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Inbox: It was the right adjustment to make

Za’Darius Smith didn’t get that “C” on his chest for nothing

Head Coach Matt LaFleur
Head Coach Matt LaFleur

Tom from Birmingham, MI

Gentlemen, is "1/11th" the next T-shirt?

If it is, I wear a medium. Good morning!

Zachery from Clarkfield, MN

Would you classify that game as one of the most "complete team" games the Packers have played this year?

Mayhap. It was a balanced performance. The offense and defense picked each other up in the second half, and special teams helped the Packers prevail in the field-position battle.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Great win, Wes. I'm blown away winning four of the first five. Talking to my brother Sunday night and he asked me if I thought the Packers were "for real." After a bit I finally said, "Well, their record sure is." At the time I was looking at the team stats and the deficits were a little overwhelming. The plus-three in turnovers and a career breakout game by Aaron Jones are great but are they sustainable? So I'm passing the question on to you Wes – are they "for real?"

In the NFL, you are what your record says you are and the Packers are 4-1. I'd say that's as real as it gets.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

It sure is nice to see the offense keeping up with the defense. I would be a liar if I said I didn't think the Packers would miss Davante Adams. The offensive unit, with so many injuries, did what a championship-style team does: win with the team on the field. No excuses, just results. I also have more confidence in Matt LaFleur's abilities as a play-caller. It was very well thought out to run inside instead of outside with the Cowboys' speed. If you could be the play-caller against the Lions how would you attack their defense?

That was a great decision by LaFleur and the offensive coaching staff to work inside-zone and negate the sideline-to-sideline speed of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. The offensive line blocked it well and Aaron Jones made every cut count. It also says a lot about LaFleur's flexibility and willingness to adapt. It was the right adjustment to make to win that game.

Rick from Atlanta, GA

No lead-in, just an open question: Any thoughts regarding the play of the receiving corps sans Adams?

The statistics are what they are, but here's the thing – what did I say all of last week in this column and all the videos we produce on It was going to take everyone – not just the receiving corps – to shoulder the load without Adams. Aaron Jones did that, Danny Vitale did that, the tight ends did that, and so did the receivers when called upon.

Cory from Atlanta, GA

Wow. I love seeing the Packers win. But what I love more than anything is the attitude. The use of the word, "Family," holding (teammates) accountable, and just having fun is what stands out to me with this year's team. Do you see into this at all? Is there a big difference from the past few years?

The public sees it the most with the defense but that enthusiasm extends to every position in the locker room. For example, JK Scott congratulating Za'Darius Smith on a job well done in the postgame locker room video.

Craigly from Grand Rapids, MI

Gets game ball after tying a Packer record. Promptly throws it to the men blocking for him. Love this team's vibe right now. That gave me chills.

And then the offensive line threw it right back to Jones. What a group.

LeeAnn from Carefree, IN

The last time Za'Darius Smith was injured and he limped off the field it seemed many in the crowd were booing. I don't think I've ever seen an injured player booed before. What was that about?

It probably was just frustration with the way in which the game played out relative to their expectations. Still, it was rather unbecoming. Za'Darius Smith wasn't acting injured – he was playing injured and doing everything possible to stay on the field for his team.

Jon from Towanda, PA

There is something special brewing in Wisconsin, and it's not in Milwaukee. How about that pass rush?

Za'Darius Smith (five sacks) and Preston Smith (5½ sacks) haven't just been two of the Packers' best free-agent signings in recent history. The Smiths are quickly becoming two of the best in the entire league. Everyone will point to the sacks as proof of how the duo silenced Ray Lewis' criticism, but the truth is they didn't need them to validate their leadership. The locker room knows the character of those two men and what they've brought to this team. They've changed the culture of that defense, along with powering a more consistent pass rush.

Cameron from Wayland, MI

Did you see Smith do the Ray Lewis for his sack dance? I would like to thank Ray Lewis for giving our defense extra bulletin material this week. They came out inspired and played great football and with good leadership, too.

The last thing I'm going to say on this topic is Lewis needs to be better researched when providing his analysis. Say what you want about how the defense performed against the Eagles but all Za'Darius Smith, in particular, has done since coming to Green Bay is lead. He's pulled the defense together for meetings, dinners and camaraderie activities. He didn't get that "C" on his chest for nothing.

