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Big Picture: 5 Storylines For Cowboys & Packers


The Cowboys and Packers both entered Week 4 undefeated and now will square off with 3-1 records. Both teams suffered disappointing defeats with a chance to win in the final minute.

That only intensifies this matchup as they try to get back on track in a game that might have postseason implications down the road.

Both teams are in danger of playing without a key offensive member, and there are other injuries that could affect Sunday's outcome as well.

Here are five quick storylines for each team to get us ready for the matchup.

Green Bay

  • The Packers' Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams had a career night last week against the Eagles, but couldn't finish the game due to a toe injury. While he will have 10 days to rest before Sunday's game, it seems unlikely Adams will be able to play vs. Dallas. Recent reports suggest he is unlikely to play, although the Packers haven't ruled him out. Before his injury, Adams had 10 catches for a career-high 180 yards receiving.
  • Green Bay had issues running the ball last week against the Eagles, to the point where the offense basically neglected the ground game at the end. With a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the Packers opted for four passes – all incomplete. Later in the game, still down 7, Green Bay kept throwing on the goal line and eventually threw an interception. The Packers lost tailback Jamaal Williams early in the game with a head/neck injury. The team has him in the concussion protocol, but he could return this week. Aaron Jones rushed the ball 13 times for only 21 yards but caught six passes for 37 yards.
  • The Packers have two of the best offensive tackles in football, but Bryan Bulaga, who starts at right tackle, suffered a shoulder injury in the last game and didn't return. He's been slowly working back into practice and is expected to at least try to play on Sunday. He was replaced by Alex Light on the right side, opposite of David Bakhtiari.
  • The Packers have been struggling of late stopping the run, especially in last week's game to the Eagles, who rushed for 176 yards. However, that was a bit of an improvement from a Week 2 matchup with the Vikings, who went for 198 yards. It won't get much easier against the Cowboys, who might've been held in check by the Saints with only 45 yards, but still average 143 yards per game on the ground.
  • The Packers are hoping to get second-year linebacker Oren Burks back on the field, perhaps this week. Burks tore his pectoral muscle in the first preseason game in early August but has worked back into practice. The coaching staff is not ruling out Burks to be ready for this game.


  • The Cowboys will probably be without left tackle Tyron Smith on Sunday after he sustained an ankle injury in the final minute of last week's loss in New Orleans. Smith, arguably the best tackle in the NFL, is "unlikely" to play this week, according to owner/GM Jerry Jones. However, the Cowboys seem overly optimistic about Smith's chances to return sooner than later, perhaps even against the Jets on Oct. 13. In his absence, the Cowboys will look to veteran backup Cameron Fleming to start at left tackle.
  • While Smith likely won't play, that might not be the case for Michael Gallup, who has missed the last two weeks recovering from minor knee surgery. Gallup's meniscus injury has affected the Cowboys' passing game in the last two weeks, but the team is hopeful he can play. Jones said he wouldn't rule out Gallup, who will likely get a chance to practice on Wednesday to see where he stands in his rehab. Before he went down, Gallup was leading the team in both catches (13) and receiving yards (226).
  • Injuries have started to pile up for the Cowboys, especially on defense. Tyrone Crawford (hip) and Antwaun Woods (knee) have each missed the last two games, and there's a chance both could be out again on Sunday. Woods hinted that he might not be ready until the Jets game, but Crawford's status is still unclear. Also, safety Kavon Frazier, one of the team's best special teams players, is out for the season with a pectoral injury.
  • One of the biggest bright spots in the Cowboys' ugly 12-10 loss to the Saints was the dominant performance from veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn, who had two more sacks and had a third sack called back due to a penalty. Quinn now leads the team with 3.0 sacks in just two games since returning from a suspension. He's the first Cowboys player since 1987 (Randy Watts) to have a sack in each of his first two games as a member of the team.
  • After averaging over 32 points per game in the first three contests this year, the Cowboys hit a brick wall in New Orleans as the Saints stifled them all night, holding the team to just 10 points. The running game had been efficient through three games, but had only 45 yards on the ground and just 35 by Ezekiel Elliott, the fewest in his career when he received more than 15 carries. Needless to say, the Cowboys will continue to focus on the run, especially against a Packers defense that has allowed 142.3 yards per game on the ground (26th in the NFL).