. Trailing 30-16, Eddie Lacy leaves with an apparent injury. This was bad for a few different reasons. 

  • First, the Packers knew coming into this game that Lacy was dealing with an ankle problem. He’s had ankle problems on and off throughout his career, and this one appeared to pop up again late in the Packers previous game. Green Bay decides they’re going to run Lacy pretty hard in this game, anyway. 17 carries for the big man. Lacy, it’s worth noting, was not on the injury report coming into this game. 
  • The Packers also did not take any action to shore up the running back position despite knowing that Lacy was hurt. That’s significant, because after Lacy went out, that left with the Packers with just one healthy running back on the roster in James Starks. Wouldn’t you know it, Starks himself was also injured late in the Dallas game. 

Just how bad was Aaron Rodgers in your mind at this point in the season?

Gary: The running back conundrum only amplifies the pressure that seems to be building on Rodgers. I found it interesting that Rodgers had now gone 14 straight games – including the playoffs last year – without reaching the 300 yard passing plateau. Passing yards are a dime a dozen, and because Dom Capers’ defense isn’t very concerned about yardage, we see a lot of opposing quarterbacks throw for 300 or more yards. Rodgers hadn’t gotten there in about a full season. 

It also took him until late in the fourth quarter to throw his first touchdown pass of the game, which was the first time he had thrown a touchdown pass in the second half of a game this season. At this point, I don’t know if Aaron Rodgers is bad, or if he needs a sports psychologist. Something had to change.

This conversation first appeared in Episode 18 of our weekly podcast. Blue 58, powered by WTMJ Mobile, goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.