The Green Bay Packers Will Dominate The Dallas Cowboys
Currently the Cowboys actually have a better record than the Packers thanks to their wild-card win. They will travel to Lambeau Field with as much confidence as a road team can have, thanks to a perfect road record on the season.
While the Cowboys would seem to have the ability to control the clock and therefore the flow of this game with Demarco Murray, and likely get single coverage for Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, they are going to run into a number of obstacles that the fans may not expect.
First, the Cowboys barely squeaked by a Lions team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1991, led by a Quarterback who has NEVER beaten a winning team on the road. The role that the refs played in this game has been blown up over the last few days, and the league will seek to justify this mistake to the benefit of the Packers on Sunday.
Second, the Packers offense is like nothing the Cowboys have faced all season. While Dallas has had their games against the Eagles and Colts, both of whom ranked in the top five in ppg, the Packers are a different beast. Green Bay led the league in scoring at 30.4 ppg on the season; and that was with Aaron Rodgers on the bench for almost two full games as the Packers built monstrous leads in a number of games.
The Packers stretch the field with a very dangerous deep ball. Dallas ranks 26th in the league in passing defense. The highest scoring team in the league vs one of the worst passing defenses? That spells big-time trouble for the Cowboys. They could very easily be playing from behind early and making them one dimensional makes them very beatable.
Third will be the sheer cold factor. The Cowboys have not played a game in conditions like the one on Sunday for a very long time. Dallas had a mild game at Chicago where the game time temp was 35 degrees. That will feel very warm compared to the wind chills that could easily be in single digits or lower on Sunday.
In their last bone-chilling cold day, an away game at Chicago in December of 2013, the wind chills were below zero and a Josh-McCown led Bears team defeated the Cowboys 45-28. Tony Romo went 11/20 for 104 yards in that game.
The biggest factor though is the surprise of the season. A Packers team who was one of the worst against the rush in the first part of the season will play a Cowboys team who was second in the league in rushing yards per game. Easy win for the Cowboys, right? WRONG!
Over the final eight weeks of the season the Green Bay Packers have allowed only 86 rushing yards per game; that is good enough for fourth in the league. Over that same time span plus the wild card game, Demarco Murray has been held under 82 rushing yards FIVE times! He wasn’t held under 100 rushing yards A SINGLE TIME in the Cowboys first eight games.
The improvement for the Packers and the wearing down of Murray spells disaster for the Cowboys. If they cannot get the running game going, they will be forced to play from behind as they did against Detroit. But this time they will be throwing against a top 10 pass defense that led the league in turnover ratio and was 7th with 18 picks on the year.
Get ready to be disappointed Cowboys fans. Rodgers is rested and unlike Romo, has actually had playoff success. Romo has six scores and two picks in five career playoff games. Rodgers has 22 scores and only five picks in ten career playoff games. If this turns into a battle of the quarterbacks in the frigid Green Bay air, it’s over.
Prediction: 41-24, Packers win.