Morning Buzz: Can the defense hold up?
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a cup of coffee (or brew some tea, if that’s your thing) and get caught up on everything you need to know as the Packers prepare to take on the Cowboys on Sunday.
The Packers know that stopping rookie phenom Eziekiel Elliot is job No. 1, something they did not do very well the last time these two teams met. Ryan Wood gets the skinny from the locker room on what is necessary to correct things Sunday.
The Packers had no problem identifying their biggest problem in the first game. Each player in the locker room Wednesday said the same thing.
In October, they were undisciplined. They “misfit” the run, vacating their gaps. They hunted the big play, ignoring other responsibilities.
Every player also identified the same strength when it comes to Elliott’s running style.
“His most effective trait as a running back,” defensive tackle Letroy Guion said, “is he has great vision. Everything else, he’s like any other running back. What separates him from other running backs, he has great vision.
“When a guy makes a mistake, he attacks right where you make a mistake from. That’s what makes you pay.”
Pete Dougherty looks at the other key for the Packers' defense against the Cowboys: Getting to Dak Prescott.
The Packers’ charge is to make Prescott play like a rookie on the biggest stage of his young career.
It could happen. Prescott turned the ball over twice the last time the teams played — the Burnett interception, and a strip-sack fumble forced by Julius Peppers. He also had an unforced fumble that the Cowboys retrieved after his thigh popped the ball from his hand on a scramble.
But that’s not who he has been most of the season. He has thrown only four interceptions, and his nine fumbles (four lost), while tied for fifth-most in the league, are only one more than Aaron Rodgers’ eight (four lost).
He has made his living this season playing mostly ahead of the chains, thanks to Elliott, and working off play-action passes. To beat him, the Packers will have to find a way to force the game into his hands rather than Elliott’s, and see if they can get the young quarterback to crack now that the real money is on the line.
Blake Martinez and Aaron Ripkowski were dealing with injuries last week, but it sounds like both should be good to go against the Cowboys. Tom Silverstein and Michael Cohen lead their notebook on the health of both.
Geronimo Allison faced the music in the locker room Wednesday after his September arrest was reported Tuesday. Regardless of what’s going on off the field, Tom writes that he will be needed Sunday.
Tom and Ryan have all the latest from Lambeau Field:
Elsewhere, the guys at Move the Sticks preview Packers-Cowboys:
Adam Lefkoe and Chris Simms preview all the divisional games on their podcast:
David Moore writes on Dak Prescott. The Packers shouldn’t count on the kid being nervous.
Shaun O’Hara breaks down the game for Good Morning Football:
Aaron Rodgers spoke with the Dallas media about the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator:
Packers fans need to get a grip when it comes to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman:
Rob Demovsky writes on how the Packers can go about replacing Jordy Nelson:
The man who threw possibly the most famous Hail Mary in football has been impressed with Aaron Rodgers’ trilogy:
How the teams match up in PFF’s rankings:
FOX Sports Southwest takes a look at what the Cowboys need to focus on:
The Guardian writes on how Rodgers and the Packers have “perfected” the Hail Mary: