Somehow, someway, the Dallas Cowboys trailed by just 14 at halftime of today's game in Green Bay. After getting just a small taste of what Eddie Lacy had in store on the opening drive, a Brandon Carr pass breakup forced a punt and led to the Cowboys driving down to the goal line.
After getting just a small taste of what Eddie Lacy had in store on the opening drive, a Brandon Carr pass breakup forced a punt and led to the Cowboys driving down to the goal line.
A fifty yard rush by Darren McFadden put the Cowboys in an early position to take the lead, something I said was critical earlier in the week. Instead, on third down, Sam Shields intercepted Matt Cassel to swing momentum. The pass was intended for none other than Dez Bryant.
From this point on, it felt like the Packers were comfortably playing their style while Dallas tried to keep up. On a drive that was extended by a penalty after the interception, James Starks appeared to score on third and goal. Instead, it was overturned as Green Bay kept the offense on the field to go for it.
Aaron Rodgers was stuffed on the quarterback sneak, as the Cowboys kept the game scoreless. Starting from their own one-yard line, Dez Bryant picked up a quick nine yards taking a screen pass out of the end zone.
However, as we have seen time and time again on third and short, the Cowboys were stuffed handing the ball to Robert Turbin and gave the ball back to the Packers in great field position.
James Jones, working on Brandon Carr, converted a critical third and ten on a drive that ended in a James Starks receiving touchdown – giving the Packers the first lead of the day at 7-0.
Another overturned Dez Bryant reception (this one actually incomplete) would stall the ensuing Cowboys drive, and the Packers quickly pushed the lead to two scores. A Richard Rodgers touchdown capped off an eleven play 81-yard drive.
Yet another Cowboys three and out gave Green Bay a chance to really put the game out of reach, but another DeMarcus Lawrence sack sent the game to the locker room – after the Cowboys elected to not use the little time remaining.
The Packers held the ball for 20:16 in the first half, leading 14-0 at the break. Matt Cassel would get the ball to start the second half, and promptly go three and out.
The Cowboys would once again rise up to force a punt, which became a theme in the second half. That is after Dallas took just four plays to pull within a score, as McFadden went for 44 yards followed by back to back rushes of 22 and 7 from Turbin – the latter going in for a touchdown to close the gap to 14-7.
Greg Hardy would record a huge third-down sack on the next drive to force a punt, and the Cowboys had some life. The chance was quickly wasted by another Dez Bryant drop on first down, leading to a Jason Witten reception short of the marker on third down.
This would be the first of five consecutive punts, before Aaron Rodgers sealed the deal against a tired defense with an 84-yard drive. The key play of the scoring drive came on a third and five, when Rodgers scrambled up the middle and broke a tackle from Tyrone Crawford to pick up the first down.
Later, on a second and 25, James Starks went for 30 yards and a score – increasing the lead to 21-7. Green Bay's running game wore down Dallas the entire game, and they added one more Eddie Lacy touchdown for good measure after a Cowboys turnover on downs.
The Cowboys lost in an uninspiring performance 28-7, going one for eleven on third down. Matt Cassel failed to get anything going down the field, as Dallas was forced to abandon a rushing attack that had moments of dominance in this game.
The Cowboys now sit at 4-9, as the Eagles and Redskins moved to 6-7 with wins today. The Giants play in Miami against the Dolphins tomorrow night.
Dallas' next game will be at home this Saturday against the Jets.
The Packers will go to Oakland at 9-4, leading the NFC North with a two-game winning streak.