The Cowboys now know their playoff opponent for their divisional round playoff game. With a 38-13 victory over the New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers have punched their ticket to the next round, and will travel to Arlington, Texas to face the Cowboys on Sunday, January 15th. When looking at this exhilarating matchup, there are sure to be many references to the playoff game between these two ballclubs just two year ago. Commonly remembered by three words, “Dez Caught It”, the Cowboys will surely look to avoid having the game come down to a 50/50 call like they had in the 2014 playoffs.
There are ways that the Cowboys can repeat the success that they had in their week 6 game with Green Bay, a 30-16 victory in Lambeau Field. The first step is to simply shut down Aaron Rodgers…which is admittedly easier said than done. However, the Cowboys did do just that in their last matchup by controlling the clock with rookie phenom Ezekiel Elliott, who rumbled for 157 rushing yards on 28 carries. For the Cowboys to advance to their first NFC Championship Game since 1995, they will need to keep the ball in their hands, and prevent no. 12 from having a vintage performance against this rebuilt Cowboys defense.
The Cowboys can also look to a key contributor on defense in their week 6 game to provide some pass rush for this team, defensive end David Irving. Irving only played about half of the snaps in week 6, but harassed Rodgers into committing a critical goal-line fumble, and providing several highlight worthy plays. Looking to next Sunday’s matchup, the Cowboys will surely hope to see more of the same from Irving, who has really caught fire defensively as the season has worn on.
Offensively, the Cowboys will add an Ace to their hand as Dez Bryant, the maligned “victim” of that call in Green Bay two seasons ago, will take the field for the first time against the Packers this season. Bryant was unable to partake in the week 6 matchup with the Packers as he nursed a knee injury, but has really started to find a chemistry with rookie quarterback and potential MVP candidate Dak Prescott. This will surely add a new wrinkle to a Cowboys passing attack that shredded the Packers with relative ease as Cole Beasley and Brice Butler made several key plays in the passing game back in week 6.
These matchups inside of a playoff matchup will be something for fans to keep a close eye on, as the Packers will present a tough challenge for a young, but talented Cowboys team. Riding a 7-game winning streak, the Packers will look to carry momentum into the NFC Championship game, but the Cowboys will look to end their winning streak, and their season, next Sunday at 3:40pm CST on FOX.
Jared Wingate is a lead writer for Pro Football Spot. He is also a Broadcast Journalism Major. Subscribe and follow him on Twitter @wingate_jared.