Paul from Oshkosh, WI

It felt a little to me like the Cowboys beat themselves on Sunday. Having said that, the Packers capitalized on the opportunities provided by Dallas' mistakes and made plays when they needed to. There's a lot to clean up but I'm happy with the win – the key for the rest of the season is to start winning games when the other team doesn't make big mistakes – games like the one against Philly. Understanding that's a tall order, what'll it take for the Packers to be able to do that?

Here's how you win consistently in the NFL – take the ball away, protect it and make no apologies for a victory. The Cowboys didn't beat themselves. The more consistent team in all three phases won. And that's how you win games like Week 4 against the Eagles.

Drew from Rogers, MI

Last season we had to endure the never-ending reports and questions about Aaron Jones getting more touches. After watching his minus-10-yard run in the fourth quarter in Dallas where he cut back and forth and then seemingly stumbled from "jelly legs," I'm wondering, was that TOO MANY touches?

It's the old Hodkiewicz cake conundrum – do you eat too little and save the calories or eat too much and feel full. The Packers needed to let the big dog eat Sunday – and he did. It was a masterful, four-quarter performance by Jones.

Michael from Portland, OR

Aaron Jones seems to have a very distinct, if not unique, running style and stride. Don't like the comparison game but do you see any running back that is similar? Jonathan Taylor comes to mind.

You guys know my feelings on comparisons. I stopped doing them the day Jessica Simpson asked Nick Lachey if tuna is like chicken or fish. Aaron Jones isn't Jonathan Taylor or Alvin Kamara or Barry Sanders. He's Aaron Jones and he put the NFL on notice Sunday.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Mike said it best: "The Cowboys aren't a bad team, so they were going to get something done." To expect to be able to hold a 31-3 lead against a good team is nonsense. Maybe that happens if the Packers are playing the Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, or Redskins, but honestly, these kinds of wins are much more satisfying than beating up on basement-dwelling teams. (See what I did there?)

Bryan Bulaga was terrific in the postgame locker room on several topics, including how it was inevitable Dallas was going to mount a rally after falling behind 31-3 at home. The Cowboys were too good and too talented not to. In the end, however, the Packers forced key takeaways and drained enough clock to pull it out.

Look inside the Packers locker room after Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Franco from Palmdale, CA

I'm sure a lot of people noticed but Jimmy Graham's run blocking sure did make me proud of him.

I thought both Graham and Marcedes Lewis brought it in the blocking game Sunday. Anytime a tight end or receiver is looking for work downfield to spring a running back, it's going to produce a positive outcome for the offense.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Aaron Jones was our obvious MVP in this one. Among some other strong performances, two people really stood out to me. Will Redmond and Elgton Jenkins. Outside of A. Jones, who do you feel had a standout performance?

Jenkins was solid, especially paving the way for Jones' career day. He slid right in there and maintained the standard Lane Taylor set. Redmond was one of the performers of the game on special teams and again stepped up on defense. One thing many fans forget is Redmond didn't permanently move to safety until midway through training camp. He's now the next man up at two positions.

Mike from Ames, IA

A lot of talking heads discount Rodgers as a leader, but his postgame comments about Lucas Patrick showed his true character to me. Just wanted to give Patrick a shout-out too, another great "Next Man Up" performance for the Pack. Injury concerns are very real right now, but this team seems to have a lot of trust in each other, right?

I have a ton of respect for Patrick. He's the definition of a gamer. I'm still trying to figure out whether Patrick has ever played center in an actual regular-season game or not. He did a great job filling in at a position he'd never played until coming to Green Bay.

Ben from Winston, OR

Just an observation based on Aaron Rodgers' own words from the Eagles' loss, but for the second week in a row, if Rodgers waits for another split-second and looks right he would have found an open receiver, Jake Kumerow, for a touchdown instead of a knocked-down pass at the goal line.

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, maybe every fan would be happy. But the game isn't played in the rear-view mirror. It's played at 120 mph in real time.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Hello Wes. I'd like to acknowledge the performance of Mason Crosby and JK Scott in the Dallas win. They're not on many commentators' radar after the game but I'm sure their teammates are happy to have them!

Scott has been exceptional through the first month of the season (48.3-yard average for gross, 44.1 net). It's early but the lack of late-season outdoor games could result in Scott shattering several franchise records if he can keep this pace. He and the punt coverage unit were on the top of their game inside AT&T Stadium – 49.5 gross average, 46.5 net and two of six punts inside the Cowboys' 20.

