Dallas Cowboys: Week Five matchup preview

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Ezekiel Elliott
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Ezekiel Elliott /

The Dallas Cowboys will host their playoff rivals, the Green Bay Packers in what should be a hard-hitting contest. Here are some matchups to look out for.

The Dallas Cowboys are heading into Week Five with a 2-2 record and their opponents this week are the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys are not in must-win territory but this game is important for a variety of reasons.

The NFC East is looking like it is going to be a highly competitive battle for much of the season, I would not rule the New York Giants out just yet as each team has a fairly difficult schedule. 

A win over the Packers from purely a Dallas Cowboys perspective would give the team some much-needed revenge after some last-second heroics by Aaron Rodgers knocked Dallas out of the playoffs.

Both teams are dealing with injuries and in terms of making the playoffs, a loss for the Packers would tie them with Dallas at 3-2 in the conference. But down the road, a win for the Cowboys here could be huge.

On paper, both of these teams are pretty dangerous but the Cowboys seem to get the better of the matchups this week.

Dez Bryant VS Green Bay Packers secondary: Dez will likely face off against rookie cornerback, Kevin King, the only issue with that is King has been the best draft pick for the Packers by far. Is he good enough to hold is own against Bryant?

The most likely answer is no, both of Kings elite matchups earlier this season, Julio Jones and A.J. Green both torched the Packers for over 100 yards a piece. Both of those wide receivers are taller than Dez as he and King are both the same height, so it should be a more physical battle than usual.

It seems unlikely the Packers would double Dez or bring safety help as they will need as many men as possible in the box to stop Ezekiel Elliott on the ground. If the Dallas Cowboys win on Sunday, Dez will take advantage of his matchup and have his first 100 yard game of the season.

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Ezekiel Elliott VS Green Bay defense: Elliott is coming off of his best game of the season so far and has a tantalizing matchup against the Green Bay Packers defense. This is the only defense the Cowboys have played that are not in the elite category, and it is the most favorable matchup the team has seen all season long.

The Cowboys should look to run Elliott into the ground on Sunday as the Packers have given up five touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. This is the best matchup Zeke has had all year long so it would not be surprising for him to have another big game as he will likely need to if the Cowboys are going to pull out a win.

Aaron Rodgers VS Dallas Cowboys secondary: The Cowboys secondary has been fairly porous all season long and that is because of the array of injuries this team has run into. Now with all (or most) of their defensive backs available, these new players will need to perform against one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Rookie third-round pick Jourdan Lewis looked terrific against the Los Angeles Rams and constantly seemed to be around the ball. Second round pick, Chidobe Awuzie will need to step up and play a bigger role as he returns from injury.

Another rookie, Xavier Woods has looked promising at the starting safety position and could be in for additional snaps as current starter, Jeff Heath continues to struggle. Rodgers will likely be without Davante Adams who is still in the concussion protocol however he will still have two deadly weapons in wide receivers, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

Dak Prescott VS Green Bay linebackers: Dak likes to make plays with his feet rather than throw incompletions or dangerous balls so the Packers linebacking corps will need to keep an eye on the young signal-caller. It really is up to Dak to take advantage of his matchup and the weakest defense this team has faced all season.

The Cowboys need to establish the run and the vertical passing game in their first series and really set a tone for this contest. Dak will also have to keep an eye out for the Packers best pass rusher, Mike Daniels who seems to be suiting up on Sunday.

Cowboys injuries VS Packers injuries: The injuries are just piling up in the NFL as we are already more than a quarter of the way through the season. The Cowboys are dealing with some pretty big absences but none of them loom larger than that of linebacker Sean Lee.

Lee is the quarterback of the Cowboys defense and without him, they tend to struggle. Free-agent addition, Stephen Paea also appears like he will miss this game with a knee injury.

Next: Best fantasy football wide receiver matchups for Week Five

The Cowboys seem to be taking heavy precautions with left tackle, Tyron Smith who tweaked his back during practice. He was limited on Wednesday but rested on Thursday. Cornerback Anthony Brown was limited with an ankle injury on Thursday but should suit up to play.

For the Packers, there were a lot of players who were limited in practice on Thursday but besides Davante Adams only one of them seems to be a real threat to miss this contest and that is running back Ty Montgomery.

He broke his ribs in Week Four and is wearing extra protection around them however he has already conceded that he will not put his long-term health in jeopardy to play this week.