The Dallas Cowboys have started off the season well and now take on the Green Bay Packers. With every game of the season there will be things to watch and pay attention to. Here are five things to watch for in week 5.
1. Will the Offensive Playcalling be Adjusted?
One of the biggest reasons for the loss to the Saints, was the offensive playcalling. Kellen Moore got his first taste of adversity as an offensive coordinator. New Orleans has a solid defense, but the Cowboys made them look like world-beaters. Things have to change for the Cowboys in order to get wins in the next couple of weeks.
Against the Saints, there were a lot of first-down runs and limited play actions and RPOs. Changing things up on first downs and using more of the RPOs and play actions, which they did in the first few weeks of the season, should help the offense readjust. The Packers defense is better this season, but this formula can work.
2. Can the Offense Keep the Ball Away from Aaron Rodgers?
Dallas fans over the last several years are used to the Cowboys scoring late in the game against the Packers, but Aaron Rodgers was still able to come in and win the game. The best way to beat the Packers is to keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands.
For the Cowboys to keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands, they’ll need to control the clock. If they can win the time of possession battle, they can win the game. In addition, late in the game, they need to kill the clock so that Rodgers has no time to mount a comeback.
3. Will Zeke get Back on Track?
In week four, Ezekiel Elliot had one of his worst games as a pro. He had 18 rushes for 35 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. While the playcalling needs to be better, the Cowboys offense revolves around a successful running game. Elliot and the offensive line have to bring it this week against the Packers.
The Packers’ defense has played better than in past years, but they have been susceptible to giving up a lot of rushing yards. They allow 142 yards per game on the ground, which the Cowboys should be able to take advantage of. If the offensive line and Zeke return to form, it could be a big day for the Cowboys’ offense.
4. Can Dak Bounce Back?
Dak Prescott started the season off well, but struggled against the Saints. As mentioned, the playcalling wasn’t great, but Prescott missed a few throws and didn’t appear to be on the same page with his receivers. He’ll need to play like he did in the first three weeks of the season for Dallas to beat Green Bay.
Prescott will benefit from better play calls this week, but Michael Gallup also started practicing and might be available as well. If Rodgers is able to put up points in this game, Prescott and the offense will have to attack downfield. Playing anything like the first three games of the season would be a welcomed site.
5. How Will the Defense Attack Rodgers?
One bright spot for the Cowboys last week was the defense. They allowed just 12 points and were able to limit the Saints playmakers. Doing so against the Packers won’t be so easy, as Aaron Rodgers seemed to find his form against the Eagles last Thursday.
Rodgers’ favorite target, Davante Adams, is questionable for this game with turf toe. That should make things easier for the defense, but Rodgers will still move the ball. If they can get pressure and force three and outs, the Cowboys will win the game.