Matt from Indianapolis, IN

I have not seen the question answered if that one direct snap to Jones was really the design of the play or did the ball get close enough that he grabbed it and ran with it? Might be a play for the future if not designed.

Ha. Didn't Spoff literally answer this Monday? If you're looking for a more expansive answer, Aaron Rodgers said it wasn't intentional. He and Jones stayed alert for it, though, and it resulted in two positive plays.

Steve from Middletown, KY

I agree with Jeanne in yesterday's II. Besides the possible taunting penalty, you put a target on your back. Insulting other pro players isn't a healthy way to conduct business. He obviously had the best game of his career to date, so I can understand the extra emotions. Will the coaches even address it or do they just point it out and move on?

If I know Ben Sirmans like I think I do, he's already addressed it with Jones.

John from Peoria, IL

I was very impressed with Tra Carson on Sunday, especially with blitz pickup. Seemed like those are the kind of performances that successful teams need to get from their "next man up."

It didn't surprise me. Carson is a vet who does all the little things right and can play the core four special-teams units.

Dale from Wilton, WI

Listening to the game on the radio, I couldn't believe the roughing-the-passer penalty that Dak Prescott scrambled on. After seeing the replay, is a head slap enough for an RTP?

We'll see what the league says this week when it hands out fines. My hope is they don't issue one to Rashan Gary, which means the play shouldn't have been flagged. I don't know how you flag that and even that iffy running-into-the-punter call on Scott but then miss Kenny Clark getting blocked in the back. It was a long game. I honestly think the refs were just worn down by the end. At least, it looked that way.

Jon from West Des Moines, IA

Maybe I'm being a little bit too confident here, but I really like how we match up with the Lions. It's always interesting with them being a division rival, but I really think they are going to struggle against our defense. Thoughts?

I like the matchup for the Packers, but we also have to see what the injury report looks like Thursday with Darius Slay (hamstring), T.J. Hockenson (concussion) and Mike Daniels (foot) all coming off injuries. The same also can be said for Davante Adams, Jamaal Williams and Green Bay.

Oscar from Sherman Oaks, CA

Two things: First, what the hell was that reporter asking Aaron Rodgers at his postgame conference? Second, that was a nice tribute Chandon Sullivan did for Nick Collins with the pose at the end zone after his interception. As always, GO PACK GO!

My first thought was that guy is still around, huh? Why do the Cowboys keep credentialing him? I didn't get a chance to talk to Chandon after the game, but I loved the celebration. It was a respectful and timely nod to history. I'm looking forward to talking with him about it this week.

Jeff from Sparta, WI

Have you noticed that the next two opponents are coming off their bye weeks before facing the Pack and the third opponent is coming off a Thursday night game so it has 10 days to prepare? Does the NFL not pay attention when they put a schedule together or will they hammer a team purposely like this for some reason? A lot of fans were happy with all the home games to start the season, where I saw it as bad news because we pay for it at the end.

Doubt it. The Packers have to be ready for the best effort of both the Lions and Raiders these next two weeks.

Daniel from Atlanta, GA

Trevor Davis had a nice return for the Raiders on Sunday. I still think he has potential as a special-teams player.


Greg from Sacramento, CA

Was that Josh Jones I saw on the Cowboys' sideline on Sunday? If so, when did he become a Cowboy?

Dallas signed him to its practice squad last week.

Ken from Dallas, TX

In response to Dave from Coloma, MI, I was at the game and in the fourth deck area. There was a huge contingent of green and gold clothing and we made a lot of noise. I heard a few Dallas fans say they were sick of the "Go Pack Go" chant. Also, it was a pleasure to meet Wes at the tailgate pep rally on Saturday. Was Mark Murphy on Lombardi time because it seemed the guest speakers started before the 6 p.m. designated start time?

It was great to meet you, Ken. As far as Mark starting early, we arrive and we speak. What's the point of waiting? That's what we're there for.

Dave from Eau Claire, WI

With regards to the hurdling issue, this is absolutely a road the NFL should not go down. This would quickly become another judgment call that would be wildly inconsistent. How would you define a hurdle? Would stepping over a guy on the ground qualify? Defender being somewhere in between on the ground and upright? No thank you. Hurdling is a natural result of a defender trying to tackle too low. Leave it alone.

Well put. And now I intend to leave these comments alone.

Zack from Christiansburg, VA

Skip Bayless just doesn't shut up, does he?