Don't look for Cowboys to blitz Aaron Rodgers

IRVING, Texas – The Detroit Lions were criticized after their Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers for not blitzing quarterback Aaron Rodgers after he aggravated a calf injury.

Don’t look for the Dallas Cowboys to do that either when they play the Packers in the divisional round Sunday at Lambeau Field.

It’s not in their DNA.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Cowboys brought pressure just 23.7 percent of the time during the season. Only seven teams brought extra rushers less than the Cowboys.

And blitzing Rodgers has not been a good strategy. Since 2008, he has 91 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions against the blitz. He was sacked 28 times, a low for when he has played a full season. Teams only blitzed the Packers 26.4 percent of the time, and only four offenses faced fewer blitzes.

“We have to do what we do,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We have to do that on defense, we have to do that on offense and in the kicking game – we have to be who we are. That’s a really, really important thing for our football team. I think the best teams in all of sports do that. Having said that, [Rodgers' injury) is a factor in the game. He is an awfully good football player, and if he plays in the gam,e he’ll challenge us in a lot of different ways.”

The Cowboys don’t doubt he will play. They don’t doubt his calf will be hurt. They just don’t care if he is hurt or not.

“He doesn’t have a hurt arm, so it doesn’t matter,” defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. “He’s a tough player. He’s a fierce competitor. I know he’s going to come to play and we look forward to the challenge.”

The Cowboys’ four-man pass rush has improved lately. They have 12 sacks in the last four games, which is their best four-game total of the season.

“We’re going to stick to our guns, man,” Mincey said. “We’ll just keep him in the pocket and keep some pressure on him. We just got to execute the game plan the way coach has it dialed up.”