As the Dallas Cowboys prepare to host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Round, the biggest question surrounding the home team is whether rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott can help the ‘Boys keep pace with Aaron Rodgers. It’s the first playoff game for either player, and it’s not hard to imagine a bit of anxiety and nerves will be at play.
That’s not a situation owner Jerry Jones is worried about, though. Instead, he sees them as veterans already, considering their big-game experience in college.
Jerry Jones on first playoff game for Dak/Zeke: They've competed at highest level in big college games. Makes them equivalent to vet players
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 10, 2017
Based on how Zeke and Dak have performed all year, playing at a high level against some of the NFL’s best teams, it’s not crazy to assume they’ll treat this game like every other game. This is especially true for Elliott, who played in the 2014 CFP National Championship Game, earning Offensive MVP honors in Ohio State’s 42-20 win over Oregon.
But the biggest question mark is how Prescott will play. He did play in some big games in the SEC at Mississippi State but has never before been involved in anything at the college level to compare with the NFL Playoffs. Also, he struggled a few times against teams that could bring pressure off the edge, most notably against the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s not a given Prescott will be magnificent against the Packers, who really turned up the heat defensively last weekend against the Giants. He’ll need to be on his best behavior to keep up with Rodgers, who’s been unstoppable the past seven games — all wins for Green Bay.