Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys: No matter what the Cowboys say otherwise, there is an elephant in the room. That elephant is none other than former starter Tony Romo. You can say what you want about Romo, but there is no way that he would have the same positive effect that Dak Prescott has had on Dallas this season. A dual-threat quarterback, Prescott has led Dallas to a 13-3 record and their first playoff berth since 2014. Prescott’s athleticism has opened up new doors in a Dallas offense that ranked 31st in total points last season under the leadership of Romo. Now it’s the Prescott’s turn, looking to become the first rookie quarterback to start in a Super Bowl. Prescott has had plenty of help along the way, a dominant offensive line comprised of three pro bowlers, a rookie running back who is as explosive of a runner as anyone in the league, and a receiving core that has the lowest drop percentage in the league. The dynamic duo of Jason Witten and Cole Beasley, two skill players who are often viewed as safety nets play an integral part in Dallas’s success. Witten is a superb blocker and Beasley is a quick slot receiver who had the second highest catch rate of any receiver in the league. The Cowboys offensive line has been absolutely dominant. Led by powerful tackle Tyron Smith, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has hit the jackpot in recent drafts, selecting a majority of his offensive line in the first four rounds. The only exception is La’El Collins, an undrafted rookie who slid due to character concerns. The Cowboys defense has been built on experience with only one starter having played less than three seasons. Dallas still hasn’t been able to develop troubled defensive end Randy Gregory into the top tier pass rusher he was touted to be, but the Cowboys are starting to earn a bend, don’t break reputation. This strategy has served them well, as they have allowed less than twenty-five points in all their games except two.
The Green Bay Packers are a pretty special franchise. It seems pretty difficult to think that the Packers didn’t start Aaron Rodgers until his fourth season in the NFL, giving him the opportunity to learn under legend Brett Favre. This has served Rodgers especially well, considering his tremendous success in football. I do think Rodgers is the best quarterback in football. There, I said it. His ability to scan the field and move around in the pocket is impeccable, his patience and demeanor is immaculate, and his arm strength and accuracy is absolutely spectacular. His combination of physical traits and mental stability has allowed him to lead a 4-6 Packers team on a six game win streak into the playoffs. Once Rodgers got into the playoffs, he was all business, leading his Packers to an impressive win against the Giants. The Packers offensive line doesn’t get enough credit sometimes. They have struggled over the years, but last week they dominated the Giants defensive line. Tackle Bryan Bulaga is as good of a tackle as it gets and he put it on full display last week. Linebacker Clay Matthews is a freak of nature. He is such a tenacious and relentless player, he is the heart and soul of the Packers defense. Last week he made a spectacular play on Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Using his array of pass rushing moves, Matthews quickly got to Manning, stripped the ball out of his hands, and picked it up while other players were unsure whether it was a fumble. It would turn out to be a fumble and would virtually seal the game for the Packers. It’s that relentless pursuit of the football that has always impressed me about Matthews.
“I think we can run the table.” That was what Aaron Rodgers said after an embarrassing loss against the Washington Redskins. Since then the Packers are 7-0 (including playoffs) and Rodgers has not committed a turnover. This stretch of dominance has me convinced that a Rodgers-led offense is too dominant to stop. Look, would it surprise me if Dallas won? No, it wouldn’t. Dallas has the most balanced offense in the NFL and have a defense that is stingy in the red zone. With all that said, I think that the Packers will run the table yet again.