(Editor's Note: With the offseason in full swing, the focus is now shifting to the 2016 season, where the Cowboys have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Not only do the Cowboys face five playoff teams but many of the top players in football. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys. Today, we complete the list with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.)
Team:Green Bay Packers
Experience: 11 seasons
2016 vs. Cowboys: In Week 6 (Oct. 16), the Packers and Cowboys meet for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. For the first time since 2013, the Cowboys will play host to Green Bay at AT&T Stadium. Green Bay leads the all-time series, 17-16.
What's the Deal:Since replacing Brett Favre as the Packers' starting quarterback in 2008, Rodgers has emerged as one of the NFL's marquee players. He's a two-time NFL MVP with a Super Bowl ring and Super Bowl MVP trophy. Rodgers' career 104.1 passer rating is the best in league history, according to Pro Football Reference. The Packers have made the playoffs seven straight years with Rodgers leading the offense.
Expect This:Well, against any great quarterback, pass rush is absolutely essential. The first two times the Cowboys faced Rodgers (2007, 2008) they sacked him a total of eight times and won both games. In the 2014-15 Divisional Round classic at Lambeau Field, Rodgers got sacked twice but the Cowboys admittedly didn't pressure him enough. He completed 24 of 35 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns, and the Packers advanced.
Previous Meetings:The Cowboys got a glimpse at Rodgers' All-Pro potential back in 2007 in only his sixth career appearance. Replacing an injured Brett Favre, the third-year backup completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown in 37-27 loss. A year later he was handed the keys to the Green Bay franchise and has since made five starts against the Cowboys, winning four, including a 28-7 victory at Lambeau Field last December with Tony Romo sitting out due to a collarbone injury. Rodgers' total stat line against the Cowboys: 138 of 205 (67.3 percent) for 1,503 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:
- One of the most competitive quarterbacks in the league. Will do whatever it takes to win.
- Mentally tough, with outstanding football intelligence. Rare for him to make a mistake that would cost his team a shot at victory.
- Top arm talent and strength. Will deliver the ball at all levels and arm angles in order to complete a pass. Quick, overhand throwing motion. Ball comes out of his hand nicely. Touch for checkdowns, screens and fades. Accuracy is off the charts. Ball placement is right where it needs to be. Does an outstanding job of throwing receivers open. Some of his best passes are those that are thrown on the move. Has a knack for keeping his eyes down the field and making a clutch throw.
- A poised and confident quarterback. Outstanding awareness and anticipation. Hard guy to fool – has to be almost a mistake to bring him down. Able to process information quickly and make the right decision.
- Has the toughness and courage to hang in the pocket to deliver the ball. When there is trouble in the pocket, has the mobility to move, slide and escape. Able to improvise when he has to. Underhanded and flip passes are part of his attack.
- Last season, took more hits and sacks, due to receivers not getting open. Really missed Jordy Nelson in the attack. Not afraid to hold the ball until the last second.
- Perfect shotgun quarterback in the way in which he plays. Just by watching him work you can tell that he knows where he wants to go with the ball before the snap which makes him tough to defend.
- Deserving of our first overall ranking in the 2016 On the Field Top 50.
The writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys.