There is no denying that the Dallas Cowboys are a team that is powered by their offense, but their defense was able to show some signs of brilliance on Sunday when they beat the Green Bay Packers 30 to 16.
The win on Sunday marks Dallas’ 5th straight and improves their record to 5 – 1. Their defense was able to completely frustrate Aaron Rodgers and the entire Packers’ offense that the Lambeau Field crowd were actually booing them in the fourth quarter, which is a pretty rare sight.
Their defense also made it look like the Packers would not be able to make it in the end zone throughout the game, which would have made it the first time since the 2007 season opener when Brett Favre was still the starting quarterback and Aaron Rodgers was his backup, and Green Bay was not able to score a single touchdown at home. But the Packers were able to score a touchdown with 6:53 remaining in the game.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 294 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and finished the game completing 31 of 42 passes. However, his inaccuracy proved to be the Packers’ downfall as the game progressed. With the loss, Green Bay fell to 3-2 for the season.
Eddie Lacy rushed for 65 yards on 17 carries for Green Bay.
Rodgers’ lone interception came by way of Cowboys safety Barry Church in the third quarter. He was also forced to fumble the ball inside the Dallas 5 during the third quarter after getting hit by defensive end David Irving. Rodgers was only sacked once in the game, but the Cowboys’ stingy defense did enough to keep him off balance for most of the game.
Even if they are without starting quarterback Tony Romo, the Cowboys are still experiencing plenty of success with their offense, and it is pretty easy to see why. Not only have they been benefiting from the amazing play of rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, but they also have one of, if not the best, offensive line in the entire National Football League.
Their defense, on the other hand, really doesn’t have that many big names. The only member of their defense that has been named to a Pro Bowl is linebacker Sean Lee. They had to play without Morris Claiborne, their best cornerback for the season, who was out with a concussion. Orlando Scandrick, another one of their top cornerbacks, has not been able to play for a month, but the defense managed to get the job done on Sunday regardless.
The offense did its share to torment the Packers as well.
Ezekiel Elliot dissected the NFL’s top rushing defense and went off for a career high 157-yards on 28 carries. This marks the 4th straight game that Elliot has been able to rush for 130 or more yards, which is an NFL rookie record.
Not wanting to be outdone, Dak Prescott also set a record by completing 176 passes without an interception, which broke Tom Brady’s record for starting a career. He finished the game with 247 yards while completing 18 of 27 passes. He also threw two touchdown passes to Brice Butler and Cole Beasley.
The touchdown pass to Butler capped off an impressive drive that saw Dallas start at their own 3-yard line with only a minute to go in the first half and no timeouts. Lucky Whitehead was able to convert a third-and-1 from the Dallas 12 after completing a 26-yard run. This was followed shortly after by a 42-yard completion to Terrance Williams. Butler then waltzed into the end zone for a touchdown putting the Cowboys up 17 to 6 to end the half.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was happy with the effort his team put into getting the win.
“I thought the spirit of the team was really, really good”, said Garrett. “Physical in all three phases. That was going to be critical in this ballgame.”
Dallas has a bye next week and their next game will be on Oct. 30 where they will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tony Romo, who has been out since late August after suffering a back injury, is expected to return to the lineup after the bye week. Whether he keeps his job as a starter will be the subject of debate going forward, especially with the impressive season that Dak Prescott has been having thus far in his absence.
The Packers will be looking to bounce back on Thursday, Oct. 20, as they get set to host the Chicago Bears.
[Featured Image by Dylan Buell/Getty Images]