Aaron Rodgers is far from the Cowboys’ scariest issue after OT loss

The famous horror movie is called “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” but what if the nightmare happened the Mike McCarthy Way? The Cowboys head coach has a stretch of street named after him, just two blocks from the Lambeau Field turf, as a reminder of the championship he delivered to Green Bay. It was fitting then that after so many years of terrorizing opponents with Aaron Rodgers, McCarthy experienced the horror of watching a late lead slip away from his old quarterback. “We wanted to get it for Mike, and it sucks, we didn’t,” Dak Prescott said. “That’s it. There’s no sugarcoating it, there’s nothing more to add.”

David Helman and Carmen Vitali break down the Green Bay Packers’ overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys

David Helman and Carmen Vitali break down the Green Bay Packers' overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys

David Helman and Carmen Vitali react to the Green Bay Packers’ overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys in Mike McCarthy’s return.

The joke all week was that Rodgers and the Packers, left for dead on a five-game losing streak, would find a way to rally against their old nemesis, the Dallas Cowboys. Even knowing it was on the table, it was amazing to see them do just that. Behind a productive rushing offense and a career day from CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys had multiple opportunities to slay that demon. They had a chance midway through the second quarter when a Green Bay red-zone layup gave them a chance to take control. They got their chance an hour later when third quarter scoring drives put them ahead, 28-14, going into the final stanza of the game.

Like their slasher movie counterparts, the Packers kept coming, moving forward, never letting up. And if he felt like the Cowboys should have gotten away with it at some point, it’s because they should have gotten away with it. Entering Sunday, Dallas was 195-0 all-time when leading by 14 points after three quarters.

“Credit to them,” Prescott said. “They stopped us a couple of times, gave their offense a chance and those guys went and scored and made it into overtime.”

Speaking of overtime, the Cowboys’ one possession in overtime will come back to haunt them. They were punted twice while driving to lead or win the game, denying gains of nine and 16. If that wasn’t frustrating enough, Prescott’s third-and-3 pass attempt from the edge of field goal range fell incomplete despite some quite. obvious contact between Jaire Alexander and Lamb. Ultimately opting to go for fourth down, they failed to convert, setting the stage for the Packers to drive to a field goal.

“I thought we were in full control in overtime, and obviously penalties and that kind of thing are very, very, very frustrating,” McCarthy said. “But you have to overcome these things.”

Allen Lazard makes a CLUTCH reception in OT

Allen Lazard makes a CLUTCH reception in OT

Allen Lazard’s clutch reception helped put Mason Crosby in position for the Green Bay Packers’ game-winning field goal against the Dallas Cowboys.

Rodgers will get the lion’s share of the credit for playing a boogeyman with the Cowboys’ terrified camp counselor, and that makes sense. The win improves him to 8-2 as a starter against the Cowboys, with half of those wins coming in dramatic fashion. After one of the more forgettable starts to a season in his NFL career, he posted a 146.7 passer rating on Dallas’ defense, highlighted by three touchdown passes to rookie Christian Watson.

“A lot of demons were exorcised tonight,” Rodgers said.

The scariest part of the Cowboys’ night, however, has far less to do with Rodgers and far more to do with his effort against the run. The Packers are slowly finding their way as a run-first offense, and pounded the Cowboys to the tune of 207 yards per carry, with Aaron Jones averaging nearly six yards per carry, while AJ Dillon posted a healthy five. If it wasn’t a trend before, it is now. Green Bay is now the second consecutive opponent to rush for more than 200 yards on the Cowboys, and the fifth overall to rush for at least 136.

It’s a situation that Micah Parsons described as a “house fire,” and it’s a problem that will only grow until the Cowboys put it out. “We have to get this out,” Parsons said. “We’ve got to be responsible, we’ve got to stay in our gaps, we’ve got to stop the run. And then once we stop it, we can go back to being who we are. But until we do, it’s going to be a year long”.

“The most important thing to remember is that we’re not dead” – Aaron Rodgers on the Packers’ comeback win against the Cowboys

Tom Rinaldi talks to Aaron Rodgers about the big win at home against the Dallas Cowboys, bouncing back from a rough couple of weeks and how they can use this game to push them forward.

At the very least, it could be a long few weeks. Next up are the Minnesota Vikings and Dalvin Cook, who beat Buffalo on Sunday, followed by a Thanksgiving game against Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants. If the Cowboys haven’t cleaned up their act by then, they get a game against Indianapolis and Jonathan Taylor, who had 147 yards on Sunday. “The top three right there, what, the top three backs in the league? If not the top three, then the top five,” Malik Hooker said. “This is definitely a fire we need to work on.”

Bad things happen when the Cowboys play Aaron Rodgers. As Prescott reminded everyone, it’s only a loss despite the disappointment. But as this latest nightmare reminded, there are bigger problems that need to be corrected if they’re going to wake up.

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports. He previously spent nine seasons covering the Cowboys for the team’s official website. In 2018, he won a regional Emmy for his role in the production of “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” about the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Follow him on Twitter @davidhelman_.

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