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 continue the list with Packers receiver Jordy Nelson.)
Team:Green Bay Packers
Height/Weight:6-3 / 215
Experience: 8 seasons
2016 vs. Cowboys: The Cowboys once again travel to Lambeau Field to face the Packers. This time, the game is in the middle of the schedule, set for Oct. 16 at 3:25 p.m.
What's the Deal: Nelson is coming off a torn ACL injury he suffered in training camp last year, forcing him on injured reserve for the entire 2015 season.
Nelson has been easing back into practice during the offseason, choosing to wait until training camp for the full slate of drills.
But he's expected to be 100 percent for the season, and should be back to his normal self, that produced three 1,000-yard seasons in the last four years. In fact, Nelson was coming off a career season in 2014 when he caught 98 balls for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Expect This:When healthy, Nelson is arguably Aaron Rodgers' favorite target. Now Rodgers certainly likes to get Randall Cobb the ball among other receivers and tight ends in the mix. But Nelson is the big-play threat. He's averaged 15.3 yards per catch throughout his career. Expect Nelson to test the secondary for a home-run ball considering he has 13 touchdowns in his career of at least 50 yards, including a 93-yarder against the Rams back in 2011.
Previous Meetings: In four regular-season meetings with the Cowboys, Nelson has caught at least four passes in all of them except before the 2013 game in which he caught five balls with one touchdown. In the playoff game in 2014, most known for the Dez non-catch late in the game, Nelson was held to two catches for 22 yards, being shadowed most of the game by Brandon Carr.
Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:
- If there ever was a player that was made to play for the Green Bay Packers it has to be Jordy Nelson. It takes a certain type of mentality to thrive at receiver in that environment and Nelson has that in his demeanor.
- In studying the Packers offense last season, as productive as Aaron Rodgers was they still missed Nelson's talent to make those clutch plays.
- One of the most deceptive route runners in the league. He is blessed with a wide catching radius with his best trait being his natural hands. Is always extending for the catch. Rare to see a ball get to his body. There is nowhere on the field that he will not venture to make a catch. Has always been the type of receiver that has shown courage when having to make a reception in a crowd.
- His body control and balance is outstanding along with his stop-start quickness. Have seen him twist and turn his body in order to make difficult adjusting catches. Has the ability to run a corner off then sharply break to the outside to buy space.
- Football intelligence is off the charts. Knows how to read coverages and take advantage of it. On tape you can see how mindful he is of down and distance in the way he executes his routes. There were countless times on the game tape where Aaron Rodgers went to him along the sideline once he broke outside the pocket.
- Is one of those receivers that can run all day. Routes are just as strong at the end of the game as they are in the beginning. Gets open. Big slot type receiver that can create a mismatch. Runs strong after catch. Always going forward.
- Not easy to bring down. Clutch third down receiver. Can elude or run over a tackler. Mentally and physically tough. Plays fast and with a good tempo. Consistent off the ball. Escapes press.
- Is not often covered but Brandon Carr did an outstanding job of handling him in the NFC Divisional Championship two seasons ago.
The writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys.