Coming off the bye week with their most complete performance of the season behind them, the Dallas Cowboys are back in the spotlight for America’s Game of the Week at Lambeau Field for Mike McCarthy’s first game against the Green Bay Packers. The emotions of this week for the Cowboys head coach can’t distract from the small margin they have to surpass the still-undefeated Eagles in the NFC East, with the Packers current five-game losing streak making this another must-win game for the Cowboys.
At first mention, recent history between the Cowboys and Packers likely brings up bad memories of playoff losses in 2014 and 2016, but America’s Team has also lost their last two regular-season meetings with Green Bay and seven of the last eight overall.
The Packers losing streak since week five includes losses to three teams the Cowboys have beaten this season, one with Cooper Rush still in relief of Dak Prescott. The Packers have lost in London to the Giants, at the Commanders, and most recently 15-9 at the Lions. The loss to the Lions was their second straight in Detroit, and could be all the motivation a frustrated Aaron Rodgers to do what he’s regularly done to the Cowboys. Rodgers has a career 67.7% completion percentage against the Cowboys with 11 touchdowns to one interception in eight games.
This will be the Cowboys’ third straight game against the NFC North, and while defense is still their calling card this season, their most recent performance against the Bears showed the offense has the potential to more than hold up their end. Dan Quinn’s defense getting healthier off the bye and facing an offense that turned the ball over on their first three possessions against the Lions, and twice more in the second half, is still the biggest advantage the Cowboys have this Sunday.
On the other side, The Packers defense has allowed the fifth most rushing yards in the league, had seven defenders listed on their first injury report of the week, and gave up over 100 yards to both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in the last meeting between these teams. The Cowboys could further prove they belong among the top-tier of NFC contenders by winning their third straight.
Though they didn’t know it yet, this was the point of last season where the Cowboys offense started to get figured out and failed to adjust with the East all but locked up. Now, McCarthy’s team has a rabbit to chase in the Eagles while the offense is just getting started playing at full strength. The former Super Bowl-winning coach for the Packers has a chance to hand Green Bay their seventh loss of the season, a total they haven’t seen since 2018 - the year they fired McCarthy. McCarthy has guided his team through so much adversity in the early part of this season, and while wins against the Lions and Bears may have gone more under the radar, Dallas is firmly back where they belong in the spotlight for week nine.