Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the top passers in the NFL. Rodger Mallison rmallison@star-telegram.com
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the top passers in the NFL. Rodger Mallison rmallison@star-telegram.com

Dallas Cowboys

Rodgers, Packers bring bad blood, history against Cowboys

October 03, 2017 11:11 AM

UPDATED October 03, 2017 03:29 PM

The Dallas Cowboys welcome back the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs their past two trips, the Green Bay Packers, to AT&T Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It’s the sixth meeting between the two teams in the past five years. The Cowboys won the regular-season meeting last year in Green Bay, but fell in the postseason.

Green Bay leads the all-time series 18-17.

Here are five storylines to watch:

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Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league and has picked apart the Cowboys in their past two playoff years. They must get more pressure on him. Rodgers has the third-most passing yards (1,146) in the league, and is tied with Tom Brady for the most passing touchdowns (10). Half of Rodgers’ touchdown passes have gone to veteran receiver Jordy Nelson. They’ll look to pad those stats against a young Cowboys secondary.

Injury concerns

The Packers have been hit with plenty of injuries. Starting tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle) missed last Thursday’s game, and their status is unknown for Sunday’s contest. Receiver Davante Adams was on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet hit by Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, and is now in the concussion protocol. And running back Ty Montgomery is dealing with a chest injury.

Return of Marty B

Texas A&M product Martellus Bennett didn’t make the type of impact most expected in his four years with the Cowboys. The 2008 second-round pick had four touchdown catches (all in his rookie season) in four seasons with the Cowboys. He has resurrected his career, though, and is off to a promising start with the Packers. Said Rodgers, “He’s a talented player for us, and we’ve got to continue to find ways to get him going. We just have to keep finding ways to get him involved early in the game.”

Taylor time

Packers left guard Lane Taylor has been one of the better storylines for a local product in recent years. He had a standout career at Arlington Martin, then went on to a four-year career at Oklahoma State and has carved out a starting spot in the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Taylor signed a three-year, $16.5 million extension with the Packers last month, and showed his versatility by filling in at left tackle for Bakhtiari last week.

Defensive matters

The Packers might not be known for a great defense, but they are playing well now. They are one of only six teams who have held opponents to fewer than 300 yards a game this season (299.5). Against the Bears, Clay Matthews became the franchise’s all-time sacks leader with his 75th, and the defense forced four takeaways that the offense turned into 21 points.

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

Who earned game balls from the Cowboys-Rams game?

Greg Zuerlein made seven field goals in the Los Angeles Rams’ 35-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. His longest field goal was from 49 yards.

Mark Hoffer mhoffer@star-telegram.com