Packers Down Cowboys in Dramatic Fashion 35-31
Written by Luke Ghiardi on October 9, 2017
Dallas, TX – October 9, 2017 – The Green Bay Packers had their 2nd 2016 NFC Playoffs rematch of the season on Sunday when they visited the Dallas Cowboys. The Packers, who lost their NFC Championship Game rematch in Atlanta in Week 2, walked into AT&T Stadium in Dallas and once again walked away with a victory 35-31.
The Packers and Cowboys have given both fan bases, and NFL fans in general, many great games throughout history. Sunday was no different. The game featured great offense and quarterback play in an instant classic shootout.
Dallas received the opening kickoff and looked to impose their will immediately. Running back Ezekiel Elliot touched the ball 8 times on a 13-play touchdown drive that was capped off by a Cole Beasley 2-yard touchdown reception.
The Packers, down 7-0, wasted no time in answering. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers sliced through the young Dallas secondary like a Ginsu knife. Rodgers went 5-5 through the air on an 8-play 75 yard touchdown drive. Rodgers found Davante Adams from 10-yards out for the answering score. Mason Crosby was unable to convert the extra point and Dallas still lead 7-6.
The Cowboys offense picked up right where it left off from their first possession. This time it was on the power of quarterback Dak Prescott’s arm and legs keeping the drive alive. The Cowboys went 75 yards in 11 plays and Cole Beasley again found the end zone on a pass from Das Prescott to give the Cowboys a 14-6 lead.
The Cowboys defense miraculously forced a Green Bay punt on the Packers next possession and again the Green Bay defense had no answer for the Dallas offense. After Prescott connected on a pass from 10 yards out to Dez Bryant for a score, Green Bay suddenly found themselves down 21-6 late in the first half.
In typical Aaron Rodgers fashion, and some foreshadowing, Rodgers lead the Packers down the field for a score before halftime. This time from rookie 3rd string running back Aaron Jones, as he found some room from 7 yards out for the score. But once again, the Packers were unable to convert the extra point and went into the half trailing 21-12.
The score before halftime was huge because Green Bay would get the ball to start the second half. The missed extra point was equally as big, in that it kept it a two-score ball game. Rodgers and co. quickly got to work, and very soon found themselves in Cowboys territory. But the drive stalled, and the Packers had to settle for a field goal to close the gap at 21-15.
After allowing 3 Cowboys touchdowns on 3 possessions in the first half, Green Bay finally forced a Cowboys punt. The Packers took full advantage. Facing first and goal on the first play of the 4th quarter, Rodgers found a wide open Jordy Nelson in the back of the end zone for six. Mason Crosby nailed the extra point this time around, and Green Bay took a 22-21 lead, the first lead of the game for Green Bay.
After Dallas answered with a field goal, and Green Bay was forced to punt, the Green Bay defense was called upon to save the game, and they answered the call. Dallas received possession with 10:37 left in the ball game, and were looking to go up two scores. On 2nd and 7, Prescott threw to receiver Terrance Williams at the first down marker. The ball hit Williams’ shoulder and it bounced into the air. Damarious Randle snatched it and took it 21 yards into the end zone to give Green Bay the lead once again, 28-24.
Dallas got the ball back with 9:56 on the clock and needing a touchdown to regain the lead. They moved into Green Bay territory with ease but began to stall. Facing a 4th and 1, the Cowboys went for it. They converted two 4th and 1’s in the first half, but if they didn’t convert this one, the game would essentially be over. The Packers defense appeared to stop Ezekiel Elliot short of the first down, but after it went to review it was determined Elliot made the line to gain, and Dallas had new life.
On the first play after the 2-minute warning Elliot rushed 8 yards down to the Green Bat 11 yard line. On 2nd down the Cowboys inexplicably threw an incomplete pass into the end zone and stopped the clock. Prescott ran a read option to perfection on the next play and scored from 11 yards out to give the Cowboys a 31-28 lead. But the incomplete pass would loom large as Aaron Rodgers still had 1:13 on the clock and one timeout.
Rodgers predictably moved the ball right down the field on the struggling Cowboys defense. But facing 3rd and 8 in fringe field goal territory from the Cowboys 30, Rodgers got pressure, had to escape to his left from two Cowboys defenders who both got their hands on him, and scampered down the sideline for 18 yards. 2 plays later, Davante Adams, who miraculously played this week after taking a vicious hit against the Bears in the week prior, went up and caught a perfect ball over Dallas’ Jourdan Lewis for the game winning touchdown.
The win improves the Packers to 4-1 on the year. They now travel to Minnesota to take on their NFC North rival Vikings. Catch all the action Sunday at 1:00 pm on the air on your Marquette County Packers affiliate 98.3 WRUP.