ARLINGTON, Texas – Even without Davante Adams and Jamaal Williams, nobody said it all had to be on Aaron Jones' shoulders for the Packers to prevail against the Dallas Cowboys.
It was only until after the El Paso native popped an 18-yard touchdown run early in Sunday's game at AT&T Stadium it became obvious running behind Jones and the inside-zone was going to be the clearest path to the end zone for the offense.
And the third-year running back responded.
Performing in front of more than 30 of his closest family and friends, Jones zigged and zagged his way to a career-high 182 total yards and tied a franchise record with four rushing touchdowns to power the Packers to a 34-24 win over the Cowboys in front of 93,024.
"He was just calling the plays and whatever he called, we were running and it was working," Jones said. "The blocking unit was doing their job to open up lanes and creases and big gaps. I was just able to run."
And run he did, especially in the red zone. Jones capped all four of the Packers' touchdown-producing drives with runs from the 18-, 3-, 5- and 1-yard lines. In doing so, he became the first Packers running back to score four rushing touchdowns since Dorsey Levens did it against Arizona on Jan. 2, 2000.
By blueprint, Green Bay has predominately been an outside-zone running team under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur. However, the Packers opted to run more inside knowing the sideline-to-sideline speed of Dallas linebackers, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.
With a few direct snaps mixed in along the way, Jones was able to notch his fifth career 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 17 carries for 107 yards.
"By far, the player of the game for us," fullback Danny Vitale said. "He was seeing the creases and the holes exactly the way we expect them to be seen. He just put on a hell of a performance."
It wasn't just the runs that made for a special homecoming, though. Jones also led Green Bay with a career-high seven catches for 75 yards, including a key 12-yard snag off a slant on third-and-4 to extend the Packers' first drive of the second half.
The Green Bay Packers traveled to Dallas to take on the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in a Week 5 matchup.