Green Bay Packers (10-6) at Dallas Cowboys (13-3), Sunday Jan. 15 4:40 PM ET
The Packers bested the one team who has beaten the Cowboys when they were actually trying, the Giants. Can they take the next step and beat Dallas now, though?
These are two teams that have been red hot at points in this season. Earlier this year, the Cowboys won 11 games in a row. The Packers, meanwhile, ended the regular season by winning six games in a row, and then they trounced the Giants 38-13 in the playoffs. Green Bay is as hot as any team, thanks largely to Aaron Rodgers. This is where the Packers may have the advantage. Dallas’ quarterback Dak Prescott has been great, but he’s still a rookie who will be in his first playoff game. Rodgers is a former MVP and has a Super Bowl ring. That may not mean as much as what some people will tell you, but it means something.
The Cowboys and Packers both have great offense and OK defenses, so this could be a high scoring shootout. Prescott isn’t the only rookie who has been impressive for the Cowboys. We can’t forget about Ezekiel Elliott, who was the best running back in the NFL in his first season. Meanwhile, Green Bay’s top offensive weapon, Jordy Nelson, took a shot in the ribs against the Giants and did not return to the game. That could make a real difference.
Streaks don’t last forever. Experience doesn’t mean as much as talent. However, the Packers are a really good team led by a great quarterback, and there are legitimate questions to be asked about Prescott considering this is his first playoff game. Dallas could definitely win. It’d be fun if they did. Just because it would be fun doesn’t mean it will happen, though.
Prediction: Packers 38, Cowboys 35
Line: Cowboys -4
Jordy Nelson, WR Questionable
Blake Martinez, LB Questionable
Quinten Rollins, CB Questionable
Jayrone Elliott, LB Questionable
James Starks, RB Questionable
La'el Collins, OL Injury Reserve
Randy Gregory, DE Out
Tony Romo, QB Questionable
Terrell McClain, DT Questionable