Cowboys at Packers: The Preview

Usually, this kind of game comes with warning signs, with lights blinking and sirens blaring. Beware the team that has hit rock bottom. Beware the 1-6 team that has nothing to lose. But then you remember that Wade Phillips is the opposing coach and John Kitna is the opposing QB and you relax, and start making the guacamole.

The Cowboys are an absolute mess. If the Tony Romo injury didn't convince you, their performance at home last week against Jacksonville should have sealed the deal. They're a team of over-paid, under-performing individuals who bought into the logic that since the Super Bowl was being played in their stadium, they would naturally be playing in it. When the losses started to add up, most of the players checked out.

At 1-6, the Cowboys are easily the most disappointing team in the league. Fans in the Twin Cities, Cincinnati and San Diego may disagree, but this team was built to take a deep playoff run step this season and it didn't happen. It starts with the offensive line which lives up to its name. It's offensive in every way. They can't run block, despite having three running backs that would all instantly reside atop the Packers depth chart. They cut bait with the aging Flozell Adams before the season and should have done the same with guard Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode. Both are a shell of what they once were. Clay Matthews should have no problem getting around Marc Colombo.

The Cowboys passing game has flourished with or without Romo, with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and the delusional Roy Williams (yeah, Roy, you guys can win nine straight games. And Brett and Deanna are planning a special date night in the next few weeks). But Kitna at 38 has no mobility and has never beaten the Pack at Lambeau. Granted, he was the Lions QB and they never win at Lambeau.

This should be the week Aaron Rodgers and the passing game gets in sync. The Cowboys are allowing opposing to QBs to amass a passer rating of 105 this season. David Garrard threw four touchdowns against him. Even without Donald Driver, the Pack's offense should have a field day against a unit that has clearly mailed it in.

Owner Jerry Jones maintains Wade Phillips' job is safe this season. He expressed his embarrassment and apologized to the fans last week. Now his team heads to Green Bay to face a team fresh off maybe the most impressive win of the Mike McCarthy era. Shutting out the Jets in New York, without four defensive starters and a makeshift defensive line was beyond huge. The defense has seen no drop-off with Bishop and Peprah and looks to gain some depth with the return of Al Harris and Atari Bigby and the presence of NT Howard Green.

The Pack will take care of business on Sunday night and head into the bye with a three game winning streak and the lead in the NFC North. With four out of five road games coming out of the bye, the road will get tougher, but the Pack will make a statement and keep things rolling: Pack 27 Cowboys 13.


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