Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are struggling and things won’t get any easier as they face a ferocious Dallas Cowboys defense led by All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons.
The Packers have lost five in a row as they head into the matchup with the 6-2 Cowboys, who are coming off a bye week. Rodgers expects to see quite a bit of Parsons, who has eight sacks this season and makes plays all over the field. The four-time MVP QB had nothing but good things to say about Dallas’ star defender.
“He’s got a lot of things you just can’t coach,” Rodgers said. “The effort he plays with is incredible. He’s definitely a one-of-one in this league. I don’t know if there’s anybody doing as many things as they’re asking him to do.”
Rodgers is coming off back-to-back MVP awards but has struggled this season, tossing seven interceptions to 14 touchdowns with a QB rating of 89 — the lowest of his career. That being said, the respect between Parsons and Rodgers is mutual.
“Yeah I would love a jersey from Rodgers. I’m a fan of him, a fan of the game,” Parsons said. “He’s a guy you want to play against. He’s a guy an idol and a figure in this league that you look up to. I look up to him. He’s been in the league a long time and he’s done it the right way. He’s a helluva player no one can take that from him. Me getting to go against him maybe sack him just might be a mental note for me.”
Cowboys Coach: Parsons Could Start at Every Level of Defense
The Cowboys found a gem in Parsons, who is the heartbeat of the Cowboys’ stellar defense, obliterating opposing offenses with his incredible skill set. Like Rodgers, Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator/secondary coach Joe Witt feels like Parsons is one of a kind and could make an impact at every position on the field.
“This is my 16th year in the league (and) this is the first guy that I know, if he was at safety, could start on all 32 teams at safety. If he was at linebacker, start on all 32 teams at linebacker. If he played defensive end, he’d start on all 32 teams at all three levels of the defense.”
Parsons has 39 pressures and 20 defensive stops this season and the attention he garners has opened up opportunities for his teammates. As a team, the Cowboys are averaging an NFL-best 4.1 sacks per game.
Mike McCarthy Returning to Green Bay for First Time
Sunday’s game will also mark the first return to Green Bay for Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, who spent 13 seasons with the Packers, winning Super Bowl XLV.
There was much made about his relationship with Rodgers but the McCarthy insisted the two are on good terms.
“We’ve had great communication,” McCarthy said. “I have nothing but love and gratitude for him. I think like anything in life, I think personal relationships are private and you got to remember: I was born in the ‘60s. I’m being better at expressing myself publicly. Just a whole lot of appreciation, not only for him but for all the players, the team that we had there. We had some great times.”
McCarthy and the Cowboys are a 4.5-point road favorite for the matchup against the Packers.