ARLINGTON, Texas – No Davante Adams, no problem for the Packers' offense.
The absence of Aaron Rodgers' No. 1 receiver led to the unleashing of third-year running back Aaron Jones, who was the unquestioned star of the Packers' 34-24 road victory over Dallas at AT&T Stadium on Sunday.
Jones not only dashed and darted his way to 107 yards on 19 carries – outrushing the Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott by 45 yards – but he also tied a franchise record with four rushing touchdowns as the Packers built a 31-3 lead in the third quarter and then hung on for dear life.
"Aaron tonight, he definitely came up big," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said after his team improved to 4-1. "He broke a lot of tackles out there, and he finished runs. We knew going into the game we had to be physical, and it starts up front. I was really proud of our guys."
Oh, and Jones also was Rodgers' leading receiver with seven catches for 75 yards, giving him 182 yards from scrimmage in a tour-de-force performance in his home state of Texas.
He shined brightest in the same stadium that served as his coming-out party two years ago, when he posted his first career 100-yard rushing game in an even more dramatic Green Bay win.
"Yeah, he was running, and he was running well," Rodgers said. "His typical style, slasher, cutbacks, breaking tackles. I thought it was a great game for him. He was the hot hand. Got a lot of touches down in the red zone and finished those up nicely."
Jones actually was stopped on a run from the 1-yard line in the second quarter when the Packers settled for a field goal or he might have broken the franchise record with five rushing TDs. Four hadn't been achieved since Dorsey Levens in the 1999 regular-season finale. Terdell Middleton also did it once, and Hall of Famer Jim Taylor accomplished it three times.
Jones also now has eight rushing touchdowns this year, most in franchise history through the first five games of a season. He's been a huge part of the Packers getting to 4-1 and taking over sole possession of first place in the NFC North, as the Bears lost earlier Sunday in London to the Raiders.
But Jones' brilliance and a 31-3 lead wasn't enough to put the Packers on easy street. The Cowboys actually had a chance to make it a one-score game with just under two minutes left, but kicker Brett Maher missed wide right from 33 yards out, his second wayward field-goal attempt of the game.
The Green Bay Packers traveled to Dallas to take on the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in a Week 5 matchup.