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On Deck: Packers



    On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Cowboys game during the 2013 season.

    The Opponent: The Eagles win over Detroit was doubly bad for the Cowboys. For obvious reasons (the Eagles winning) but also because the Packers are now just a half-game out of first place in the NFC North behind the Lions and Bears, who are tied atop the division. That gives the Packers a ton to play for on Sunday, as well as the Cowboys. But, there's a lot of speculation that Aaron Rodgers will miss yet another game at quarterback after it was thought he could return against the Cowboys and their porous defense. This is obviously a bonus for Dallas, but as we've known for some time, nothing is a sure thing with this team.

    Key Matchup: DAL defensive line vs. GB quarterbacks: No matter who's under center for the Packers, whether it's Rodgers or more likely Matt Flynn, the Cowboys defense, and particularly the front four has to make things uncomfortable for the Packers' signal-caller. If there's one thing the Cowboys defense has done relatively well this year, it's force turnovers. If Flynn is starting, he's going to be ripe for mistakes and the Cowboys must force some.

    Who's Hot: DeMarco Murray has been on fire as of late, and had his best game of the season on Monday night against what might be the worst run defense in the NFL, despite the Cowboys' loss. Murray has neared the 100-yard mark several times in recent weeks, and shattered it on Monday night. The Packers' run defense is certainly nothing great, so Murray should be in line for another big game.

    Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson is just the type of guy that can burn Dallas' secondary. He's big and he's fast, and he's coming off a solid game against the Falcons last week when the Packers snapped a five-game skid. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy has been good as of late, but he's also questionable for Sunday after being injured against Atlanta.

    Who's Not: Certainly the weather on Monday night in Chicago had a lot to do with it, but no Cowboys receiver had more than two catches in the game, including Dez Bryant, who must get more touches than that for the Cowboys to be successful.

    The Packers' offense is nowhere close to what it is when Rodgers is healthy, which isn't surprising, and that's a big reason why they'd lost five straight before their one-point win over the Falcons on Sunday. Flynn just took the job from Scott Tolzien a couple of weeks ago but hasn't resembled the Flynn from 2011 that earned himself a big contract in Seattle last year only to lose his job to rookie Russell Wilson in training camp.