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Don't Forget These 5

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Don't forget these plays: Two opening-drive penalties


ARLINGTON, Texas – What a shocker for the Cowboys, getting smashed by the Packers in the first round of the playoffs, ending what appeared to be a promising season.

The Packers got after the Cowboys from the start, which was part of the problem. Here are some plays that might not be remembered, but were significant to the final score.

Illegal contact penalty on Bland – Right from the very start, the Cowboys gave the Packers extra opportunities, and it started on the third play from scrimmage. The Cowboys had made two tackles for no gain and were able to set up a third-and-long for the Packers, but an illegal contact call on DaRon Bland away from the ball gave Green Bay an automatic first down. From there, the Packers marched down the field to score an early touchdown and never trailed the rest of the way.

Penalty on "Tank" shortens the sticks – Still on the first drive of the game, the Cowboys were trying to hold the Packers to a field goal with a third-and-5 at the 6-yard line. But a neutral-zone infraction on DeMarcus Lawrence made it a manageable third-and-short, and the Packers kept the ball on the ground, which resulted in a touchdown run by Aaron Jones, the first of three for the veteran back.  

Third-and-9 conversion, no delay of game – The Cowboys were down, 7-0, and after a fair-catch-interference penalty on Sam Williams, had already allowed the Packers to get out of bad field position. Green Bay then faced a third-and-9 at their 25-yard line, but despite the play clock being at zero, close to being a delay of game penalty, the Packers got the snap off and Jordan Love was able to avoid a sack before firing a pass to Romeo Doubs for a 26-yard gain. That would've been a huge turnaround for Dallas to be able to make that stop and get the ball back in favorable field position. Instead, the Cowboys eventually took over inside their 10-yard line and threw an interception a few plays later.

Prescott takes a sack on third down, no FG – The Cowboys trailed, 20-0, and were desperately in need of points. On third-and-5 from the Packers' 36-yard line, Dak Prescott was scrambling and looking for a receiver down the field. He tried to outrun a defender but instead of throwing the ball away, he took a sack by Keisean Nixon for a 6-yard loss. The Cowboys could've either gone for the fourth down or attempted a long field goal, but instead had to punt the ball away, wasting a desperately needed scoring opportunity.  

Not scoring a TD after halftime – Take your pick on which play set them back, but it was probably a sack of Prescott on first down from the Packers' 16-yard line. The Cowboys couldn't move any closer to the goal line and had to kick a field goal, cutting Green Bay's lead from 20 to just 17 at 27-10. A touchdown there was a must for Dallas, but it didn't matter much after that considering they still gave up a touchdown to the Packers on their next drive.

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