Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mike Roemer/AP/Shutterstock (13621907bb) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass under pressure from Green Bay Packers linebacker Jonathan Garvin (53) during the first half of an NFL football game, in Green Bay, Wis Cowboys Packers Football, Green Bay, United States – 13 Nov 2022
The Dallas offense went to sleep, and the defense collapsed late, as the Packers (4-6) erased a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter and beat the Cowboys (6-3) 31-28 in overtime on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field.
Defense lets team down late
What has been the Cowboys most stalwart unit this season, could not rescue them on Sunday afternoon in Green Bay.
For the first time in 196 games, the Cowboys blew a 14-point led, on the backs of a defense that got abused by the running game and blitzed by the big play.
Aaron Rodgers finished completing just 14 passes, including touchdown passes to Christian Watson of 58, 39 and seven yards. Rodgers ended his day with 224 yards passing and no interceptions for a 146.7 QB rating in their come-from-behind victory.
The reason Rodgers only needed to complete 14 passes; was the fact the running game was embarrassing the Cowboys’ run defense. The Packers gained 207 yards on the ground, led by the 138 yards and one touchdown from Aaron Jones on 24 carries. A.J. Dillon added 65 yards on 13 totes.
The Cowboys allowed the Packers 415 yards of total offense, and nearly a 50-percent success rate on third downs.
Offense tardy to Lambeau
It took nearly the whole first half for the Cowboys’ offense to really come to life, and that was after they fell behind for the first time in the game.
The Cowboys finished with 421 total yards, 265 of those coming through the air.
Quarterback Dak Prescott had 113 yards passing while completing 16 of 25 passes in the opening 30 minutes, two going for touchdowns, as the Cowboys amassed just 170 total yards in the first half.
CeeDee Lamb led the Cowboys receivers with 11 catches for 150 yards, including a 35-yard TD strike from Prescott in the third quarter to put the Cowboys up 28-14. It is Lamb’s first 100-plus yard receiving day since he went for 112 yards in a 20-16 win over Minnesota last season.
Tight end Dalton Schultz, who caught six passes for 54 yards, caught Prescott’s second touchdown of the game — a 5-yard strike late in the second quarter to tie the game 14-14 at halftime.
With Ezekiel Elliott out for the second straight game, Tony Pollard was again asked to carry the load for the running game. It was tough running all day, but Pollard finished with over 100 yards rushing for the second-straight game.
Up and down day for Prescott
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished with 265 yards passing on 27 completions, threw three touchdown passes and two interceptions, in a day filled with ups and downs for the face of the franchise.
Both interceptions led to Green Bay touchdowns, but it looked as though he was going to be able to overcome his horrible start as the Cowboys held a 14-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play in regulation.
But Prescott, who had a 78.6 QB rating in the loss, went cold from there, missing open receivers and failing to move the ball into Green Bay territory over the final half of the fourth quarter.
Then an overthrown pass on fourth down and three from the Green Bay 35 on the Cowboys only drive of overtime sealed their fate, as Prescott and offense never saw the ball again.
While the ending was terrible, the game did not start well for Prescott either.
It took five passes for him to find his first completion, a seven-yard slant to CeeDee Lamb on the third Cowboys drive of the game. He then rattled off 10-straight completions, his last a three-yard strike to Lamb for the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the game.
Prescott, who finished the first quarter a meager three of seven for 31 yards, ended the first half with 113 yards passing on a cold and windy day at Lambeau Field.
Pollard, Davis lead RBs
Despite missing Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys’ running game continued to chew up yardage for the offense.
Using Tony Pollard, who had 115 yards on 22 carries, and Malik Davis, the Cowboys rushed for 159 yards on 31 carries, including a 13-yard touchdown run for Pollard in the second half.
Pollard, who rushed for over five yards per carry in the game, continued to carry the load for Dallas, while Davis chipped in with a healthy 38 yards on just five carries in relief.
Quarterback Dak Prescott, who was the only other Cowboy to get a carry, finished with six yards on four carries.
Turnovers play key role
The Cowboys were gifted two fumbles, the second they turned into a 13-yard touchdown run from Tony Pollard. The first fumble came on a DeMarcus Lawrence sack of Aaron Rodgers, that Jayron Kearse recovered in the second quarter.
Prescott would turn the Kearse fumble recovery into his first interception of the game. Packers’ safety Rudy Ford picked off Prescott just inside the Green Bay end zone and returned it 34 yards to set up the Packers. Rodgers made the Cowboys pay three plays later, connecting with Christian Watson on a 58-yard TD strike.
Prescott would throw his second interception of the game on the very next drive, this time he fired it short of Lamb and Ford had his second interception of the game. Three plays later, Aaron Jones scored on a 12-yard run to push the Packers to a first-half lead.