GREEN BAY, Wisc. – The Cowboys were able to knock off the Packers thanks to a lot of individual efforts, mainly a couple of offensive rookies that continue to shine.
Whether it was Dak Prescott's three touchdowns or the four turnovers on defense, the Cowboys used plenty of big plays to get their 30-16 win.
But like all games, there were a handful of plays that could go unnoticed, yet changed the outcome. Let's take a closer look at five that affected this one.
Durant calls Cowboys' fourth timeout –While it seemed like a big mistake at the time, and it likely wasn't intentional, Justin Durant's second-quarter timeout might have saved the Cowboys defense from allowing more points. With the Cowboys scrambling to get guys off the field, Durant signaled for a timeout, but the Cowboys had already used all three. By doing so, it forced the officials to stop the game instead of giving Aaron Rodgers a free play to be aggressive. The 5-yard penalty didn't give the Packers a first down and they couldn't convert on their next two downs, giving Dallas possession again.
Lucky's sweep gets Cowboys on move – The Cowboys were pinned back at their own 3-yard line and just wanted to run out the clock. After two runs for a combined 9 yards, the Packers called timeouts after both to save time and get the ball back. But on third-and-1, the offense called a jet sweep to Lucky Whitehead, who ripped off a 26-yard run around the left edge. Now the Cowboys went on the offensive and drove the length of the field for a touchdown pass from Prescott to Brice Butler. Had Whitehead only picked up a couple of yards, it wouldn't have given them the green light to press on. But 26 yards flipped the field and the Cowboys took advantage.
Defensive stand after the pick– For the first time all season, the Cowboys defense had to enter the field after a Prescott interception. But it didn't seem to faze the unit at all. With the Cowboys leading 20-6 late in the third quarter, the defense responded nicely to Prescott's first-career pick. So this is more like three plays instead of one. But on third down, David Irving got his hand on a Rodgers pass to deflect it for an incompletion. The Packers had to settle for a field goal, trimming the lead to just 20-9 and failing to give Green Bay the much-needed momentum.
Lucky out of the backfield– While we've seen plenty of Whitehead traveling East/West on jet sweeps, he's rarely used up the field. But out of the backfield on a third-down play in the fourth quarter, Whitehead snuck free for a 31-yard pass completion, the longest of his career. That flipped the field once again and put the Cowboys in position to score. A touchdown pass to Cole Beasley gave the Cowboys a 27-9 advantage just moments later.
Witten for a first down – In the fourth quarter, after the Packers had cut the lead to 27-16, the Cowboys needed a couple of first downs to run out the clock. Before Elliott's big run that led to a field goal, it was a key third-down conversion that kept the sticks moving. On third-and-5 from the Dallas 43, Prescott stood in the pocket facing a blitz and fired a strike to Witten at the right sideline for a 7-yard gain. That allowed the Cowboys to keep possession and chew off almost two more minutes before Bailey's field goal upped the lead to 14.