It took Aaron Rodgers just 62 seconds to ruin what first looked like a brilliant game-winning drive by Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys.
Just nine months after Rodgers and the Packers stunned the Cowboys in an NFC Divisional round playoff game, he did it again. This article could really be just one thing to know about the 35-31 loss to Green Bay:
Aaron Rodgers is a magician.
The game-winner came on a 12-yard Rodgers pass to Davante Adams. But the magic started 63 yards earlier. Back-to-back completions of 14 yards started the drive, followed by a 15-yard Aaron Jones run on a gutsy halfback draw play. A two-yard run preceded the Packers' final timeout.
Then, on 3rd-and-8 at the Dallas 30 with 29 seconds to go, Rodgers scrambled for 12 yards to set up his shot at the endzone. The second try was hauled in by Adams, and the Cowboys dreams were dashed with 11 seconds to play.
Besides the wizardry of No. 12, here's five other things to know about the Cowboys' gut-wrenching loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday at AT&T Stadium:
Crucial play call
With 1:24 to play and a 2nd-and-2 in front of them, the Cowboys chose to call a fade to Dez Bryant in the corner of the end zone. It fell incomplete, and the clock stopped.
Hindsight is 20/20 -- but with two yards to go and No. 12 on the other sideline, giving the Packers a free stoppage of clock and allowing them to save a couple timeouts for an attempt at a game-winning drive is a regrettable decision.
A week after conceding 19 straight points en route to a loss against the Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys gave up 16 in a row to fall behind Green Bay Sunday.
Similar to the Los Angeles game, the time of possession battle also flipped on the Cowboys between the first and second halves. After Dallas controlled the ball for roughly 18 of the first 24 minutes Sunday, but saw it for just eight of the next 24 minutes.
Unlike last week, the Cowboys did take a lead with 1:13 to play. But then Aaron Rodgers happened.
There were 13 total penalties called Sunday afternoon, but it wasn’t so much the volume as it was the importance of each penalty. An awful unnecessary roughness call on Green Bay in first quarter set up the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the day -- a four-point penalty for Green Bay. The same penalty on Dallas -- also questionable but not as blatantly inaccurate -- in the third quarter kept a drive alive for the Packers, who would eventually score a touchdown after an 88-yard drive.
A defensive holding call on rookie Jourdan Lewis on a 3rd-and-10 incompletion kept that same drive alive.
Prescott on the run
Dak Prescott continues to make impressive plays with his legs. Several first-half plays saw Prescott scramble out of the pocket and find a receiver downfield, including a 49-yard pass to Brice Butler on the opening drive.
Another saw him escape multiple pass rushers, change direction twice and find Rod Smith downfield for a 19-yard gain on third down.
He added a 21-yard run on a blown-up pass play, and, of course, his 11-yard scramble for a touchdown put the Cowboys up with just over a minute to play.
Coming into the game, the Packers’ longest run of the year had been a 13-yard scramble by Aaron Rodgers. Their starting running back, Ty Montgomery -- who is a wide receiver by trade -- was inactive Sunday.
But Aaron Jones, a rookie out of UTEP, lit the Cowboys up to the tune of 6.6 yards per carry, totaling 125 yards on the ground, including the aforementioned 15-yard scamper on the final drive.
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