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How motivated will the Cowboys be? senior writer Mike Spofford took reader questions in his weekly chat.


Hey everybody, thanks for logging in. Let's get right to it.

Comment From Tony C

Hi Mike. Is it my imagination or are officials allowing plays to extend too long before blowing the whistle?? IMO, it was pretty clear Adams' forward progress was stopped well before the whistle was blown and I thought there were a couple of similar examples in the Monday night WAS @ KC game ...

That seems to be happening, yeah, and I mentioned on Unscripted a few episodes back that quicker whistles might be the next phase of the player safety movement. Jamaal Williams got his knee caught in one of those piles when the whistle didn't blow, so it's not just the hits like the one Adams took.

Comment From Don H

Is the Dallas pass defense as weak as advertised ...??

The Cowboys' pass rush is as good as it gets right now, and they're getting Irving back from suspension. I think Dallas' secondary is like most -- if the pass rush doesn't get home, there are yards to be had.

Comment From Spencer

Which player do you feel is being most overlooked? I've seen a few scouts and experts raving about Kenny Clark.

I thought these last couple of games with Daniels were big tests for Clark, and he passed impressively. He took on more double teams than he's used to, and he was disruptive when single-blocked. He's really developing into a strong player up front.

Comment From Bongo

Mike Daniels status for the weekend seems to be crucial to stop the run and allow the Packers to play its Nitro D instead of base D. Any word on him?

We'll find out more today and tomorrow. As soon as I get done with this chat, I'm heading out to practice to see what's up.

Comment From Joel, London

Hi Mike. When will the Packers come to London? I know that other teams don't want to give up a home game against us because we travel well, and the Packers won't give up a home game, but we are one of the few teams not to come here yet.... will they be forced to play here?

I've said before I think it happens on one of the two trips to LA the next two years, Rams in '18 or Chargers in '19. I'm leading toward the Chargers game, because of their small stadium. More tickets can be sold if the Rams game stays at the Coliseum.

Comment From Chris

With injuries to the Cowboys' inside linebackers, do you expect Bennett and Kendricks to be featured more heavily in the downfield passing game this week?

Sean Lee's absence changes the Cowboys' defense, and he was definitely missed against the Rams. I've read he's day to day, so no way to know right now how that will play out.

Comment From Linda P.

Mike, If Ty really has several broken ribs, how in the world is he going to play this year at running back? Could he move back to wide receiver?

If he plays, he'll be at RB. The Packers have plenty of receivers, so they don't need him there full-time. I guess we'll wait and see on the final decision. I admire his courage, but I don't want to see him put the rest of the season in jeopardy.

Comment From Guest

Did the Rams give the Packer the formula to beat the Cowboys? Or was it just an up and coming team catching the Cowboys on a bad day?

The Rams just outscored them. It turned into kind of a shootout. LA took advantage of a big turnover in the punt game, and Gurley was too tough to stop both run and pass. I don't think the Packers' personnel is much like LA's at all, but GB has the weapons to score just as many points.

Comment From Guest

Do you see the Packers running the ball more this Sunday to slow down the Cowboys pass rush?

That would certainly help. Getting Bakhtiari and Bulaga back would help even more.

Comment From steve

Hey Mike, I know we all know how the Packers are doing...but how are YOU doing today?

A little sluggish. Banged up from some recent racquetball games, but so it goes.

Comment From Rodney

Do you think Aaron Jones did enough to slide into the number 2 runningback position behind Ty when he gets healthy?

I don't think that matters much now, frankly. It's about who's healthy and able to go full speed.

Comment From Paul

Hi Mike, why is it that Marty repeatedly received the pass where there was little chance of advancement?

I think Rodgers is trying to find a rhythm with Bennett and get him involved. I know some of those have been for minimal gain, but making one guy miss can always change that.

Comment From Matt

Better stadium, Jerry World or the new Falcons home?

They're very similar actually, but I like the Falcons' video boards going around the outside near the roof, rather than hanging so huge right in the middle of everything.

Comment From Ken

At the season's quarter pole, how have the Packers performed relative to your expectations?

I think 3-1 is about what I expected, but as for a more detailed evaluation, it's hard to say because there have been so many injuries to starters and key players.

Comment From evan

How much do you expect to see Devante Mays this weekend? Dude is a tank.

