Packers vs Cowboys: Gameday Preview - 2022 Week 10

Mike McCarthy makes his (probably) triumphant return to Lambeau today. Do the Packers stand a chance?


Dak Prescott has missed most of the season with a thumb injury.

As a result, the Cowboys have yet to find their groove in the passing game. Their 242 passing yards against the Bears (Prescott's second game back from injury) before their bye was the most of the season and the first time they broke 200 in a month. When they beat the Rams, they threw for just 76 yards. 

Things could start to pick up with Prescott returning to form, but the Cowboys aerial attack hasn't not fully clicked yet.

The real question is: can the Packers do anything about it?

Darnell Savage has been slogging through his worst season as a pro and - in addition to playing with poor ball skills - now seems to have zero interest in contact. The Packers claimed 1st round bust Jonathan Abram from the Raiders earlier this week, but his skillset and strengths are closer to Adrian Amos, which might not make him a great 1 for 1 replacement for Savage.

There has been a lot of speculation that Abram could play safety and Savage could be moved into the slot. Though Savage has played safety for his entire pro career, he impressed a lot of scouts at Senior Bowl a few years ago with his coverage abilities.

Playing Savage in the slot could be necessary with Eric Stokes out. Douglas and Alexander could play as perimeter corners, while Savage mans the slot and Abram works in at safety.

This sounds great in theory, but bringing new guys into the mix and switching positions won't help the chemistry or communication in the defensive backfield, both of which have been noticeably bad throughout the year, resulting in plenty of blown coverage.

Compounding the issue is Rashan Gary's season-ending injury. He wasn't just the best part of the Packers pass rush - he was the Packers pass rush. His team leading 6 sacks is more than the next two Packers combined.

Kingsley Enagbare has been nice in spot duty, but asking him to play full time in a position group with no depth is asking for trouble. Dak Prescott is primed for a breakout game after recovering from his injury. CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown have been productive pass catchers with a backup quarterback and will be a handful for the oft-confused Packers secondary.

But the Dallas ground game poses just as big of a threat.

Ezekiel Elliott is a big name - and he's a talented and productive back - but Tony Pollard is even better at this stage. Pollard averages 6.2 yards per carry and leads the team with 5 rushing touchdowns.

Having a back like Elliott playing a secondary role (averaging 4.1 yards per carry with 4 touchdowns of his own), is a luxury few teams have.

De'Vondre Campbell is out and Krys Barnes is doubtful to play, which will make slowing the Dallas run game even harder to slow.



Aaron Rodgers is not playing to reigning MVP form.

Maybe it's his thumb, maybe it's the playcalling, maybe it's his attitude. Whatever it is, he's been ineffective.

After playing what is easily the worst defense in the league last week, and coming away with a meager 9 points, it's fair to wonder if they'll score at all this week.

Aside from Rodgers's poor play, Romeo Doubs is out, while Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins were both limited with injuries all week. Then there's the offensive line, which saw three starters (Bakhtiari, Jenkins, and Runyan) all miss practice time due to injuries.

The Cowboys will look for creative ways to use ultra-backer Micah Parsons to fill run gaps and blitz. With question marks on the offensive line and a hesitant quarterback, Parsons could have a field day.

The Packers have done a horrible job feeding Aaron Jones, who is clearly their best offensive player.

With temperatures dropping, and the passing game already freezing, the Packers may need to lean on Jones more. Under such obvious circumstances, and playing against a stacked deck, the Packers may have no choice.

Dallas has allowed almost 500 yards rushing in their last 3 games, but a lot of that came against quarterbacks and I'm not sure we'll ever see Rodgers running like Justin Fields.

Overall, the Cowboys defense ranks 6th in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per drive and 3rd in fewest points.

If the Packers are ever going to get their offense back on track this year, it doesn't seem like this will be the week.

Mike McCarthy left the Packers on bad terms. There were a lot of questions about his offensive scheme and play-calling over the final portion of his tenure. But one thing that could not be denied is that he was a leader and a motivator.

