Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers: Complete NFL Playoffs Preview & Predictions for NFC Division Game [VOTE]
The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, both decorated teams with rich Super Bowl history, will battle in the NFC Divisional game on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. EST.
What a game NFL fans have in front of them. The Packers and Cowboys will renew their NFC rivalry with each other at the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The last time these two teams met at Lambeau in the postseason was the famous 1967 Ice Bowl game, where temperatures were well under -10 degrees and lower than -40 degrees with the wind chill.
It won't be nearly as cold as was in 1967, but just like then, both teams are playing for a championship.
Green Bay Packers
With a 12-4 record, the Packers again won the NFC North ahead of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings. The Packers have now won the NFC North four consecutive seasons. Thanks to the Packers successful regular season finish, they received a bye week, as did the Seattle Seahawks.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn't practiced a lot lately because of a torn calf muscle. The All Pro quarterback had another elite season throwing 38 touchdowns and just five interceptions with a 112.2 passer rating. Many NFL experts firmly believe Rodgers is the NFL MVP this season. Thanks to Rodgers and Eddie Lacy, the Packers had the No. 1 scoring offense in the league this season.
Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were the top two wide outs for the Packers, each having over 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
The biggest issue facing the Packers is stopping the run. The Packers had the No. 23 rank run defense, and with DeMarco Murray coming to town, that may spell trouble. Still, the Packers and head coach McCarthy will be prepared for whatever comes at them. The Packers defense is also very good at forcing turnovers.
Surprisingly, the Packers have struggled at Lambeau Field in the postseason recently. The Packers have lost their last three home playoff games against starting quarterbacks.
"Americas Team" is just one victory away their first NFC Championship appearance since their Super Bowl run 1995.
Thanks to Murray, the Cowboys have the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL. This season Murray broke Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith's single season rushing record accounting for 1,845 yards on the ground. Wide receiver Dez Bryant had another fantastic season with a team-leading 1,320 receiving yards, 88 catches and 16 touchdowns. Terrance Williams, Jason Witten and Cole Beasley have also been providing great plays for the Cowboys air attack.
The Cowboys were a perfect 4-0 in December, thus winning the NFC East over the Philadelphia Eagles. In the wild card round, the Cowboys defeated the Detroit Lions at home. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attends Cowboys games, the team is 5-0. Good luck, or maybe just coincidence?
Last season the Cowboys had the third worst defense in NFL history, but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has been doing a tremendous job with this squad. The Cowboys defense ranks 15th in points allowed and has forced the second most turnovers in the entire league. Stopping Lacy will be a must, and the Cowboys run defense ranks eighth overall.
The biggest question for the Cowboys will be, Can they stop Rodgers and that high powered passing attack?
Schedule, Where to Watch
The Cowboys and Packers are scheduled to play each other on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 1:05 p.m. EST on FOX. The game will be played at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. You can view a live game stream here.
The 8-0 on the road Cowboys against the 8-0 at home Packers. This game will be close from start to finish, no doubt about that. Neither team has an outstanding defense, but they both have quality running backs, receivers and quarterbacks. Rodgers' calf injury may affect his scrambling ability, and that could be huge in this game. Expect Bryant to have a big day against the Packers secondary.
Cowboys win 31-27
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