ARLINGTON, Texas – Aaron Rodgers hadn't thrown an interception since two weeks before Thanksgiving.
For a rare moment Sunday, safety Jeff Heath made the Green Bay Packers' quarterback look human – and in the process, helped the Cowboys' defense get back on track in their eventual 34-31 divisional-round loss at AT&T Stadium.
Ultimately, though, Rodgers (28-of-43, 356 yards, two touchdowns) made too many plays early and late.
Heath's third-quarter interception on Rodgers helped cancel out his teammate Dak Prescott's interception eight plays earlier. Trailing 28-13, Prescott then led the Cowboys on two straight scoring drives to tie the game – one of two ties in the final four minutes.
"You could feel the momentum swing, and the offense did a good job of getting points out of it," Heath said. "We just needed another play down the stretch and we didn't get it."
Heath intercepted Rodgers again with the game tied 28-28, but the play was wiped out by a pass interference penalty on cornerback Anthony Brown. The Packers would regain the lead on a 56-yard Mason Crosby field goal and took the lead for good on Crosby's 51-yarder as time expired, capping a six-play, 51-yard Packers drive in the final 35 seconds.
How Crosby got in position for his winning kick: on third-and-20 from the Green Bay 32-yard line, Rodgers rolled to his left and fired a pass to tight end Jared Cook, who got behind the defense and kept his toes in bounds for a 36-yard gain.
"The (Packers') quarterback – at the end of the day, they're going to talk about that guy as one of the top three quarterbacks who ever laced them up," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.
"I thought our defense did a good job just kind of bearing down and making some critical stops. Unfortunately in the end, it wasn't enough. But there's no question in my mind who we are was on display today. Everybody just kept fighting, kept battling."
Cowboys defenders lamented the Packers' quick start: three straight touchdown drives of 75, 90 and 80 yards after the Packers punted on the first five drives of last Sunday's wild-card victory over the New York Giants.
"When you play a team like that, you don't have any margin for error," linebacker Sean Lee said. "We gave them way too much early.
"Can't say exactly why; I've got to watch the film. But in the playoffs you've got to start fast and you've got to play four quarters."