The Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 34-24 on Sunday, improving to 4-1 in 2019. To get there, the Packers jumped out to a 31-3 lead in the third quarter, then allowed the Cowboys to gradually work their way back into a competitive game late.
During that period, the Packers were rolling out a lot of dime personnel, seemingly willing to give up the Cowboys gains underneath to avoid the big play. However, Dallas still found ways to attack the secondary deep, with a pair of long touchdowns late. But the Packers got turnovers and stops in some critical situations, including a late interception that allowed the offense to regain a three-possession lead that held up as a ten-point margin of victory at the final buzzer.
During this game, however, the Packers suffered a number of injuries, most notably to center Corey Linsley and safety Darnell Savage. Both left the game after 19 snaps apiece and did not return, being replaced by Lucas Patrick and Will Redmond, respectively.
Here’s how playing time broke down.
OFFENSE (74 Plays)
Aaron Rodgers 74
Rodgers didn’t find the end one and averaged seven yards per attempt on the day, but came up with a few critical third-down conversions on some of the Packers’ longer drives. He finished the day 22-for-34 for 238 yards and had one carry for three yards before kneeling down three times. Rodgers did narrowly miss on a few deep balls — one short throw that led to a pass interference call and a few others where he had an open man but was under pressure early.
Aaron Jones 50, Tra Carson 24, Danny Vitale 12
Jones had a ridiculous career day, picking up 182 total yards of offense on 26 touches and finding the end zone a whopping four times — giving him all four of the team’s touchdowns. He had a long run of 18 yards en route to a 5.6 yards per carry average, but he added 10.7 yards per reception through the air on seven catches. Carson served as a functional albeit non-explosive backup who moved the chains a few times.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 70, Geronimo Allison 64, Jake Kumerow 50, Darrius Shepherd 4, Allen Lazard 1
With no Davante Adams, the Packers turned to Allison and Kumerow to make up the difference. However, the receiver group had a brutal day, with the running backs and tight ends doing most of the damage through the air. The receivers combined for just four catches and 55 yards on the day.
Jimmy Graham 52, Marcedes Lewis 34, Robert Tonyan 7
Graham caught all three of his targets for 41 yards, with Lewis adding two receptions for 17 and Tonyan hauling in one for 23. Tonyan left the game following that catch with a hip injury, however.
David Bakhtiari 74, Elgton Jenkins 74, Billy Turner 74, Bryan Bulaga 74, Lucas Patrick 55, Corey Linsley 19
The notable issue on the line in this game was an apparent concussion for Corey Linsley, who left the game early to be evaluated and did not return. Patrick came on in his place and largely played well. However, the Packers did get a few penalties on the line, with Jenkins being called for two holding penalties and a pair of calls going on David Bakhtiari (false start and holding) on the first drive to turn a 3rd and 3 into a 3rd and 18.
DEFENSE (72 plays)
Kenny Clark 64, Dean Lowry 32, Montravius Adams 23, Tyler Lancaster 16, Kingsley Keke 7
This is another game with a huge workload for Clark, who spent most of the day trying to provide some interior pass rush after clogging up lanes in the run game early on. The Packers’ early lead led to more passing situations and therefore a great deal of dime personnel, cutting back the snap totals for the other defensive linemen.
Preston Smith 54, Za’Darius Smith 52, Kyler Fackrell 29, Rashan Gary 22
The Smiths had another great day, combining for three sacks, six QB hits, and a pass breakup. Za’Darius had two sacks and four hits on his own, Gary posted three tackles in rotational duty while Fackrell did not record a tackle.
Blake Martinez 72, B.J. Goodson 19, Oren Burks 11
Despite the Cowboys’ running game, the Packers used a decent amount of nickel safeties early before moving to a more conventional base defense for portions of the middle of the game. Goodson was injured a bit early on, giving way to Burks for his first playing time of the 2019 regular season. As usual, Martinez led the team in total tackles with eight, while Goodson had three and Burks one.
Adrian Amos 72, Will Redmond 55, Darnell Savage 19
The Packers seem to get lucky with Savage’s ankle injury, which he suffered in the first half. It sounds like they think it was just a tweak and that there is no structural damage. Redmond came on for him and had his best game as a Packer, notching six tackles in addition to three big stops on special teams as well. Amos had five tackles of his own and added a hit on Dak Prescott to force an incompletion on third down.
Jaire Alexander 70, Tramon Williams 65, Chandon Sullivan 38, Kevin King 37, Josh Jackson 35
The Packers used six DBs on almost half of their snaps on Sunday, working Sullivan and Jackson into the lineup with King still nursing an injury. Despite that injury, however, King had another tremendous game, with an interception, a forced fumble, and six total tackles. Sullivan and Alexander added interceptions as well, though Alexander struggled mightily to defend Amari Cooper; the Cowboys’ WR1 finished the game with 226 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
B.J. Goodson 21, Will Redmond 20, Oren Burks 20, Josh Jackson 19, Danny Vitale 19, Allen Lazard 17, Kyler Fackrell 14, Dean Lowry 13, Tra Carson 13, Chandon Sullivan 13