The SB Nation blogger from Blogging The Boys, Dave (Grizz) Halprin, is on a first name basis with the Football Night In America guys now. Instead of sending an email and begging him for scraps of Packers vs. Cowboys football analysis, I decided just to steal what he said to Jerome, Tiki, and Dan. The analysis is pretty good, but he keeps mentioning some former Packer QB who I guess is playing for the Jets these days instead of focusing on the 2008 Packers:
David Halprin, BloggingTheBoys.com: When the Green Bay Packers visited the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium in November of last year, it was a clash of the NFC titans. Fast forward to this Sunday at venerable Lambeau Field, where the tundra will definitely not be frozen, and you'll find two teams sporting identical 2-0 records and both coming off 13-3 seasons. The expectations are high as they each try to stake their claim to the NFC's best. The power in the conference rests in the NFC East but the Packers are determined to prove that they are the just as good without Brett Favre.
About Aaron Rodgers
Jerome Bettis, NBC Sports: Can Aaron Rodgers replace the legend?
Dan Patrick, NBC Sports: Aaron Rodgers in two weeks has shown a lot of confidence. He's already the best quarterback in the NFC North after only two games. By the end of the year is it a foregone conclusion that you'd take Tony Romo over him?
Collinsworth: This guy has just been dominant. Brett Favre was sensational a year ago and how could Aaron Rodgers be better than that? Well, so far he has been. He's been dead on perfect.
Halprin: So far in 2008, he's looked the same, completing 70% of his passes along with zero interceptions. But Green Bay has yet to battle in a game with Rodgers making mistakes at QB. Expect the Cowboys to make a strong run at rattling Rodgers and forcing him into bad decisions. Outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis are the sack-men for the Cowboys and will be counted on to get Rodgers out of his comfort zone. Even though it's Rodgers replacing Favre in Green Bay, Tony Romo is the true heir to Favre's legacy.
About Tony Romo
Collinsworth: Tony Romo may be the best.
Halprin: Tony Romo is a gunslinger who never gives up on a play, sometimes even when he should, but he makes you forget about his mistakes with sparkling play the rest of the game. Romo is making efforts to play more under control in the pocket and spent the off-season working on keeping his feet settled and not sliding forward while reading the defense. The Cowboys will try to neutralize the pass rush from Aaron Kampman and company by making the defense respect the running of Marion Barber. Dallas will work its play-action passes against a Green Bay secondary that likes to play man-to-man, a matchup that favors Terrell Owens and Jason Witten, especially with a very good and large offensive line protecting Romo.
On the Cowboys
Tiki Barber, NBC Sports: Maybe this is because I'm an NFC East guy, but this game is about the Dallas Cowboys and what they can do on offense. We've seen what Tony Romo has done since he's taken over leadership of this Dallas team. His cast of characters are plentiful and they make big-time plays. If you can't stop them it doesn't matter what Aaron Rodgers does on the other side of the ball. So I think the person to watch is Tony Romo in this big game.
Halprin: Dallas overhauled a weak secondary this year by adding Adam "Don't call me Pacman" Jones, and drafting cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick. The Cowboys have revamped their 'dime' defense formation, using four cornerbacks and two safeties, in an effort to matchup a cornerback in the interior against tight ends. Dallas will use the 'dime' formation more than usual to combat a Packers team with multiple options at wide receiver and take their chances with the Packers run game. Strong safety Roy Williams is hurt and will not play, Pat Watkins will take over his duties. This could benefit the Cowboys this week because Watkins is better in coverage.
Bettis: The question is, can Aaron Rodgers excercise the demons of the past? Brett Favre couldn't. Every time he played against the Cowboys he always struggled and threw interceptions. Now we saw Aaron Rodgers come in last year (against the Cowboys) in Brett Favre's stead. The question is, can he do it for an entire game?
Halprin: Last year's game had the subplot of Brett Favre vs. Brett Favre 2.0, otherwise known as Tony Romo. In the end though, it turned into a battle of Tony Romo vs. Aaron Rodgers when Favre was injured early on. Rodgers looked cool and composed and had no trouble moving the ball and scoring.
Much was made of the Brett Favre's lack of success at Texas Stadium when these two teams met last year. On the flip side of that, the Cowboys are a big, fat 0-5 at Lambeau Field. The Packers have a very good home record recently, but the Cowboys have been almost as good on the road. Something's gotta give this Sunday. In this case, it will be the Packers defense under the weight of all the Cowboys firepower on offense. Expect a very entertaining game, expect a shootout and expect a Cowboys victory, 34-27.