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Recent posts by Dan Arkush
Here's a look at a key matchup heading into the Week Nine prime-time battle between the Packers and Cowboys.
Packers OLT Chad Clifton vs. Cowboys ROLB DeMarcus Ware
If Clifton rises to the occasion this Sunday night, matched up against the dangerous Ware, the same way he did in his last prime-time appearance when matched up against Minnesota's Jared Allen — making Allen a virtual nonfactor — the Packers' offense could have a big night. But Clifton's steady stream of rock-solid appearances came to an end last Sunday, when he came down to earth against the Jets. Clifton had problems with the Jets' Jason Taylor and drew a critical false-start penalty, and he will have to be much sharper against Ware.
Ware had only one QB hurry against Jacksonville in the Cowboys' latest ugly loss, but he has been a big-time pass-rush force most of the time. The Jaguars seldom had only one blocker working against Ware, and it's quite likely the Packers will frequently double-up on him in the same manner, with lots of chips from backs. Tied for second in the league with eight sacks behind Green Bay's Clay Matthews, Ware also has registered 27 tackles (fifth-most on the team), 3½ stuffs for six yards in losses, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. With outstanding speed and body control, relentless pursuit and great upper-body strength, Ware could be tough for Clifton to handle if he comes to play, which is quite likely before a national audience.