We owe them one.
It's been well-documented that we are 0-5 on the FROZEN TUNDRA OF LAM-BEAU FIELD. And to be honest, throughout the years, it's really never been close.
The average score of our five games in Green Bay has been 35-14. We've given up more than 40 points three times and 30 points once. They never scored less than 21 points. We have yet to score over 20 points. The last time we played a close game in that state against that team was --- wait for it -- the Ice Bowl.
In 1997, on a windy and typically cold day in Wisconsin, the Packers beat the brakes off of us 45-17. Favre threw four touchdowns and Dorsey Levens ran for darn near 200 yards rushing. I remember this game because it was obvious that the Packers had virtually no respect for the Cowboys. Particularly interesting was how aggressive they were at targeting Deion Sanders in the first half. So much so, Favre floated an out pattern to one of his receivers in front of him late in the first half at midfield. Deion being Deion, he snatched it and raced 50 yards the other way. Favre learned his lesson and he left Deion alone, for the most part, for the rest of the game.
The second half was a nightmare. We were completely unable to stop them and it was evident. John Madden, long accused of having pro-Cowboys bias, kept reiterating how we were being "whipped up front on both sides of the ball." And we were. Aikman, Irvin and Switzer seemed demoralized after the game.
"In the second half, I witnessed probably the best kicking the Cowboys have had in a long time," coach Barry Switzer said.
This game would start a six-game losing streak to finish out that year. We'd miss the playoffs. Switzer would be gone and the "Mediocre" years of Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and, for the most part, Bill Parcells would start. We'd didn't win more than ten games or a playoff game for a decade.
In 2004, it wasn't much better. Favre was 23 of 29 for 258 yards. Javon Walker caught eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Ahman Green had 163 rushing yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run, the longest touchdown run against Dallas ever. The final score would read 41-20 but I'd venture to say it wasn't really even that close.
We were thorougly embarassed. La'Roi Glover and Roy Williams issued public apologies after the game. Parcells looked deflated.
"We don't have a chance right now," Parcells said. "This is definitely the low point of my time here in Dallas. I'm embarrassed to put a team on the field that looks like that."
Along with red footprints on our behind, we'd leave that game 2-4, trailing badly behind a red-hot Philadelphia Eagles team who was fueled by -- wait for it -- newly-acquired receiver Terrell Owens.
I bring this up not for self-flaggellation or because I enjoy remembering how low this rivalry has gotten. I would also point out that the Cowboys are 12-1 against the Packers in Dallas, including the last nine games played in Texas Stadium. Brett Favre has never won in Texas Stadium as a Packer.
My point is, in our lowest times, in our darkest hour, the Packers kicked us when we were down. Any team would have done the same. But it just hurt a little bit more against the Pack. I don't know if it's because, in my opinion, the Packers have always been looked at as a franchise that wins "the right way" and we're the team that wins "at any cost." I don't know if it's because it bugs me that people associate us with crime and drugs as much as they do winning and when people think of the Pack they focus on Favre's excellence, Reggie White's legacy, their glorious history and their unique community ownership. I don't know if it's because I'm still mad over the Ice Bowl even though I wasn't even born at the time.
Regardless, we owe them one today.
I hope the The Big Payback starts tonight.