TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Packers At Cowboys

Green Bay Packers
Dallas Cowboys
(credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Packers were hoping to have Aaron Rodgers back in the lineup by Thanksgiving Day, but he has not yet fully recovered from his left shoulder injury. While there is a chance he could line up against the Cowboys, the likelihood is that the Packers will have Matt Flynn under center again. While Flynn is an accurate short passer, he lacks Rodgers’ poise and many of his physical gifts.
Winner Tony Romo has been passing the ball consistently well this season. After several frustrating seasons, Romo and the Cowboys believe they can be postseason factors in the NFC. If that’s going to happen, they can’t lose a home game to an undermanned Green Bay team. Romo excels at reading defenses and throwing his receivers a very catchable pass.
Offense
The Packers may not have rookie running back Eddie Lacy available for this game after suffering a sprained ankle in the Week 14 victory over the Falcons. If he can’t go, that will be a huge loss for the Packers. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson continues to be productive even though Rodgers is out of the lineup, but James Jones is having a difficult time breaking long plays without him.
Winner The Cowboys can support Romo’s passing with a decent running attack. DeMarco Murray can be a productive back, but he usually needs to get off to a good start to make that happen. Wide receiver Dez Bryant is one of the best receivers in the league and he is only getting better. Tight end Jason Witten almost never drops the ball.
Defense
Winner The Packers defense has continued to play hard since Rodgers’ injury, but there has been some fall off because the unit has been on the field more often and the offense has not been as productive. The Packers rank 21ster in overall defense, Linebacker A.J. Hawk has a team-high 107 tackles, while linebacker Clay Matthews leads the team with 6.0 sacks.
The Cowboys defense has struggled badly this season as they rank last overall and 31st against the pass. One of the biggest reasons for their poor play has been the injury to linebacker DeMarcus Ware (thigh) that has kept him from top form. Middle linebacker Sean Lee has been one of the best all-around players in the league. His instincts often put him in a position to make a big play.
Special Teams
The Packers have had some problems with their coverage teams, and that could be an issue in this game as well. Michah Hyde has the speed and explosiveness to break long returns himself. Mason Crosby has had a solid year, making 29-of-33 FG attempts.
Winner The Cowboys have done a solid job covering kickoffs and punts, and they have an explosive punt returner in Dwayne Harris who has brought a punt back for a touchdown. Dan Bailey has made 19-of-21 FG attempts, including 4-of-5 from 50 yards and beyond.

The Winner Is

(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Winner Dallas Cowboys
3 out of 4

While the Cowboys have a short week after playing Monday night in Chicago, it’s difficult to see the Packers competing for 60 minutes without Rodgers in the lineup.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  2. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Listen Live