Packer Perspective: Aaron Jones forces his way into Packers’ plans with breakout game

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Aaron Jones /

Aaron Jones has officially arrived, and the rookie running back’s breakout performance against the Cowboys has surely landed him a key role in the Green Bay Packers offense.

With Ty Montgomery on the sidelines, Jones was handed the keys to Green Bay’s backfield, not fellow rookie Jamaal Williams.

And Jones made it count, rushing 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. He showed vision, quickness and big-play ability, averaging an impressive 6.6 yards per attempt. Jones’ work on the ground also helped unlock the passing game.

“He’s great,” Aaron Rodgers said postgame. “I told him before the game I have absolutely zero worries about him back there. His vision was fantastic.

“He’s a talented guy. I’m really proud of him. Big step for him today.”

Rodgers has been high on Jones for a while. The rookie’s performance came as no surprise to his quarterback. But what does it mean to the Packers offense moving forward?

This is Montgomery’s backfield, and when he’s 100 percent there’s little doubt he will resume his role as the lead back. But unlike early in the season where we saw Montgomery take almost all of the work, we could now see a 1-2 punch between the two.

It’s an approach head coach Mike McCarthy utilized with Eddie Lacy and James Starks. There’s no reason why the Packers’ new duo can’t be every bit as effective as the Lacy-Starks pairing three years ago.

Williams appears to be the odd man out. Despite practicing fully all week and suiting up for Sunday’s game, the rookie carried the ball just once for one yard.

Jones’ performances over the past couple of weeks have forced the Packers to take notice. Montgomery will likely remain the starter once healthy, but Jones has become a key piece moving forward.

Move over, Jared Cook

The impossible throw by Rodgers. The toe-tap grab by Jared Cook. The walk-off field goal by Mason Crosby. Green Bay’s stunning victory in Dallas last January will never be forgotten, but it is now good for only No. 2 on the list of game-winning drives by the Packers against the Cowboys in the year 2017.

It took 17 plays and almost nine minutes for Dallas to move down the field and score the go-ahead touchdown.

Rodgers needed just 62 seconds and a timeout to restore the Packers’ lead, and it was yet another masterclass from No. 12 at AT&T Stadium.

Crucial two games before bye

This column is all about perspective and looking ahead. Sunday’s win was huge for the Packers, but they must now back it up in the next two before the bye. Up next is a road game at Minnesota, before New Orleans visits Lambeau Field.

Win both, and the Packers will be at least tied for the NFC lead entering their Week 8 bye. The next couple of weeks also provide a great opportunity for the team to improve to 2-0 inside the division, and also score another victory inside the conference.

If Green Bay has ambitions of securing a first-round bye in the postseason, these next couple of games are key.