The #4 Green Bay Packers visit the #1 Dallas Cowboys for the Sunday late afternoon divisional playoff game. Our Green Bay plays Dallas 2017 NFL divisional free pick features two quarterbacks that have had fine years. Aaron Rodgers, a seasoned veteran who’s seen and done it all, will compete against Dak Prescott, a rookie who stepped in for the injured Tony Romo near the start of the season and went on to have a remarkable rookie season. Kickoff is at 4:40 p.m. ET in Dallas. It should be an exciting and close game.
The Packers (10-6) played and beat the New York Giants 38-13 last week in one of two NFC wild card games. Prior to last week’s playoff game, Green Bay ran off six straight wins to take the NFC North title. They secured the crown in the final week of the regular season b beating the Lions 31-24.
The Cowboys (13-3) finished the season with the best record in the NFC. That earned them both a bye and home field for the conference playoffs. In their last five games of the regular season, Dallas went 3-2, losing for the second time this year to the New York Giants 10-7. Their other loss was 27-13 to the Eagles in the final week of the season.
Green Bay Offense vs. Cowboys Defense
On average this season, the Packers scored 27.0 PPG. Aaron Rodgers (65.7 COMP%, 40 TDs, 7 INTs, 35 Sacks) has proven to be not just a skilled quarterback, but also, a premium leader. The Green Bay offense will be without its top receiver, Jordy Nelson. That’s a major blow as Nelson had 73 catches with 14 of those being for touchdowns. Rodgers still has quality receivers to toss to, including Davante Adams (75 REC., 997 YDs, 13.3 AVG, 12 TDs), Randall Cobb (60 REC, 610 YDs, 10.2 AVG, 4 TDs), and Jared Cook (30 REC, 377 YDs, 12.6 AVG, 1 TD). The Green Bay rush attack has been hobbled by injuries, but Ty Montgomery (77 ATT, 547 YDs, 5.9 AVH, 3 TDs), a wideout converted to running back, has given the Packers as effective rush attack.
The Cowboy D has been effective, holding teams to 19.1 PPG. The Cowboys, who made 36 sacks this season, offer a decent pass rush. The strength of the Dallas defense is its ability to force fumbles. They’ve done so 19 times recovering 11. They also have 63 TFL and 64 PD. The number of picks they’ve made is nine, which is exceptionally low. DE Benson Mayowa (6.0 Sacks, 4 TFL) leads the team in sacks, while safety Byron Jones (10 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF) is tops in PD. LB Sean Lee (93 Solo T, 145 TOT TCKL, 13 TFL) is tops in tackles for a loss.
Dallas Offense vs. Packers Defense
The Dallas offense, which is averaging 26.3 PPG, is not just the Dak Prescott (67.8 COMP%, 23 TDs, 4 INTs, 25 Sacks) and Ezekiel Elliot (322 ATT, 1,631 YDs, 5.1 AVG, 15 TDs) show, but they certainly are the headliners. Elliot is also an able receiver with three TD catches. Prescott has a solid group of receivers that includes leading pass catcher Cole Beasley (75 ATT, 833 YDs, 11.1 AVG, 5 TDs). WR Dez Bryant leads the team in TD catches with eight.
The Packers D has been allowing opponents 24.3 PPG. However, in their last seven games, all of which were wins, they’ve allowed on average just 17.9 PPG. Green Bay brings an effective pass rush, having recorded 40 sacks. Plus, they’ve managed 54 TFL. Their secondary is also accomplished having picked off 17 passes and broken up 85. Their 10 FF is less than average. LBs Nick Perry (11 Saks, 5 TFL, 4 PD, 1 INT) and Julius Peppers (7.5 Sacks, 1 TFL, 3 PD, 2 FF) are tough, smart defenders. DB Micah Hyde and CB Damarious Randall have three picks and nine passes defended each. Corner LaDarious Gunter has 12 PD and 2 FF and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has amassed five interceptions and seven passes defended.
Green Bay Plays Dallas 2017 NFL Divisional Free Pick
Without Jordy Nelson, the Packers lose a decent amount of their offensive punch. But they still have a lot going for them on offense. Their D has to stop Elliot. He is an excellent running back, but he is also stoppable. In our Green Bay plays Dallas 2017 NFL divisional free pick, we’re going against the grain and giving some extra weight to experience. We’re taking the Packers at +6.0.