Cowboys: Can They Do This For The Second Time?


The Dallas Cowboys have one historical limitation that they’ll have to overcome for just the second time ever at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Week 14.

Throughout their 50-year history, the Dallas Cowboys have done much more right than wrong. America’s Team gained that very likeness primarily because they have a winning or even record against all but seven teams in the NFL.

One of those teams just happens to be the very opponent they face this Sunday in a game that essentially represents another playoff game, a playoff rematch, if you will, from not quite one year ago.

The Green Bay Packers hold a slight edge in head-to-head record by a margin of 13-12 in the regular season. In the actual postseason, the edge is reversed, yet equally tight, at 4-3 in favor of the Cowboys.

If not for all of those wins at Texas Stadium during the multiple Super Bowl runs in the early to mid 1990s, this rivalry would be quite lopsided in Green Bay’s favor.

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Despite the slight edge one-way or the other, there’s still one dynamic working heavily in favor of the Packers.

The tilted reality here is that the Cowboys simply don’t win at Lambeau Field, period.

In fact, a Dallas victory at this storied venue has happened just once – ever.

That one victory came quite recently when the Cowboys finally won a game at this historic stadium in 2008, a 27-16 win led by current starting quarterback Tony Romo. This may seem like ages ago depending on how old you are, but that’s not at all the case when you consider the list of other Dallas quarterbacks who never won a game there.

Part of the issue is that the Cowboys have only played seven regular season games at Lambeau Field in 55 years of existence. There’s only two playoff games having taken place at the venue, both lost by Dallas.

If you’re adding this up, the Cowboys are 1-6 during the regular season at Lambeau and an obvious 0-2 in the postseason.

Indeed, things must change in a hurry if the Cowboys are to keep their marginal hopes alive to win the horrible NFC East.

For perspective, it’s not as though Dallas simply can’t win a football game in the state of Wisconsin.

The Cowboys actually won their final three games played at Milwaukee County Stadium, an alternate venue the Packers used to play at two or three times per year – that tradition ended following the 1994 regular season. Obviously there’s the single victory at Lambeau in ’08 that gives Dallas a total of four wins against the Packers outside of Dallas-Ft.Worth.

Call it bad luck, bad weather or just bad Cowboys teams that have too often made the trip up north, but the fact remains that Dallas is never really at an advantage when traveling to Lambeau.

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Yes, the weather in Wisconsin completely stinks after about mid-November and it keeps getting worse through February. Running the football is a key necessity in having success against the Packers in their own living room, but during the administration of Jason Garrett, which includes his lousy oversight of the offense since 2007, the Cowboys haven’t often been strong advocates of running the ball.

The defense hasn’t fared too much better at Lambeau, historically speaking. In the last four regular season losses at Lambeau, the Cowboys have given up an average of 37 points per game – it actually surrendered over 40 points in three of those defeats. The most recent of those performances was a 45-7 pasting that secured a 1-7 start for the Cowboys in 2010 that ended up being the last game coached by Wade Phillips. This happened to be a prime time matchup on NBC Sunday Night Football that goes down as among the most embarrassing games in franchise history.

Sure, history is history and we could say that these numbers and trends mean nothing – but they probably do.

History, in fact, repeats itself, even though we might not always recognize this fact or the examples that illustrate this phenomenon.

On Sunday, the Cowboys will be charged with beating a Packers team led by Aaron Rodgers, who happens to be among the top three or four quarterbacks in the NFL. A Dallas team that finished 12-4 last season was still unable to hold off this quarterback on one leg in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

The Cowboys counter, not with Romo, but with Matt Cassel, a mere backup who’s got a single victory as a Dallas starter this season in five tries.

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It’s true that Green Bay is more vulnerable that it’s been in years past. Rodgers doesn’t have wide receiver Jordy Nelson to throw to and running back Eddie Lacy is having his share of struggles. In fact, if not for Rodgers’ ‘hail mary’ touchdown pass to beat the Detroit Lions on Week 13, this is a Packers team that’s just two games above .500 and not even leading their own division.

Nonetheless, history speaks for itself in this matchup, and to win up north the Cowboys will have to do something they’ve only done once.