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Matchups: Packers Rookie OT Against Ware Will Be Key
Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware vs. Packers OT David Bakhtiari
This is one of those matchups that the Cowboys are going to have to win along the front seven in this game. Bakhtiari is having a solid rookie year and in the games I was able to study, was asked to single block a great deal of the time. You can tell that by the way the Packers run their offense, they have a great deal of confidence in his ability. This time last season, DeMarcus Ware attempted to put this defense on his back and try to carry it into the playoffs.
If the Cowboys are going to accomplish this goal, it’s going to have to be on the strength of Ware and how he can affect the outcomes of games. Bakhtiari is not the strongest tackle that Ware has faced nor would I call him an outstanding athlete but there is that part of his game where he manages to keep himself between the rusher and the quarterback or ball carrier. There will moments in this game on Sunday, where Ware will be able to get him off balance with his rush and that will cause the rookie some problems. The key will be that first step and if he can get it, then we should see from pressure from him which is exactly what this defense needs.
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant vs. Packers CB Tramon Williams
This one has the makings of an all-day battle. In my study, Williams is the Packers best cornerback. He is aggressive and he is not afraid to get right on top of the receiver and bang him around. Bryant will be physical in his own right and will look to take advantage of Williams’ aggressiveness. Bryant has done a much better job in these types of matchups of using more than just his brute strength to battle an opponent. He has done a much better job with his route and by that I mean, selling his routes to buy him the separation that he needs to get open.
As much man coverage the Packers play in their scheme, look for Garrett and Callahan to use some routes that we have seen from teams like the Broncos where you rub or pick defenders in order to get receivers into space. The outstanding thing about having Miles Austin back in the lineup or Jason Witten is that you can drive them on routes and it gets Bryant up the field. The more I watch these Packers corners, I really believe this is the plan of attack to try and make some plays down the field which is right in the wheel house of what they need to see from Dez Bryant against Tramon Williams.