I would think he'd be at least on the active 46 given the situations with Montgomery and Jones. I'm sure he's itching for a chance.

Comment From Lee

Hi Mike, I went back and watched Aaron Jones in college and wonder what would've happened if Jones played for a big name college like Alabama or Clemson. I believe he would had gone in the first round draft. He ran with power and quickness.

The draft is a crystal-ball business, and it can be hard to get the right read. There's no shame in being a fifth-round pick. It's all what you do with your chance when it comes your way.

Comment From Pack fan from Canada

Mike there have been a lot of comments about the NFL appeal process for suspensions being a joke, since they always reduce the suspensions initially decided, example Trevathan. What is your opinion on that.

It's a collectively bargained process, and as such each case has to be taken individually, not with an idea toward sending some sort of "message" at the expense of one player.

Comment From Nate

Did I ever tell you that my buddy and I went to Plae Bistro a couple years ago, based on your recommendation in one of these chats? Loved it, by the way.

Glad you enjoyed it. Reminds me I haven't stopped in for a while and should do so.

Comment From Jerry

What's the story with Randall?? It's an "internal matter", but this is an external forum ... what gives ?? ...

I don't know. A lot of questions on Randall, and I don't know anything, as Coach McCarthy has kept it internal, as he promised. We'll see if Randall addresses the media this week and/or sees the field on Sunday. I don't know how else to comment without assurance of facts.

Comment From Randy

King against Bryant, if that ends up being the match up will be fun to watch. King has the confidence to challenge him. If you can get into Bryant's head you can take him out of the game, don't you think?

King doesn't seem to back down from anybody, and Bryant will be no different. I don't think it's smart to ever play the head games, and King doesn't seem like that kind of player in the short time I've seen him, but whatever works I guess.

Comment From Joe

Congrats to Clay Mathews. He seems to be playing at another gear this year. What do you think?

He's healthy. Let's hope he stays that way.

Comment From Tom

Our team has limped its way to 3-1. If we can stop the injuries and get healthy, watch out.

Getting healthy for these back-to-back road trips to Dallas and Minnesota will be important.

Comment From Justin

Hi Mike, what's the deal with the Ezekiel Elliott suspension; a hearing was this week correct?

The hearing is finished. Everyone is waiting on a decision that will determine whether Elliott has to start his suspension immediately, or if he can play while he the entire court ordeal plays out. Whether that decision comes before Sunday, I don't know.

Comment From Cody

In the past I know we've struggled against the read option QBs. Against the kind of rushing attack Dallas can bring would base or nitro be utilized more? Or is it just about trying to get our "hot hands" on defense out on the field

You need to play your best players, unless schematically you're caught in bad matchups. Defending the read option is about assignment football and getting off blocks.

Comment From Johan

What do you bench ?? Did you hear the snippet about the Northwestern nose tackle who does 37 reps at 225# ???

Yeah, heard that. I think I could do 37 reps at 25.

Comment From Cameron

Mike, what is the key for the Packers offense this week to win if the game becomes a shootout?

Stay in rhythm, use all the weapons. Find which is working better -- no huddle and no subs, or constantly changing personnel groups. The Packers have shown they can be efficient both ways when needed. Which way will work better against Dallas? That's the question.

Comment From Keith

Hey Mike, so which is it? Are we 95-94-6 against Chicago or 94-93-6? I kept hearing both, thanks.

It's 95-94-6 including the two postseason contests, in '41 and 2010. The other record is the regular-season one.

Comment From Ray L

I'd just as soon see Elliot play Sunday. He seems to be tired and distracted. Albert Morris looked fresh last week.

The Cowboys have options. They have McFadden, too, right? I'm not counting on Elliott to look tired and distracted, though.

Comment From Jonah L

Who do you think would be the ideal player to spy Prescott?

You've got choices there. Jones, Burnett, maybe Martinez.

Comment From Randy

Good to see Davante Adams up an around. After seeing that hit I cringed and was worried for his long term health. I hope he doesn't rush back too quickly as we need him for the long run.

He's bounced back from big hits like this before. Great to see him doing well. Certainly could have been a lot worse, and thankful it wasn't.

Comment From Bill

Do you think Perry plays Sunday?

He played last Thursday with the club, so I don't see why not.

Comment From Jerry Erie. Pa.

