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Week 5 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 34, Dallas Cowboys 24

What you need to know

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-24 to improve their record to 4-1 on the season. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 22 of 34 passes for 238 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Running back Aaron Jones was the star of the night, rushing 19 times for 107 yards and four touchdowns, while also catching seven passes for 75 yards. Devante Adams missed this game due to injury, and in his place Geronimo Allison caught two passes for 28 yards, while Marquez Valdes-Scalding caught one pass for 18 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham caught three passes for 41 yards.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys defense was a non-factor for much of the game as the Packers surged to a four-touchdown lead, putting Dallas into pure comeback mode. The Cowboys did stuff the box score and make the game interesting before missing a late field goal which would have set the stage for an onside kick to stay alive in the closing seconds. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup dominated the passing game (64% of the targets) as Jason Witten and Randall Cobb combined for a mere 10 targets despite much of the game being clear catch-up mode. Ezekiel Elliott survived on 14 touches with a goal line touchdown and a highlight reception for a long gain.

Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 34 - 238 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - -1 - 0
Aaron Rodgers completed 22 of 34 passes for 238 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in the Packers win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Rodgers also rushed four times for (-1) yards. Without Adams in the lineup, Rodgers was not asked to do too much, especially in the red zone with Jones gashing the Cowboys for four touchdowns. The Packers trotted out Allison, Valdes-Scalding and Jake Kumerow, which obviously contributed to Rodgers lackluster stat total. While all three have proven to be capable secondary options, the trio was unable to beat the Cowboys down the field, and there isn’t a promising possession receiver among the three. Rodgers was able to manipulate a handful of 18+ yard completions to Valdes-Scalding, Graham, Allison and Robert Tonyan, and all were Rodgers making pinpoint throws to create those plays as opposed to his wide receivers beating their man convincingly. On an 18 yard completion to Valdes-Scalding, Rodgers dropped back and after getting time to survey his targets, hit his receiver right on the hands along the sideline on an out-route. With the Packers backed up to their own 11 yard line late in the first quarter, Rodgers was able to give Graham time to change his route and head up the sideline by scrambling outside the pocket amidst a heavy Cowboys pass rush. The pass went for 23 yards. On the same drive, with the Packers facing a second and eight from the Dallas 49 yard line, Rodgers dropped back and play action faked to Jones. The Cowboys managed to collapse the pocket which sent Rodgers scrambling up the middle. Rodgers nearly lost his footing, but recovered long enough to throw a sidearm pass up the sideline to Tonyan. The pass was high, but up and out in front of his tight end and Tonyan made a fantastic catch, high-pointing the ball along the sideline for a 23 yard gain. This wasn’t a prolific performance from Rodgers, but it says something that he was able to take a group of young pass catchers and make enough plays to set up the offense for four offensive touchdowns.

RB Aaron Jones, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 107 - 4, Rec: 7 - 75 - 0 (8 targets)
Aaron Jones rushed 19 times for 107 yards and four touchdowns, while also catching seven passes on eight targets for 75 yards in the Packers win over the Cowboys. Simply put, Jones did it all for the Packers, leading the team in rushes, rushing yards, touchdowns, catches, receiving yards and targets. It was Jones coming out party, and it showed what he was capable of when the coaching staff puts their trust in him to handle a large workload. Jones first touchdown run came with the Packer facing a second and ten from the Dallas 18 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of shotgun with Jones to right and handed the ball off to Jones on a designed draw play where Jones came across and rushed to the left side of the line. Jones got to the line of scrimmage and cut back to the center of the field where he rushed to the eight yard line and made one more cut to his left while stiff-arming a defender before crossing the goal line for an 18 yard touchdown. Jones next touchdown run came with the Packers facing a 2nd and goal from the Cowboys three yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of shotgun with Jones to his right on another draw play up the middle. Jones hesitated slightly as he reached the line of scrimmage which gave his blockers time to get in front of him, allowing him to keep his momentum going forward. He hit a two man wall of Cowboys defenders at the one yard line, but kept his feet moving and spun his way across the goal line for a three yard touchdown. Jones third touchdown came with the Packers facing a first and goal form the Cowboys five yard line. The play call was similar to the first two touchdown runs, with Rodgers in the shotgun and Jones lined up to his right. This time, instead of rushing up the middle on the draw play, Jones surveyed the collapsing line in front of him and bounced the run outside to the left side of the field. From there, Jones was able to out run the Cowboys defenders for an easy five yard touchdown. It was an impressive run though, as it showcased Jones ability to be patient and let the play develop to the point where he can pick the right path and use his athleticism and speed to beat the defense. Jones final touchdown run came late in the third quarter with the Packers facing a second and goal from the Dallas one yard line. Rodgers took the snap under center and handed off to Jones who had a full head of steam coming from six yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jones hit the line head on but ran into a Cowboys defender at the two yard line who hit him low enough to stop his momentum. Jones was able to adjust and stretch the ball over the goal line for his fourth touchdown of the game. Jones also did a great job in the passing game, leading the Packers in catches, yards and targets while catching four passes of 10+ yards. He was used all over the place, and even took two direct snaps, with one going for a 15 yard gain.

WR Geronimo Allison, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (6 targets)
Geronimo Allison caught two passes for 28 yards on six targets in the Packers win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Like they say in the military, “stuff” runs downhill, and Allison was also a victim of Adams being out with an injury. Without Adams drawing coverage away from the opposing secondary and Valdes-Scalding threatening the Cowboys deep, they were able to keep Allison in check in the middle of the field. Allison has mostly run his routes out of the slot and the Cowboys were not going to let the Packers beat them in the intermediate passing game in the middle of the field. This could be a key reason why Jones was able to kill them in the running game as the Cowboys linebackers were dropping back in coverage when the Packers lined up in the shotgun. Allison’s long play of the game came on a 22 yard catch where he was able to beat his man on a deep crossing route which set up a Jones five yard touchdown run. Allison has yet to make a big impact this season, but will need to step his game up if Adams is going to miss any more games.

