GREEN BAY, Wisc. – This game will be remembered for the catch that wasn't – or at least the catch that was ruled no good.
If we thought we saw that Anthony Hitchens/Brandon Pettigrew play over and over from last week, this Dez Bryant play will be replayed for years to come.
But it certainly wasn't the only play that led to the Packers' 26-21 win over the Cowboys on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Like all games, this one had some plays that might not be easy to remember. but changed the course of the final outcome:
Incomplete on 3rd and 1 – Things can certainly change in a hurry. One moment the Cowboys are leading 14-7 and have a first down at the Green Bay 25 with 40 seconds left, looking for at least a 10-point lead or maybe even a 21-7 advantage. But after what looked like a first-down catch to Jason Witten, replay officials changed the spot and the Cowboys were left with third-and-1 from the 27. Instead of
giving the NFL's leading rusher a chance to get the first, the Cowboys opted to pass, and in the shotgun, Tony Romo dropped the snap, picked it up and fired an incomplete pass to Terrance Williams, who came up injured on the play. That led to a Cowboys' field goal attempt, although long snapper L.P. Ladouceur was flagged for a false start. Now, a 50-yard attempt on a bad field, Dan Bailey pushed his kick to the right, no good, leaving 29 seconds. Green Bay marched down the field and added a field goal. That's a six-point swing in an eventual five-point outcome.
Murray's fumbling issues strike again – After an early case of the fumbles this year, DeMarco Murray hadn't coughed one up since Week 8 vs. Washington. But in the third quarter, with the Cowboys leading 14-10, Murray seemed to have a major hole to run through. He darted through the line and could've possibly gone about 40 yards to inside the 20, if not go all the way. But Packers defensive end Julius Peppers reached in and ripped the ball out. The Packers recovered and added a field goal. Once again, another six-point swing at least, if not 10.
Hanna's chance to recover – The Cowboys had just weathered Green Bay's storm and now were looking to build on some momentum after scoring to take a 21-13 lead with 4:16 left in third. The ensuing kickoff went to the dangerous Randall Cobb, but he was blasted by C.J. Spillman and fumbled. The ball was on the turf and appeared to be recovered by tight end James Hanna. But it squirted out at the last minute, and the Packers were able to recover. Instead of the Cowboys having the ball on the Packers' 23 with an eight-point lead, Green Bay got it back and went on the march.
Back-to-back sacks to end third, start fourth – The Packers had trimmed the lead to 21-20 but the Cowboys were seizing the momentum once again. An 18-yard completion to Witten gave Dallas a first-down at its 48 late in the third quarter. But Romo took a 9-yard sack on the final play of the third, pushing the ball back to a long second down, which also resulted in a sack. That ended the Cowboys' chances to score, forcing a punt. Green Bay took over and marched the field to take the lead.
Rodgers flips field position with 26-yarder – The Cowboys had just seen a game-changing play go against them with the Bryant no-catch. But on defense, they had a shot to get the ball back. On third-and-3 from the Packers 40, Aaron Rodgers went at Sterling Moore and not only picked up a first down to Davante Adams, but the receiver also avoided Moore's tackle and went 26 yards. The first down chewed up more time and put Green Bay in a less-conservative part of the field. Later in the drive, on third-and-long, Rodgers went to the air again and picked up a first down to ice the win. If Dallas could've gotten off the field on the first third-down conversion, it would've gotten the ball back with two timeouts and the two-minute warning.