Big Picture: Seeking Fifth Straight Win, Youthful Cowboys Head To Iconic Venue


The biggest storyline, that is certainly picking up steam nationally, isn't even a factor right now and probably won't be for at least a few more weeks.

Whatever happens when Tony Romo returns from his back injury won't be an issue when the Cowboys travel to Lambeau Field for Sunday's game with the Packers. Rookie Dak Prescott will look to make it five straight wins for the Cowboys, continuing his more-than-impressive start to his career. In fact, with 155 consecutive passes without an interception, Prescott can break Tom Brady's NFL record of 162 passes without a pick to begin a career. Prescott already holds the NFL record for moss passes without an interception to begin a season.

Oddly enough, Prescott might not even be the Cowboys' best rookie as running back Ezekiel Elliott is living up to the hype so far. The No. 4 overall pick is leading the NFL in rushing with 546 yards, which is 85 more than the next-closest back, which just so happens to be former Cowboys record-holder DeMarco Murray, who has 461 with the Titans. Elliott already has five rushing touchdowns, including two last week.

Elliott is tied for 10th in the NFL with a 5.0 yards per carry average, but he's the only player getting 5 yards an attempt with more than 100 carries.

The Cowboys played their second straight game without Dez Bryant, who has been nursing a hairline fracture in his knee. His status for Sunday will likely be questionable again. Last week, Terrance Williams caught all five of his targeted passes for 70 yards.

Defensively, the Cowboys got a big boost in the pass-rushing department when DeMarcus Lawrence returned from suspension. While he didn't record a sack, he had several good rushes in a limited role. And his pressure might have helped his teammates, who racked up four sacks on Cincinnati's Andy Dalton.

While Elliott and Prescott are getting all of the attention on the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys are getting quality help from two defensive rookie draft picks as well. Third-rounder Maliek Collins has been an active rusher in the defensive line rotation and sixth-round cornerback Anthony Brown has filled in nicely for Orlando Scandrick, who has missed the last three games with hamstring injuries.


In Green Bay, the fans are concerned about their star quarterback, wondering when Aaron Rodgers is going to return to his MVP form.

Running back Eddie Lacy injured his ankle, which has some of the Green and Gold faithful worried because there is little depth behind him at the position. But head coach Mike McCarthy has said he doesn't think Lacy's injury his serious.

All in all, there are concerns about a lot of other positions regarding this team. But despite all of that, the Packers are still 3-1, with their only loss occurring to the undefeated Vikings on the road.

This might not be the best team Green Bay has rolled out onto the Lambeau Field turf in recent years, but its still good enough to get the job done. The Packers are still good enough to call this one of the best tests the Cowboys will face all year, and certainly the best up to this point in the season.[embeddedad0]

Rodgers has led Green Bay to victory three of four times despite putting up numbers that aren't exactly MVP-like. He ranks 18th in the league with his 87.7 passer rating. One of the biggest differences seems to be the lack of explosive plays. Rodgers ranks 28th in the NFL by averaging just 6.3 yards per attempt.

One of the things carrying Green Bay through four games is its run defense, which not only ranks first in the NFL this year, but the 171 yards allowed is the second fewest in league history through a team's first four games of a season. Obviously, the Packers will have their work cut out for them up front as they face a Cowboys' rushing attack that is averaging an NFL-best 155.2 yards per game through five weeks.

More than just an aggressive defensive line rotation, the Packers are being sparked by their linebackers, including Pro Bowler Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, who already has a career-best 4.5 sacks through four games.

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