How is Lowry doing? He is one of my favorites that needs to keep playing better for this defense to excel.

The Packers are counting on his development, and he's definitely making strides. Lowry looks so much more confident this year, and that's to be expected.

Comment From Gavin

Did you ever cover Eugene Robinson? From what I've seen on the field and in interviews, Josh Jones has a similar aura.

I did cover Eugene during the '97 Super Bowl season in my newspaper days. I think their skill sets are quite different, though.

Comment From Matt W.

Mike what's up with the Packers not having a noon game through the first 5 weeks?

TV likes GB's fan base.

Comment From Chris

I think Vogel deserves some cred ... field position matters and in general, he's done his part to tilt it our way ...

I think Vogel is off to a solid start. He's getting the job done. Tough road environments the next two weeks and then the weather will start to turn, but he's handled everything pretty well so far.

Comment From Shaun

When does House come back? And if he comes back this week does he cover Bryant?

We'll see if House is back at practice this week. From there, it depends if the Packers want to match up, or just play sides. They've done both over the years.

Comment From Jake K.

It's my understanding that "pushing the pile" is technically illegal, as is holding a runner up on his feet so you can try to punch the ball out of his hands. In the interest of safety, do you ever see the league actually enforcing these rules?

As I said, I expect quicker whistles to start coming.

Comment From Gavin

The entire NFL is wide-open at the moment. No seemingly great teams, not even Kansas City. If the Packers can get some guys back, they might be better than anyone.

I always consider it wide open in Sept. and Oct. What matters is getting yourself in position, and then being healthy and playing well down the stretch. That's how you pinpoint the teams with the best chance.

Comment From Steve

Mike why do I hate the Cowboys so much?

They rank up there as a love 'em or hate 'em team for everybody, right?

Comment From Tom T.

What matchup are you most looking forward to this Sunday?

Cowboys pass rush vs. Packers O-line

Comment From Hobowilly

What's it like to work with the Rock? He seems very thoughtful, thorough and a fun guy to work with.

No doubt. We actually work together more during training camp than the regular season, when we're doing our own thing more, but I really enjoy his Rock Reports and other contributions to our site.

Comment From Luke Mashak

Who is the most underrated player on the roster?

Maybe Corey Linsley.

Comment From Pack fan from Canada

Mike, Ive noticed Martinez playing with Burnett in Nitro more than Ryan. Now that Ryan is back from injury, do you think he plays more, or we stick with Martinez?

Good question. Martinez seems to be the guy for the speed factor with nitro, but Ryan could play there for more size against the run.

Comment From Susie

The Packers will have the rest advantage each of the next two weeks. A nice break for a battered team.

You're right, the Vikings play on Monday night this week. The Rams were coming off the long break from a Thursday night game when they went into Dallas, too.

Comment From Dan

Do you think a loud dome or cold weather is the greater home field advantage?

Pretty even, and you can only have one or the other.

OK, I have to head out to practice soon. I'll take a few more. Thanks for all the questions today. It's been hard to keep up, but sorry if I didn't get to yours.

Comment From Dan

Is this a must-win game for the Cowboys?

No, not in Week 5 at 2-2, but the Cowboys need to start protecting their home turf. Losing in the playoffs to GB last January, losing last week. They'll be looking to get their home-field advantage back.

Comment From Rodney

Do you see McCray being the primary right tackle backup for not just this year, but going forward? Seems that he has done exceedingly well in that spot.

I don't know about long-term, but McCray has made himself a much more valuable player with that kind of versatility.

Comment From Liam

What do you think about Devante Adams actually having a chance to play this week?!? That kid is tough

If he's cleared from the protocol, he'll be out there, and he won't look back. That's how Adams is.

Comment From Gretchen

The lego highlights are really amazing. That must take some time. And this year there are multiple camera angles to boot. Does the Packers video department do these?

No, wish we could take credit, but those are contracted out to a very talented individual. I hope we have occasion to do more. They're a blast, and my kids love 'em too.

Comment From Greg

Who's the most important player for the Packers to have back this week?

Hard to choose between Daniels, Bakhtiari and Bulaga. I'll be greedy and hope for all 3.

Comment From Zack

I think it's not a must win, but a "you better win". We're about to see a very motivated Dallas squad.

That's a good last word for today. OK, gotta run. Thanks everyone. Take care, Mike

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