Cowboys-Packers: Five things to watch

Posted Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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1 Dez targets

As usual, the target watch for Dez Bryant is a matter of interest. After an embarrassingly low two targets at New Orleans, he had 16 in the next game at New York and nine on Thanksgiving against Oakland. But Monday against the Chicago Bears, the number plunged back to four. Sounds like it’s time for another high-target game.

2 Finding Miles

How do the Cowboys get Miles Austin going? Jason Garrett answered, “Just get him going.” Whether that means more targets, a priority on plays where he is the first option or something else, Garrett did not say. Since catching 10 passes in Week 1, he has nine receptions.

3 Replacing Sean Lee

The Cowboys have to get along without Sean Lee this weekend, not to mention Bruce Carter, who is out with a hamstring injury. Justin Durant will get a shot at middle linebacker in Lee’s place, and Ernie Sims will step in on the weak side for Carter. Lee and Carter have made plays. Durant and Sims get their chance.

4 New cornerback

There will also be a new cornerback in the nickel defense. Sterling Moore has replaced rookie B.W. Webb, for whom apparently the game is too big right now. As the Cowboys continue to try to play to their strength, man to man, while mixing zone, a veteran presence could reduce positioning errors.

5 Time of possession

How can the offense help the defense, which has its own problems trying to make up for injured players? By keeping the ball. The Cowboys have lost time of possession in five of the past six games. They had it a season-low 20 minutes, 28 seconds against New Orleans and 23:16 against Chicago.

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