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Cowboys vs. Packers: More stuff

The Cowboys gameplan on defense consisted of pressuring Brett Favre and making sure tackles on the receivers.

"You've got to make him throw the ball quick or he's going to throw the ball downfield," Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said. "You've got to pick your poison. What we wanted to do was make him throw quick and try to tackle the throw, and that's what we did."

It worked early.

"We knew we had to come and pressure the quarterback defensively," defensive end Chris Canty said. "We were able to put enough pressure on the quarterbacks and disrupt the passing game."

And it wasn't just the sacks, either. Starting quarterback Brett Favre – who wasn't sacked – threw two interceptions as a result of the Cowboys' pressure.

Later, they had problems with Aaron Rodgers. I’ll have more about that in the film review this weekend. But they did get three sacks in the game, including a big one from Ware, who moved to double-digit sacks on the year with 10. But his partner in crime – Greg Ellis – got two and is now sitting at 10.5 sacks. I’m telling you, Ellis is playing some of the best ball of his career.

Here’s the odd stat of the year.

Like clockwork, the problem arises every three games. After playing two fairly clean contests, the Cowboys were assessed 10 penalties against the Packers. They also reached double digits three games ago against the Giants, six games ago against the Patriots and nine games ago against the Bears.

I guess every third week Wade should pass out one of those penalty pledges for all to sign.

Speaking of the Coach, the Cowboys are hoping that Wade’s approach this year keeps the team from any late-season collapses.

Wade Phillips' approach has been different. The Cowboys have practiced in pads less this year, especially lately while playing three games in 12 days. Phillips has rested players going all the way back to training camp, but that didn't mean the workload lessened. In some ways, in fact, Phillips' camps were just as demanding because he had more meetings than Parcells.

"We've got to see what we can do," James said. "Our preparation has to be more mental than physical."

Wade sure has this team playing well, it’s hard to imagine that they would collapse. But we have been cursed in December recently. Witten says they need to be aware of the possibility.

"We've got to address the issue," Witten said. "We're probably a little more fresh and all of things that go with that this year, but you've got to put an emphasis on it just because it's gone down the wrong way in the past."

OK, if anybody is doing a better job of covering the Cowboys right now than the Breerman, I haven’t found them. Go read his whole chat.

Don Banks on the Cowboys/Packers game. Banks highlights a play that has been truly underrated in that game.

The play of the game in my book? That 35-yard Tony Romo to Patrick Crayton pass on third-and-19 from the Dallas 11 late in the third quarter. Absolutely everything was going Green Bay's way in the previous quarter-plus before that momentum turner.

You know, Tony Romo broke the Cowboys single-season passing record for TD’s in the Packers game,  and I didn’t even post about it. That’s partly because he’s going to obliterate the record by the end of the year. But anyway, a belated congrats to our resident playboy.

More Romo love here.

Ray Sherman – The T.O. Whisperer.

Cowboys receiver coach Ray Sherman — Phenomenal job of not only keeping Terrell Owens in check and feeling loved, but in helping Owens' consistency. Remember, just one year ago we were all wondering why this guy had so many drops. Sherman, a former long-time offensive coordinator, has Owens tearing up the league at a furious pace and, at the same time, propelling Patrick Crayton into a solid and dangerous option for Tony Romo. Sherman has long been respected by players, which was probably why Wade Phillips knew he'd be the perfect guy to keep Owens from repeating his soap operas of years past.

Maybe it wasn’t aliens after all.

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