VIDEO - #FinishThisFight: Keith Smith - Dallas Cowboys
When you come face to face with defeat, how would you respond?@K_SMITH31's devotion to the game fuels him to #FinishThisFight pic.twitter.com/Pu0U6sB0SA— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 7, 2017
NFL Playoff Schedule: Higher Seeds Win, Cowboys To Face Packers/Giants Winner - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Lions lost to the Seahawks yesterday,providing a little more clarity on the Cowboys' next playoff opponent.
That means that the winner of the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants game will travel to Dallas to play in the Divisional round next week. The Cowboys beat the Packers earlier in the season, but lost twice to the Giants.
Cowboys "don't care who we see" in playoffs - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
The options are now down to either the Packers or Giants. Bring 'em on, say Dak and Zeke.
"Looking forward," Prescott said Sunday. "Just completely eyes on the playoffs, next opponent, whenever we figure that out. And what we can do throughout this week and next week to get better, to make sure we are in a good position and ready for the football game."
"We really don't care who we see," Elliott said Thursday. "There's not a certain team we want to play. We don't really worry about things we can't control, so we're just going to wait and see."
Breaking Down Possible Opponents: Packers Vastly Different From October - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
Eatman looks at what's changed for the Packers since they last played the Cowboys in October.
Green Bay wasn’t moving the ball as effectively on offense as it is now. The turnovers were a big problem in that game as David Irving forced three fumbles, including one inside the 5-yard line. The Cowboys dominated Green Bay at the line of scrimmage and Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 157 yards, while Dak Prescott passed for three touchdowns, including two to Cole Beasley.
The Packers have now found some consistency in their running game. Converted receiver Ty Montgomery has become a viable option for the Packers, who lost both Eddie Lacy and James Starks to injuries. Montgomery and former Cowboys running back Christine Michael are now providing some depth for the Packers in the running game to complement Rodgers’ passing attack.
Scout's Eye: Packers' Defense Is Struggling, But Rodgers Makes Up For It - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Not everything has been rosy for the Packers during their current six-game winning streak.
As good as their offense has been, it has been a struggle for their defense, and it just hasn’t been in one area. In the previous eight games, they’ve allowed 29 points per game, which ranks them dead last in the league.
The Cowboys hung 30 points on the Packers earlier in the year on their way to a victory at Lambeau Field. Green Bay has really struggled playing defense on first down. Teams have had success throwing the ball on those early downs with a quarterback rating of 104.8, which ranks the Packers 30th in the league. For the Packers, on 60 percent of those snaps, they’ve allowed 4-or-more yards per attempt. The Cowboys are currently ninth in the league when it comes to getting 4-or-more yards on first down when passing the ball. This, along with their running game allows them to convert first downs a league best 40 percent of the time on second down, never getting into those critical third down situations.
The Packers have also struggled allowing the big play. As a unit they have allowed 35 plays of 20-plus yards in the last eight games -- which puts them near the bottom of the league. The Cowboys offensive plan is to have long drives that finish with points. This has been when the way they’ve won games all season, but we’ve seen the ball going down the field more with Dak Prescott’s willingness to take those shots.
Twitter mailbag: Giants defense good, but Cowboys wouldn't be scared - Todd Archer, ESPN
A reader wonders whether there's something about the Cowboys offense that just doesn't match up well with the Giants defense.
@toddarcher: I don't think it has anything to do with the concepts offensively, although I would argue the plan for the season opener wasn't a good one. I'll give the Cowboys a pass on that one because they were just figuring out what Dak Prescott liked and didn't like and didn't really get to see Ezekiel Elliott in the preseason. In the second game, Prescott was flustered by the Giants' defense. Again, not a scheme issue so much as a personnel issue. I think we need to give the Giants' defense a lot of credit. They didn't really allow anybody to do much of anything against them, especially down the stretch. They carried New York to the playoffs when you look at how its offense struggled.
But I don't think the Cowboys would go into a potential third meeting being scared of New York. Elliott ran much better in the second game. Prescott's experience against New York will help in a third meeting, too. The losses were by one and three points. Knowing what I know now, I'd pick the Cowboys in the divisional round next week if they end up facing the Giants.
David Irving on why the 'third time's the charm' if Dallas plays New York - SportsDay
Irving recently joined KESN-FM 103.3 and talked about the possibility of facing the Giants a third time this season.
Do you feel like you owe the Giants something if you match up for a third time in the divisional round?
Irving: Oh yeah, third time's the charm. (Laughs) You know, they've been getting us these past couple games. What a challenge. I'm not afraid of it, none of us are. We'll be looking forward to that challenge. We've got something to prove to them. They came and got us twice - in our house and their house. So, you know, third time's the charm. We're ready for them.
Jerry Jones saved the NFL from extinction - David Whitley, Orlando Sentinel
The re-invigorated 2016 Cowboys were just what the NFL needed.
If you care about the NFL, it is time to bow to Jerry Jones. That's tough for millions of fans who'd rather renounce their citizenship than admit Dallas is America's Team.
Remember a couple of months ago when the NFL was on the verge of extinction? Ratings were down 14 percent from 2015 through Week 9. When the final ratings came in last week, viewership had dipped only 8 percent from last year.
Riding to the rescue were the Cowboys, who were in five of the six highest-rated games. Their Thanksgiving Day game against the Washington Redskins was the most-watched regular season game since 1995. An 8 percent drop is still a huge problem for the NFL, but imagine if the Cowboys hadn't come along.
And now, just when the NFL needed it most, Jones provided a must-see performer. Making America's Team great again is the closing argument for Jones getting voted into the Hall of Fame.
No sniffs yet for Scott Linehan - Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk
Linehan hasn't had a single head coaching interview yet, which I guess is good news for the Cowboys, who have Linehan under contract for one more year.
Ed Werder on why Broncos have 'little or no interest' in Tony Romo - SportsDay
Werder spoke on 103.3 FM about Romo and Denver.
I still think they like Trevor Siemian a lot and they've got a big investment in Paxton Lynch, who may still be yet another year away from playing. And the very strong sense I got, not saying who I spoke to, is that John Elway has little or no interest in Tony Romo at this point because of concerns about his durability and the contract situation. And Denver is a team that, theoretically, could spend money at quarterback because they aren't spending money on the two quarterbacks that they have.