The Dallas Cowboys are emerging from their bye week with a key game against the Green Bay Packers. They should see a big opportunity.
In many of their battles, the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys fought for conference and league titles. This week, they’re fighting for different objectives.
For Green Bay, it’s the fight to remain relevant. At 3-6 and losers of five straight, the Packers are barely alive. They likely to need to win at least six of their final eight games to have any realistic playoff hopes.
For Dallas, the Cowboys are 6-2 and trying to chase down the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. If nothing else, Mike McCarthy’s team wants to remain the top wild card, giving it a matchup with whoever comes out of the woeful NFC South champ.
In most years, Dallas is overrated and underwhelming.
This year, America’s Team has been America’s Little Engine That Could.
Picked by most experts to be a middling .500 team with little hope of making a serious move, the Cowboys have been buoyed by tremendous defensive play, led by a swarming pass rush of Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler Jr. The offense survived the five-game absence of quarterback Dak Prescott, with understudy Cooper Rush going 4-1.
Going to Lambeau Field this Sunday, the Cowboys start the biggest three-game stretch of their season. Dallas takes on the Packers before visiting the currently 7-1 Minnesota Vikings. Then, a return home in hopes of sweeping the New York Giants.
What can the Dallas Cowboys accomplish this weekend?
As for this weekend, Dallas has a chance to accomplish two tasks. For starters, it can essentially finish off the Packers, who would potentially need to win out for a playoff berth. More importantly, the Cowboys can keep pressure on the Eagles, who take on the Washington Commanders come Monday night. Philadelphia has a two-game lead, but Dallas’ goal should be closing the gap to one before the two teams have their rematch on Christmas Eve.
To that end, the aforementioned upcoming three weeks are of paramount importance. After facing the Giants, the Cowboys face three consecutive AFC South opponents including the horrific Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans at home before a trip to Jacksonville. If Dallas can navigate the rest of November, the division — and by extension the NFC’s top seed — becomes a fascinating race.
But it starts in Green Bay against a desperate Packers team trying to save their season before it’s too late.
And that’s the ultimate story of this game.
The Packers working to save their season. The Cowboys aiming to launch theirs.