In what seems like a repeat of the playoff loss last year, the Dallas Cowboys were undone by the spectacular play of Aaron Rodgers in the final seconds of the game. This game was there for the taking twice, once in the first half when they built a nice lead, then again when Dak Prescott scored late to give Dallas the lead. The Cowboys squandered both chances. Now they sit at 2-3 going into the bye week, and will soon begin scrambling for their playoff lives. Let’s take a look at some winners and losers from the game.
David Irving - Welcome back David Irving! The Cowboys defensive lineman was pretty disruptive in his first game back from suspension. He had two sacks and three QB hits along with multiple pressures. He looks good against the Packers, can he carry it on through the rest of the season?
Dak Prescott - Can’t pin this one on Dak. He was excellent throughout the game with very accurate passing. He wasn’t responsible for the pick-six, but he was responsible for three passing TDs and one rushing TD. He also avoided multiple sacks, extended plays and drove the Cowboys down for what should have been the winning TD if not for the defense failing.
Cole Beasley - The return of Cole. After being absent for most of the season, Beasley put two touchdowns on the board for the Cowboys in the first half. Welcome back to the offense.
Second half running game - The Cowboys finally started to look like their old selves when they pounded the ball in the running game throughout the fourth quarter. Ezekiel Elliott ended up with 116 yards and found some real running room. It was a good display of what the 2016 Cowboys looked like.
Linebackers... again - The Packers are not a great running team normally. Then they lost Ty Montgomery last week. Should be no problem for the Cowboys run defense. You would think, but then Aaron Jones ran for 125 yards. The Cowboys linebackers, minus Sean Lee, were atrocious for the second straight week. The biggest problems were terrible angles and not keeping discipline and contain. Sean Lee can’t return soon enough.
Defensive penalties - The Cowboys hurt themselves with some key penalties. An Anthony Hitchens facemask, a Jourdan Lewis hold (accepted over an Anthony Brown hold on the same play), and a Benson Mayowa personal foul (granted, it was a sketchy call). The Cowboys couldn’t help Aaron Rodgers out by keeping drives alive, but that’s what they did.
Second halves/Coaching - The Cowboys go into halftime and something magical happens, they forget to make any adjustments. For the second straight week, after building a big lead, the Cowboys let it evaporate and seem unable to make adjustments late in the game. They did manage to eat up the fourth quarter with a long drive, but that was after they let the Packers back in the game.
Last minute Aaron Rodgers’ drives - Again? Really Dallas.