His "we're nobody's underdog mentality" led to some inspired performances with backup quarterbacks (such as Matt Flynn against the Patriots and Cowboys and Brett Hundley against the Steelers) as well as some improbable playoff runs (such as the 2016 run to the NFCC and the 2010 Super Bowl win, both seasons which included injury challenges).

He will have the Cowboys (who are 1-8 against the Packers since 2008) amped up to tear this team apart.



The Packers are bad.

They're talented, for sure. I still think they have one of the most talented rosters in the league. The problem is that almost every player on the team is performing below their potential and the coordination on both sides of the ball is in complete disarray.

The injury concerns pale in comparison to those points.

The Packers are bad and stuck in a rut of terrible play. The Cowboys are on a hot streak and fresh off a bye after back-to-back wins against NFC North teams.

Look for them to pick things up right where they left off against a hapless team showing no signs of hope.

Cowboys 32, Packers 9






Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Best-selling author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.


0 points

Comments (11)

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croatpackfan's picture

November 13, 2022 at 07:35 am

"I still think they have one of the most talented rosters in the league."

I can agree with you on this claim. The salt on the wound are MLF and his group of coaches (barring Rich B) that do not know how to unlock that potential, neither physical nor mental one.

Add in mentioned mess QB who wants players to play under his way of playing football, you got the product that is hard to watch.

I'll watch this game and where I find joy in watching unwatchable team? I'm looking to performances of young players, on O and on D. And, I must have to say that I'm convinced that there is enough talent among players not longer 3 years on the tean or in NFL. First I was really pleasently suprised with Doubs and Toure (cudos to Coldworld who was pushing for them to see field), than I'm pleased with Deguara, Dillon, Walker, Enagbare, still need to see how Hill will play after return from ACL injury, Tonyan is improving after he came back from IR, Zach Tom (bravo Coldworld), Meyers, including Nyman (he was PS keeper for few years) and Gary (unfortunately now on IR for season). I consider Jordan Love as another talented player, just do not see enough of him to make any definite conclusion.

My take on Watson is, after missing all preseason, that he has potential to be in future important player for Packers.

I do not see many points in this game today. I doubt Packers will take win, ugly or not. I'll say tresult will be sometnig like 24-27 to 14-17 for visitors. Mike McCarthy will get his "revenge". But, I believe that he isn't looking for revenge, I believe he is looking to win for his present team.

I have little hope (but it is till there) that Packers will be able to produce miracle and win. My mind tells me that it will not be the best outcome for Packers.

5 points
Rarescope's picture

November 13, 2022 at 09:17 am

I’m hoping to see Hill out there too. I don’t expect to because of our coach not being able to figure out how to swap players out and even if we do I don’t expect great things in some of his first action back from ACL. Bak and Jenkins have shown that expectations need to be tempered for a little bit.

2 points
PackyCheese500's picture

November 13, 2022 at 11:23 am

I agree that it is not fair to judge Watson this year after he missed all of the practices. Tom and Nijman are the future at tackle for the Packers, in my opinion. Alexander, Gary, Deguara, Dillon, Walker, Wyatt, Hill, Doubs, Toure, and Enagbare are all going to be core players in the next era of Packers football. Hopefully the rebuild is swift and we are contending again. GPG!

3 points
egbertsouse's picture

November 13, 2022 at 08:09 am

The Packers have talented athletes. If they competed in a mini-Olympics every week they would probably do very well. They are not, for the most part, good football players. They look like they don’t have the basic fundamentals and are just learning the game.

3 points
PackyCheese500's picture

November 13, 2022 at 12:59 pm

That is a coaching problem, for the most part. Vrable has been awful as WRs coach, Butkus has also been awful, the o-line needs Steno back. Rebrovich has been decent as OLB coach, and I'm not sure what to think of Jerry Gray. Joe Barry is incompetent, period

2 points
Fubared's picture

November 13, 2022 at 08:25 am

The Packers will be lucky to have enough players left at the end of the game to field a defense or offense. Not gonna be pretty today, or for several years until management admits it has problems and starts to fix them.
As far as i can see the Packers will be basement dwellers for a long time coming.

1 points
PackyCheese500's picture

November 13, 2022 at 11:21 am

Not unless they clean out the FO in the offseason, which I am sincerely hoping for!

