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Instant Review: Staff Writers Give Quick Analysis Of Cowboys-Packers

GREEN BAY, Wisc. – The Cowboys kept the game close until late in the fourth quarter Sunday at rainy Lambeau Field, but dropped to 4-9 on the season with a 28-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers (9-4).

On Saturday, the staff writers gave their gut feeling for the game. Check out the instant reactions from the staff of

David Helman: I thought the Packers would pull away in the end, but I thought it'd be because of Aaron Rodgers – not an absolutely dominant performance by the Green Bay ground game. Eddie Lacy and James Starks put on a dominant performance, helping the Packers rush for 230 total yards. As well as the Cowboys tackled in Washington last week, they were that bad against the Packer backs in the rain at Lambeau Field. Of course, the main reason the defense was in that position in the first place was another lousy outing from the Dallas offense. Matt Cassel completed 45 percent of his passes for 114 yards, and Dez Bryant added several drops – including one that led to a red zone interception. It squandered a solid rushing effort from Darren McFadden and Robert Turbin. The bottom line is that this game was the fifth time all season that the Cowboys failed to score more than one touchdown. That's just not going to win you many games.

Bryan Broaddus: The Packers were outstanding running the ball in this matchup. With Mike McCarthy taking over as the play-caller it was clear that he was going to try and get this Packers running game going in these wet conditions. Coming into this game there were questions about Eddie Lacy and his struggles this season, but all that went away as McCarthy hammered him at this Cowboys defense. My gut feeling was that Rolando McClain and Sean Lee were going to be effective in the game playing the run and take advantage of the starting center Corey Linsley being out. The entire night it appeared that the speed in which McClain and Lee played with Monday night just wasn't there and McCarthy was able to take full advantage of that controlling the ball with the run.

Rob Phillips: My gut feeling was a fairly low-scoring game, given the rain and both teams' difficulties finding the end zone at various points this season, and it was 14-7 with under five minutes left – until the Packers' running game found another gear and put the game away. I thought the Cowboys had a chance to win with how well their defense has played in recent weeks, but they conceded they didn't tackle as well as they did last Monday at Washington, and Aaron Rodgers was able to neutralize their pass rush early with some well-timed screens. Once again, the Cowboys' offense had trouble in the red zone. Zero points on the opening drive following Darren McFadden's season-long 50-yard run set the tone for a difficult day. The Cowboys' defense was on the field for 45 plays in the first half – way too many. Now here's another short week leading up to the Jets game on Saturday, with the NFC East division race further out of reach than before.

Nick Eatman:Well, the main reason I picked Green Bay was because they had Rodger and the Cowboys have Cassel. Simple as that and it was a difference. Cassel forced a pass to Bryant down at the 2 and it was intercepted, costing them three early points and some momentum. Rodgers had his moments but really benefited from a strong running attack, led by Eddie Lacy. I expected big things from Dez but why didn't I assume there would be another challenged catch. They did get this one right, I believe. But nothing out of Cole Beasley so I was wrong there. Obviously nothing on defense to really discuss. I said Claiborne would get a pick and he never really got close. I said the Packers would pull away in the third quarter, but it actually happened in the fourth.

For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted Saturday, click here:

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