Green Bay 35, Dallas 31: Mirror Images
During the playoffs last January, the Cowboys tied the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium, but Dallas left 35 seconds on the clock.
Well, how many plays could Aaron Rodgers run in 35 seconds? That number would be five.
With 12 seconds left, Rodgers scrambled out of the pocket and hit Jared Cook on a 36-yard play. A Mason Crosby field goal gave Green Bay the 34-31 win.
One week ago, the Dallas Cowboys led the L.A. Rams, 17-6. The Dallas defense forced the Rams to punt.
Ryan Switzer fumbled, and the Cowboys lost momentum. The thin defense started giving up yards, and the offense no longer dominated. The eventual result was a 35-30 loss.
Put the two games together, and you basically get the 35-31 loss to the Packers in 2017.
Dallas had a 21-6 lead in the first half. The Packers moved the ball into Dallas field position, but a sack gave the Packers a 2nd and 17.
Rodgers completed a five-yard pass to Reggie Cobb, but Dallas linebacker Anthony Hitchens was called for a facemask penalty. Instead of 3rd and 13 from the Dallas 33, it was 1st and 10 from the Dallas 18. Three plays later, Green Bay scored to make it 21-12.
The defense that had held the Packers to 12 points in the first half was far less effective in the second. With 14:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, it was 22-21 in favor of Green Bay.
Nevertheless, the offense moved the ball, and Dallas regained the lead with a field goal. Then the defense forced a punt.
Momentum in favor of Dallas.
A Dak Prescott pass bounced off the hands of Terrance Williams, and Damarious Randall grabbed a pick and scored.
The Cowboys turned around and marched 79 yards on a 17-play drive. Prescott scored the go-ahead touchdown.
Of course, the Cowboys left 1:13 remaining on the clock. How many plays could Rodgers run with 73 seconds?
Dumb question. He ran nine plays. On a 3rd-and-8 play from the Dallas 30, he managed to get to the outside and gain 18 yards on a scramble.
Two plays later, he hit Davante Adams on a 12-yard game-winning touchdown.
It should have been hard to believe, but it wasn’t. We’ve seen it before.
In three losses, Dallas has given up 42, 35, and 35 points.
In 17 games in 2016, Dallas gave up 30 or more points only twice (including the playoff loss), and never more than 34.
Tough one to swallow, and we have two weeks to think about. The 2-3 Cowboys travel to San Francisco in two weeks.