Dallas Cowboys

5 things to watch in Cowboys-Packers game

Clarence and Charean offer predictions for Cowboys-Packers game

Beat writers Clarence Hill and Charean Williams breakdown the Cowboys-Packers game and predict who wins it. Video by Drew Davison.
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Beat writers Clarence Hill and Charean Williams breakdown the Cowboys-Packers game and predict who wins it. Video by Drew Davison.

Prescott’s poise

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has been praised for his poise from Day One, and rightfully so. The fourth-round pick hasn’t let any moment or any stage get too big for him. The playoffs are different, though, and all eyes will be on Prescott and how he handles this moment. If the past is any indicator, he should check off this box like the rest.

It's playoff time in big D and Aaron Rodgers is in town to square off with Dak, Zeke and the Cowboys.

Zeke attack

The Cowboys are a run-first team and rookie Ezekiel Elliott lived up to the hype by leading the league in rushing. He had a breakout game (28-157) against the Packers, and will be relied on heavily again in what the Cowboys hope will be a lengthy playoff run. Green Bay feels its defense has improved, but the telling sign will be if it can contain Dallas’ rushing attack.

Pressuring Rodgers

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is known for his innate ability to avoid pressure and extend plays. The Cowboys have struggled to rattle Rodgers in recent meetings, but feel better about their chances with a fully healthy defensive line. End David Irving forced three fumbles in the previous meeting in October, and could be a difference-maker once again.

Takeaways

It’s no secret that takeaways go a long way in deciding game winners. Rodgers has protected the ball well, not being intercepted during the Packers’ current seven-game winning streak. Prescott and Elliott have protected the ball well, too. The defense that is able to force takeaways will put its team in a favorable spot to advance to the NFC Championship.

X-factors

Are the Cowboys better off with the rest they’ve earned leading into the playoffs? Or are the Packers better by continuing the momentum they’ve been riding on the seven-game winning streak? These are age-old questions teams face every postseason. These teams are distinctly different in how they enter this game. We’ll find out if the Cowboys are rested or rusty, and whether the Packers are riding momentum or running out of gas.

Beat writers Clarence Hill and Charean Williams reminisce on the catch that wasn't two years ago in Green Bay. Video by Drew Davison.

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