Reporter NFC North
It didn’t matter that the Packers were a struggling team, 3-6 on the season, coming into Sunday’s Game of the Week on FOX. It didn’t matter that the Cowboys survived quarterback Dak Prescott’s absence and were rejuvenated with his return in the last two weeks. This was always going to be a competitive game because that’s how football works.
David Helman and Carmen Vitali break down the Green Bay Packers’ overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys
FOX Sports Cowboys reporter David Helman and FOX Sports NFC North reporter Carmen Vitali react to the Green Bay Packers’ overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys in Mike McCarthy’s return.
And you wouldn’t know? In the most unpredictable games, the most predictable results occurred, if we go by history alone. The Packers, and more specifically Aaron Rodgers, stayed true to form against America’s Team and could have gotten their season back on track after a 31-28 overtime win over the Cowboys at Lambeau Field . Rodgers is now 8-2 against Dallas in his career and the Packers added to their win column over the Cowboys. They are the only team in the NFC that has a winning record against them in the all-time series.
This game looked like it was going to be a fairly even showing by both teams, especially at the half with the score tied at 14. The visitors had 170 total yards to Green Bay’s 159. If anything, it looked like the green and gold were. remains the Cowboy’s kryptonite thanks to two contributions from the Packers defense. More specifically, it was two takeaways from safety Rudy Ford, who picked off Prescott twice, including once in the end zone.
The starkest contrast was how the Packers were able to take advantage of the gifts their defense gave them, scoring touchdowns on the next two drives after the interceptions. Dallas, however, couldn’t, despite being gifted a fumble by DeMarcus Lawrence on a sack of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
At halftime, Prescott had a quarterback rating of just 67.6. Rodgers had a near-perfect 147.9 passer rating thanks to completing four of six attempts for 73 yards and a touchdown. He was fired only once.
However, the Cowboys got hot on all sides of the ball in the third quarter. The two teams traded punts early in the half before Packers wide receiver Amari Rodgers failed to mount another comeback. It was recovered by the Cowboys and put Dallas back in favorable field position. Four plays later, running back Tony Pollard was in the end zone on a 13-yard touchdown run.
The Packers couldn’t answer and ran the ball away. Prescott then engineered a seven-play, 86-yard drive that ended with a 35-yard dime to CeeDee Lamb for the score. It gave the Cowboys back-to-back scoring drives for the first time in the game, along with a 28-14 lead with 2:47 left in the third quarter.
Despite their early push, Green Bay wasn’t dead in the water just yet. In a well-balanced nine-play, 76-yard drive, Rodgers performed as he usually does against the Cowboys, hitting wide receiver Christian Watson for his second touchdown of the game on a 39-yard pass. He became the first Packers rookie to have two touchdown receptions in the same game since 1988.
It cut Dallas’ lead to just one score and no doubt caused flashbacks on more than one occasion in the past for Cowboys fans.
The Packers continued to move the ball, both on the ground and with a few well-timed deep throws from Rodgers. While Watson had over 100 yards thanks to those chunk plays, Aaron Jones had over 100 yards rushing on the day. AJ Dillon was also in the mix as Green Bay seemed to find an offensive identity in the process.
It culminated with another touchdown, his third, to rookie Watson, who tied the game 28-28 with 2:39 remaining on a seven-yard pass in what will now be known as his coming-out party.
Only Rodgers. And only against the Cowboys.
At the two-minute mark, Dallas got the ball back at its own 25. Prescott was to demonstrate a changing of the guard and the dawn of a new day in Dallas. Pollard managed just three yards on first down. Then, behind back-to-back incompletions, Dallas punted when Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy gave the ball back to his former team with the game tied and the clock running out.
Dallas had three timeouts and used them, bringing Green Bay to third-and-1. Rodgers faked the handoff and looked, but there was no one to throw to as the Cowboys defense clamped down and the Packers had to punt again with 22 seconds left. Unsurprisingly, Rodgers had some choice words for his head coach after the play. The match went into overtime.
Dallas won the coin toss and started with the ball. After a couple of quick drives to get the Cowboys into Packer territory, the drive stalled, with penalties derailing Dallas. In an aggressive call, McCarthy directed his team to go for it on fourth-and-3. The ball fell incomplete after rare pressure from the Green Bay defense, and Dallas turned the ball over on downs.
The Packers’ first drive led to a third-down rush with just one yard to go. A quick tip to wide receiver Allen Lazard, who had just two receptions all game, went 36 yards to the Dallas 20. Green Bay then kicked a 28-yard field goal and the Packers emerged victorious.
So in the end, the Cowboys’ worst fears came true again. Rodgers engineered another comeback against Dallas thanks mostly to his fellow rookie. There might not only be some fight left in the 38-year-old quarterback, but in the Packers’ season, after all.
Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen had previous stops with The Draft Network and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, including 2020, adding the title of Super Bowl champion (and boat parade participant) to her resume. You can follow Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.
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