The Green Bay Packers are coming off a first round bye. Entering the Divisional Round as the number two overall seed in the NFC playoffs, the Packers will have to beat a very hot Cowboys teams with an injured Aaron Rodgers. In week 17, Rodgers suffered a significant strain to his left calf muscle. Although Rodgers returned to the game later to lead the Packers to victory, his injury has not entirely healed. At Lambeau Field, the temperature at game time will be 23 degrees. The effects of the cold temperature on Rodger’s injury is something to watch come game time.
The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Detroit Lions in last week’s Wild Card round. Dallas was down 13 points late in the third quarter before storming back to take the lead late in the game. The refs negated a pass-interference call on Dallas that would have allowed the Lions to keep possession and run more time off the clock. Instead, Detroit had to punt and Dallas was able to complete the comeback. This week in Green Bay, the Cowboys will face their biggest challenge of the season.
Packers Vs Cowboys Divisional Round Odds
Here are the odds from Betonline.ag
Cowboys +5.5 (-110)
Packers -5.5 (-110)
Packers: With an extra week of rest, Aaron Rodgers is still not 100% healthy. Rodgers will need to rely on a balanced offensive attack to overcome his limitations. Rodgers excels at leaving the pocket and buying time for his receivers. Without the added threat of a mobile Rodgers, the Cowboys will not have to worry about Rodgers’ extending plays with his feet. The Packers offensive-line has played extremely well and that will help. With the potential of Rodgers being limited, the offense then needs to shift to Eddie Lacy. Even with a slight injury, Rodgers was going to need a balanced attack to beat a much improved Dallas defense. Eddie Lacy has brought a powerful running-style that compliments the Packers’ big play wide-receivers. Jordy Nelson will almost certainly face double coverage. Against the Bills, Nelson faced a double team with a safety over the top no matter where he was on the field. The Packers receivers are all talented, and Randall Cobb is certainly no slouch as a number two receiver, but Jordy Nelson, especially at home, is on a different stratosphere in terms of overall skill. Nelson is the best deep ball receiver in the NFL—period. The Cowboys cannot allow Rodgers to connect on a long pass with Nelson.
Cowboys: The Cowboys, against Detroit, displayed a level of poise and mental toughness that has come to define their season. Detroit’s defense played outstanding, but the Packers offense is an entirely different puzzle. The Cowboys have thrived on playing a simple and straight up style of defense that relies on turnovers. The Cowboys generate a lot of pressure even from just rushing three and four guys. This allows the Dallas defense to focus more on coverage, which has resulted in more turnovers. The Packers do not turn the ball over often. This matchup pits two teams with opposing strengths and something will have to give. Dallas needs to win the turnover battle to advance to the NFC Championship.
The Packers and Cowboys have not played a playoff game against each other since the 1967 “Ice Bowl” won by Green Bay. The Packers are 8-0 at home, while the Cowboys are 8-0 on the road. The key to this game is time of possession. The Cowboys will need to extend drives to beat the Packers at home. The key for the Cowboys is the ground game. The Packers have had a solid run defense ever since they moved Clay Mathews inside at linebacker. To win the game, DeMarco Murray will need to set the tone for the offense. The Cowboys need to control the tempo by running the ball and keeping Rodgers on the sideline. The Packers will go as far as Rodgers can carry them. When Rodgers is 100% healthy he is the best quarterback in the league. Without his mobility, Dallas will find a way to pressure Rodgers and force a turnover. Expect Dallas to pull off the upset and advance to the NFC Championship.
Dallas Cowboy 34 Green Bay Packers 30