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Mailbag: The LB Matchup Against Aaron Rodgers?


With this being first time Jaylon/LVE playing Aaron Rodgers together, how much of a difference will this make? - THADDEUS BUCHANAN / MOBILE, AL

Bryan: Rodgers has been outstanding against the Cowboys during his career, so having the best players on the field to handle him is vital. Rodgers has to be mindful of taking off with the ball and running when he has two guys that can really close ground on him. In his advancing age, his health and that of the team's has become important.

Rob: Don't forget about Sean Lee, who wasn't active the last time these teams met in 2017. This is the best linebacker group they've fielded against Rodgers. Smith played him two years ago, but he's in a much better place physically now, and we've seen what he can do as a rusher affecting the pocket. I thought last week was Vander Esch's best game this season. It'll have to be their best game collectively against Rodgers.

One thing I've noticed a lot through the first games is that teams seem to be avoiding throwing on Byron Jones, with the exception of Washington, and he made them pay for that for the most part. Why doesn't Dallas have Byron Jones shadow teams' No. 1 WRs and force the issue, like Lattimore on Amari Cooper this past week? - JOSH HANSON / SAN ANTONIO, TX

Bryan: The staff will tell you that when you shadow a particular receiver all over the field, if that receiver changes spots then the entire coverage changes for everyone else. They would rather be sound assignment-wise every snap than taking the chance of busting the coverage. Jones will shadow at times but it's generally a special package on third down.

Rob: We just haven't seen defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli employ that strategy much over the years here. Typically the corners play sides. I agree with you that Jones has been outstanding, and it appeared he followed Michael Thomas a little in the Saints game. But they've got faith in all their corners playing their regular spots.

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