Friday, September 19, 2008

Dallas vs Green Bay Preview

First I have to start off with the did you know. Including playoffs, the Cowboys are 0-5 at Lambeau Field all-time. Now for you hard core Cowboy fans, Dallas has only gone to Lambeau field with a winning record only once. That was the 1967 NFL Championship, better known as the "Ice Bowl." A game in which the Cowboys lost in the last seconds of the game.
Now what does that have to do wiht Sunday's game. NOTHING, just wanted to show off my sports knowledge. Here is my break down of the game:

Dallas has compiled gaudy averages of 433.5 total yards (2nd overall) and 34.5 points (4th overall) over the first two weeks and has shown it can wear down the opposition in multiple ways. The Cowboys did their damage via the air in Monday's win over the Eagles, with Romo (632 passing yards, 4 TD, 2 INT) posting his 12th career 300-yard outing and second in as many games. Witten has gotten off to a sensational beginning as well, with the All-Pro tight end having hauled in 13 passes for 206 yards thus far. The dangerous Owens (8 receptions, 176 yards, 3 TD) burned Green Bay's seasoned secondary for 156 yards and a score on seven catches during last year's meeting, while capable No. 2 wideout Patrick Crayton (8 receptions) had two touchdown grabs in that game. Dallas hasn't had much depth at wide receiver early on due to injuries, but steady reserve Sam Hurd (19 receptions, 1 TD in '07) could be back in the fold on Sunday after missing the first two weeks with a high ankle sprain. Romo's been able to pick apart defenses thanks to a top-notch offensive line that has yet to allow a sack.

Although the triggerman has changed, Green Bay's philosophy as a pass-first, multiple-receiver offense remains with Rodgers (506 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT) calling the shots instead of Favre. The 24-year-old is coming off the most prolific game of his short career, as Rodgers throttled the porous Lions defense for 328 yards and three scores on 24-of-38 passing. Most of his strikes went to ultra-reliable wideout Donald Driver (11 receptions, 1 TD), who put up seven catches for 52 yards and a score. However, the three-time Pro Bowl selection has been overshadowed lately by younger counterpart Greg Jennings (11 receptions), the NFL's current leader with 258 receiving yards after racking up 167 on only six grabs against the Lions. Talented third receiver James Jones (4 receptions) and rookie Jordy Nelson, who hauled in a 29-yard touchdown toss from Rodgers last week, round out a deep group of receivers. Rodgers has impressed with his legs as well as his arm so far, as he's scrambled for 60 yards over the Pack's two wins.

So, since the offence on both teams appear unstopable, should rely on the defences to show up. Like most teams, the Packers had their troubles containing Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (103 rushing yards, 1 TD in Week 1) in the opener, but the defense was more adept at slowing down Detroit's nondescript run game last week. The Lions had just 49 yards on the ground, although they abandoned the run quickly after falling behind early in the contest. Hawk led the team with seven stops last Sunday, he and middle linebacker Nick Barnett (10 tackles) form a strong tackling tandem behind a quality front line anchored by tackle Ryan Pickett (7 tackles). Green Bay's run defense, which presently ranks 22nd overall (118.0 ypg), could be affected by Bigby's expected absence.

Dallas' defensive game plan will likely involve attempting to shut down Green Bay's ground attack and force the relatively inexperienced Rodgers to throw often. The Cowboys have the personnel to make it happen, as evidenced by the defense's limiting of Philadelphia standout Brian Westbrook to 58 rushing yards on 18 totes in Monday's win. Seven-time Pro Bowl inside linebacker and longtime Miami Dolphin Zach Thomas (12 tackles) has proven to be an astute addition to an already-formidable front seven that also features the disruptive DeMarcus Ware (11 tackles, 2 sacks) on the outside. Strong safety Roy Williams (6 tackles), a key to the team's success against the run, broke his forearm on Monday, however, and will be sidelined around 3-to-4 weeks. Third-year pro Patrick Watkins (8 tackles) takes his place. The Cowboys can combat Green Bay's collection of capable wide receivers with a deep secondary that will be finally at full strength with top cornerback Terence Newman (1 tackle) expected to return to a starting role.

So what am I saying, I look for the Cowboys defence to be better that Green Bay's offence which should give the Cowboys the victory 31-20 and that's my final answer.

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I have over 20 years experience as a Graphic Designer as well as over 9 years as Publisher, Editor, Staff, and Guest Writer for various newsletters, newspapers, and magazines. As President/CEO of 411 Sports & Entertainment (411 S&E), I provide the latest information in sports and entertainment to the masses in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex and in various cities across the United States. Currently being published twice per month, 411 Sports & Entertainment is the only African American sports newspaper in the nation.