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (4 targets)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught one pass for 18 yards on four targets in the Packers win over the Cowboys on Sunday. With Adams sidelined, Valdes-Scantling saw increased attention from the Cowboys secondary and was unable to make much of a difference, aside from an 18 yard catch where Rodgers gets a lot of the credit for a pin-point throw to him along the sideline. In terms of yards, his biggest contribution came on a pass interference penalty that he drew against his defender which resulted in a 40 yard gain for the Packers. Valdes-Scantling has carved out a role as the Packers deep threat, but without Adams drawing coverage away from him, he will have a hard time catching defenses by surprise down the field.

TE Jimmy Graham, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (3 targets)
Jimmy Graham caught three passes on three targets for 41 yards in the Packers win over the Cowboys. With Adams out, Graham was looking at a game where he could see a multitude of targets, but saw only three despite running routes on 29 of Rodgers 34 passing attempts. Graham’s biggest gain of the night came on a 23 yard reception where Rodgers was able to get outside the pocket and give Graham time to extend his route up the right sideline. Graham’s targets have been inconsistent from game to game and it looks as though Adams injury will not result in him seeing more targets.

Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 44 - 463 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 4 - 27 - 0
Prescott was bold and decisive against the Packers with his decision-making and aggressive throws to the intermediate and deeper zones of the field. While Dallas’ defense allowing consistent scoring drives through the first half did not help matters, Prescott took key sacks to siphon scoring opportunities in or near field goal range on multiple first-half occasions and two of his three interceptions were poor throws or questionable-at-best decisions and another throw should have been a turnover. Prescott did make a number of key throws for Dallas to even be in the game in the fourth quarter of comeback mode, including a perfect pass to a blanketed Amari Cooper down the sideline, 50/50 ball to Michael Gallup, and floating ball to Cooper in double coverage. Prescott added multiple broken tackles on one scramble and a third-down conversion on another despite not having his typical red zone acumen on the ground this week. The Jets offer an optimal ‘get well’ matchup in Week 6 after losses in back-to-back games.

RB Ezekiel Elliott, 67 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 62 - 1, Rec: 2 - 29 - 0 (4 targets)
The early deficit to Green Bay thanks to a struggling Dallas defense took some of the rushing volume from Elliott’s workload in Week 5. However, Elliott found the end zone among his 12 carries for an impressive goal line score through contact. Elliott padded his rushing stat line in the closing seconds of the first half with two consecutive runs totaling 20 yards when neither team had much intention of playing for a score or locking down on defense. Elliott had nearly 20 yards as he squeezed through a crack in the line of scrimmage on a carry called back by holding. One of his more impressive receiving flashes of the season came on a long sideline reception for more than 25 yards through a big hit. The Jets next week offer a matchup and likely game script where Elliott can get back on track as the offensive centerpiece.

WR Amari Cooper, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 226 - 1 (14 targets)
Cooper nearly totaled his previous season total of yardage in Week 5 alone in his highlight performance. Cooper was the thorn in the Packers defense’s side all game as he dominated the intermediate and deep zones of the field. Cooper got loose down the sideline, fueled by a perfect Dak Prescott pass, for more than 45 yards in the first half and added two huge receptions in the second half, all complimented by his typical collection of comeback and in-cut routes. Cooper was blanketed on a deep sideline route, but Prescott made the small window throw and Cooper added to the effort with the highlight reel toe-tap. Finally, Cooper beat double coverage and produced yards-after-the-catch for the long ‘cherry on top’ touchdown later in the game. Cooper is off to a career year start to 2019, averaging more than 100 yards per game and logging five touchdowns in as many weeks.

WR Michael Gallup, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 113 - 1 (14 targets)
After two missed games, Gallup was back in the lineup against Green Bay as Dallas was in pure comeback mode for much of the contest. Gallup was not involved much until the closing minutes of the first half, but still surged to a big game with 14 targets (matching Amari Cooper for the team lead) and finding the end zone for the first time this season. Gallup fought through contact on a long 50/50 pass, winning at the catch point, and breaking a tackle for the highlight touchdown. Gallup collected five of his seven receptions on comeback routes, breaking a tackle on one of them and showing strong hands in a contested setting on another. Gallup did add a drop to his log against the Packers.

WR Randall Cobb, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 53 - 0 (6 targets)
Cobb did not take advantage of his two games without Michael Gallup in the lineup. With Gallup back in Week 5, Cobb saw six targets but was invisible in the first half (only logged a drop) before rising with the collective Dallas comeback mode tide over the final 30 minutes. Cobb turned a short reception into nearly 20 yards with an after-the-catch foray and stretched for a first down in the closing minutes of the game after a short hitch target. Cobb has not scored since Week 1 and the Jets and Eagles offer quality matchups over the next two weeks.

TE Jason Witten, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets)
For a uncanny fifth game in a row Witten saw exactly four targets. Witten has been a steady target thus far and Week 5 was no exception. However, the veteran did not see a look in the passing game until the fourth quarter and two came in the final minutes of Dallas’ home loss to Green Bay. Witten presents the biggest test at tight end for a Jets secondary in Week 6 who has faced one of the weakest slates at the position to-date.