3 points
Rarescope's picture

November 13, 2022 at 10:02 am

I’m going into watching this game with the expectations of a loss. Not the “I’m going to pretend that I don’t expect them to win so I’m not disappointed with a loss” type of expectation, but a real deal expected loss. That way when they win I’ll be extra excited! (Which I don’t expect to happen)

1 points
PackyCheese500's picture

November 13, 2022 at 11:20 am

24-0 Cowboys. I'd be sruprised if the Packers score against Dan Quinn's incredible defense.

1 points
PhantomII's picture

November 13, 2022 at 12:02 pm

The only chance GB has is Boys playing down to us...unprepared and ML actually comes up with a good game plan and we execute it for 4 quarters. But I've been waiting over 3 years for GB to do that for 1-game...So-NO.

1 points
PackyCheese500's picture

November 13, 2022 at 12:35 pm

The first mock draft of the season: Here are my projected picks for the Packers next year:
3rd overall: I have the Packers finishing 4-13, winning either against the Rams or Lions. They are a bad team, and I just don't see how they can win based on their recent performances.
34th overall:
66th overall:
71st overall: I am projecting that Preston Smith will be traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a 3rd-round pick. Smith only carries a cap number of 3.28 mil next year (most of his contract is dead money), and I'm sure the team that gave up a 1st-round pick for Hollywood Brown last year would gladly give up a 3rd-rounder for Preston Smith for only 3.28 mil.
104th overall:
139th overall:
171st overall: A comp pick for MVS
220th overall:
229th overall: Traded from the Jaguars for OL Cole Van Lanen
233rd overall: Traded from the Rams as part of the Corey Bojoquez trade

Here is my Mock Draft:
3rd overall: EDGE Will Anderson Jr, Alabama. I know that many people want a WR, but EDGE is also a large need. Preston Smith will be 30 next year, and I see him most likely being traded. Besides, Anderson is the best prospect in the 2023 overall draft. I see him being available for GB because the teams I am projecting to pick ahead of GB, the Texans and the Panthers, will likely go QB. Anderson has long arms, deadly speed, an exceptional first step, and good strength. The only concern I have is that he doesn't always play with a physical edge, although I've seen him do it on some reps and he can bull-rush tackles into oblivion. This is likely a problem that can be coached out of him. His college stat line almost exactly resembles Von Miller's, but he reminds me most of Micah Parsons - they both have a similar playing style and almost the exact same physical dimensions! Pairing Anderson's speed with Gary's power would define our defense for years to come.
49th overall: WR A.T. Perry, Wake Forest. I see us trading down pick 34 for picks 50 and 82 (the same value on a draft value chart). A.T. Perry is almost an exact replica of Allen Lazard physically, something the Packers FO will love, and his hands and contested-catch skills are excellent. Adding another perimeter threat will help shape the young, budding Packers receiving corps.
66th overall: TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota St. From the same college as Eagles TE Dallas Goedert, Kraft is an excellent blocker and good receiver who is excellent in the red zone. He has good, soft hands, and has an outstanding 134.0 QB rating when targeted. Kraft will provide some stability at TE that the Packers have been sorely lacking for years.
71st overall: S JL Skinner, Boise St. Skinner is an amazing athlete who is 6'4, and blows up his opponents with strong, sure tackles. He has flashed great turnover skills, and is an exciting prospect at SS.
82nd overall: S Christopher Smith, Georgia. Smith has 2 interceptions already, both pick-sixes, and he has exceptional coverage and ball skills to come away with the INT. He is also a good tackler, and can blow up the backfield as well. We are in the market for 2 new starting safeties, so I think it makes sense to double-dip
104th overall. OT Carter Warren, Pitt.
139th overall: DL Akheem Mesidor, Miami (FL)
171st overall: EDGE Ochaun Mathis, Nebraska
220th overall: RB Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
229th overall: TE Kemore Gamble, UCF
233rd overall: CB Cameron Brown, Ohio St. I view Gamble and Brown more as special-teams picks, but hopefully they can contribute in other ways as well.

-1 points