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Packers-Cowboys matchup of the day: Saturday

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 06, 2010 @ 4:11 p.m. ET
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 RBs Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn vs. Cowboys' LB corps

With WR Donald Driver definitely ruled out of the Cowboys game (thigh) and TE Andrew Quarless considered quite questionable (shoulder), the Packers could really benefit from a respectable effort from their ground game, led by Jackson and Kuhn, both of whom have been a lot better than they've been given credit for. Jackson, in particular, has been surprisingly solid, averaging 5.6 yards per carry in the last month and an impressive 4.4 ypc for the season. Jackson also could be more of a receiving force out of the backfield this Sunday, with Green Bay's passing weapons being whittled down.

The Cowboys rank a disappointing 24th in run defense, a surprising ranking considering that their starting linebackers are widely regarded as being well above average. One exception is 13th-year RILB Keith Brooking, who has really begun to show his age, despite being the team's second-leading tackler behind fellow starting ILB Bradie James. James and Brooking have combined for 93 tackles and 5½ stuffs, but both have looked a step slow this season — Brooking because of his aging body and James because of a knee ailment that has affected his speed to the perimeter.
 
As far as Dallas' outside 'backers go, DeMarcus Ware is much more of a pass rusher than a run defender, while Anthony Spencer is considered one of the league's top run-defending outside 'backers — when he doesn't let his mind wander.

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