Skip to main content

Game Recap

Presented by

Game Recap: Cowboys' season ends, 48-32


This season felt different for the Dallas Cowboys, their winning of the NFC East and No. 2 seed providing optimism for an exciting playoff run. But in the end, they were left with the same disappointing results, losing to the Green Bay Packers in the wild-card round of the playoffs, 48-32.

That marked the most points surrendered in a playoff game in Cowboys history. And with the loss, the franchise's streak without an NFC Championship Game appearance, much less a Super Bowl, was extended to 28 years.

Although going undefeated at home during the regular season with a 16-game home winning streak coming into this one, this was an embarrassing performance from start to finish. The Cowboys were simply outplayed on offense, outplayed on defense and outcoached by the Packers.

Despite playing in his first career postseason game, Jordan Love was practically unstoppable, doing his best Aaron Rodgers impersonation by slicing and dicing the Dallas defense for 272 passing yards. He completed 76.2 of his attempts with three touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks for a nearly perfect 157.2 quarterback rating.

And benefiting from Love's success proved to be a somewhat unlikely target. Romeo Doubs had never posted a 100-yard game in his young career, but he caught six passes for 151 yards and a touchdown in this one.

And when Love and company weren't causing problems through the air, Aaron Jones was running over, around and through the Cowboys to the tune of 118 rushing yards off of 21 carries, a 5.6 yards per carry average, with three scores of his own.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the stars of this Cowboys offense, namely quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, struggled through almost the entire first half. Prescott finished the first 30 minutes with a 47.2 passer rating after completing just 13 of 21 attempts for 87 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, both of which led to Packers touchdowns. Lamb had only two of those grabs for 18 yards.

While those two managed to find a little rhythm in the second half, it wasn't nearly enough. Prescott finished with 403 passing yards, three touchdowns tosses and those two costly interceptions for an 89.8 rating, while Lamb hauled in nine passes for 110 yards. Michael Gallup also topped the century mark with 103 yards with tight end Jake Ferguson setting new career highs in catches (10), receiving yards (93) and touchdown grabs (3).

First Quarter

Needless to say, Dallas did not get off to a good start. The Packers won the coin toss and elected to receive, hoping to put the Cowboys in an early deficit. They did. Helped by a pair of Dallas penalties, Green Bay took that opening possession and marched 75 yards in 12 plays while eating 7:52 off the clock. Love was good on all four of his pass attempts for 42 yards, while Jones picked up 25 yards on the ground, his last carry a 3-yard punch over the goal line for the game's first points.

And then disaster struck after a trade of punts saw the Cowboys take over at their own 8-yard line. On the third snap of the series, Prescott tried to throw a dart to Brandin Cooks on a slant route, but on a pass that was just out of reach of the intended target, cornerback Jaire Alexander instead dove to make the interception, giving Green Bay the ball at the Dallas 19-yard line.

At the end of the quarter, the Cowboys had been outgained, 108 yards to 32, with the visitors owning the time of possession, 11:04 to 3:56.

Second Quarter

If the first quarter was bad, the second wasn't even worse. Two plays into the frame, the Packers had an unexpected two-touchdown lead with Jones getting his second score of the game, this one from just 1-yard out.

Dallas then was able to cross midfield to the Green Bay 35-yard line, but promptly lost 7 yards on the next two plays to fall out of field-goal range, forced to punt. And though the Packers had to start on their own 7-yard line, the 93-yard distance to the goal line. Love easily picked apart the Cowboys defense, completing all six of his passes for 89 yards, the last of which was a 20-yard throw off his back foot to a streaking Dontayvion Wicks in the end zone. The extra point was missed, but Green Bay now had a 20-0 lead.

Make that 27-0. Trying to find some kind of spark, the Cowboys instead dug the whole even deeper. They again crossed over into enemy territory, but on the first play after the two-minute warning, Prescott tried to connect with Lamb, only to have safety Darnell Savage step in front of the pass for the game's second interception. With nothing but wide open space in front of him, he then raced untouched 64 yards for the pick-6 touchdown.

Since they would get the ball to start the third quarter, the Cowboys desperately needed points before the first half ended. And taking over with 1:43 left in the quarter, Dallas was indeed finally able to get on the board.

The 12-play, 55-yard drive ended with the Cowboys going for a score from the 1-yard line with only 2 seconds left on the clock. Prescott rolled to his right and dumped a pass off to Jake Ferguson for the touchdown, the home side going into the break down 27-7.

Third Quarter

Things looked somewhat promising when the Cowboys came out of the locker room and quickly worked their way to the Packers' 16-yard line. But there the drive stalled, forcing Dallas to settle for a 34-yard field goal when they no doubt needed touchdowns at this point.

And even more so when Green Bay responded by actually reaching the end zone themselves. Jones got the handoff on four of their five plays for 29 yards, but the big blow came when Love found Doubs wide open for a 46-yard gain. Still, Jones got the scoring honors with a 9-yard run off right guard to the goal line.

Sadly, with that, the Packers' lead was insurmountable, although the Cowboys were not about to give up the fight. Prescott and company went on a long 11-play, 88-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown by Tony Pollard. Dallas appeared to have made the two-point conversion when Prescott fed a pass to Ferguson, but two offensive penalties were called, negating the play. Pushed back to the Green Bay 25-yard line, the Cowboys instead called on Brandon Aubrey to kick the extra-point, which he immediately clanged off the right upright, no good.

It was that kind of day.

While the Dallas offense was having at least a modicum of success now, the defense was doing nothing to stop the Packers offense. Green Bay had worked its way to the Cowboys' 38-yard line when Love started a bootleg to his left, only to throw back to his right to a wide-open Luke Musgrave. In a clear case of blown coverage, the tight end had no one anywhere close to him, making for an easy touchdown and a 41-16 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

After Dallas failed to convert on a fourth-and-5 on its own 41-yard line, the Packers used eight plays to add another seven points. Jones kicked things off with a 19-yard run before Doubs corralled a 3-yard pass for the touchdown.

Not that it mattered much to the final outcome, but Prescott and Ferguson connected on a pair of touchdown passes before the game was over. The first score, a 7-yard catch, capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive with Rico Dowdle's rush off left guard adding the two-point conversion.

On their next series, Dallas then needed only four plays to travel 91 yards, thanks in part to a 47-yard completion to Lamb. But Ferguson got the touchdown, this a 14-yarder, the first multi-touchdown game of his career.

But it was of course too little, too late. The Cowboys were unable to recover their onside kick attempts after both scores, but did get the ball back one more time before the end of the game. However, they were unable to make the score at least a little more respectable, Prescott's last-gasp Hail Mary going out of the back of the end zone.

And with that, the game came to a merciful end, the Cowboys' promising season once again ending in disappointment.

Related Content