Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the top playmakers in the NFL. Armando L. Sanchez TNS
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the top playmakers in the NFL. Armando L. Sanchez TNS

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay basically begins and ends with the play of Aaron Rodgers

October 07, 2017 12:13 PM

UPDATED October 07, 2017 06:46 PM

It’s not as simple as it looks, but the key to the Dallas Cowboys finding success against Green Bay is stopping Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers has won five of his seven regular season or postseason starts against the Cowboys. In those seven games, Rodgers has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 1,951 yards, 12 touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 101.4.

All eyes will be on Rodgers.

Here are five storylines to watch:

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Mr. Rodgers

Rodgers is the man responsible for the Cowboys’ early exits in their past two playoff trips (2014 and 2016). Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league and has made a name for himself extending plays. He has become a master at the big play. The Cowboys are familiar with Rodgers’ knack for big plays after he converted a third-and-20 in the final seconds of last season’s divisional-round playoff game.

Linebacker play

Todd Gurley gashed the Cowboys’ defense for 215 yards from scrimmage last Sunday. The Packers’ Ty Montgomery poses a similar threat out of the backfield but is listed a doubtful after suffering broken ribs against Chicago. Dallas should benefit from the likely return of linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who could help pick up the slack if Sean Lee misses a second game in a row with a hamstring injury.

Running game

Ezekiel Elliott and the offensive line aren’t in panic mode even though they haven’t run the ball as effectively this season as they did last season. Maybe going against the Packers will jump-start the running game. Elliott had the best game of his career against Green Bay last October, rushing for 157 yards on 28 carries.

X-factor

Wide receiver Dez Bryant and quarterback Dak Prescott can’t seem to get on the same page. But like Elliott, Bryant has had success against the Packers. Bryant had nine catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns in last January’s 34-31 playoff thriller. A similar game might get him going the rest of the year.

Local pack

Left guard Lane Taylor is an Arlington Martin product who has carved out a successful professional career after going undrafted out of Oklahoma State. Ty Montgomery went to high school in Dallas before a standout career at Stanford. And tight end Martellus Bennett spent time with the Cowboys coming out of Texas A&M, and is now making his mark with the Packers. Rookies Chris Odom (Arkansas State and Arlington Martin) and Lenzi Pipkins (Mansfield High and Oklahoma State) are also contributors for Green Bay.

AT&T Stadium sells more alcohol than any other venue in Texas

Dallas Cowboys games mean big crowds who spend big money on alcohol, with sales topping the charts statewide.

Paul Moseley pmoseley@star-telegram.com

What did Cowboys fans do during anthem?

During the anthem for the Dallas Cowboys-Los Angeles Rams game on Sunday, most fans stopped on the concourse, but some continued moving, buying beer and one group knelt.

Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison