Turnovers, penalties cost Cowboys in 31-28 loss in Green Bay

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Ludtke/AP/Shutterstock (13621907dk) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) is stopped after catching a pass by Green Bay Packers cornerback Keisean Nixon (25) during the second half of an NFL football game, in Green Bay, Wis Cowboys Packers Football, Green Bay, United States – 13 Nov 2022

Turnovers, penalties cost Cowboys in 31-28 loss in Green Bay

This is likely to go down as the Cowboys’ worst loss of the season so far as they suffered a 31-28 defeat to the Packers in overtime at Lambeau Field. Green Bay came into the game 3-6 and riding a five-game losing streak, including a loss last week to the Detroit Lions.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has struggled mightily coming into the game leaving Green Bay as the 27th ranked scoring offense in the NFL. Rodgers completed 14 of 20 pass attempts for 224 yards and three touchdowns, all to rookie WR Christian Watson. Watson became Rodgers’ favorite target Sunday catching four balls for 107 yards and three scores.

Green Bay had their way running the football against this Dallas defense. The Dallas run defense has struggled all year and it showed as the Packers ran for a combined 207 yards. RB Aaron Jones finished with 138 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

As for Dak, he left much to be desired in this one missing open receivers and throwing two picks. Prescott finished 27 of 46 for 265 yards passing and three touchdowns to go along with the two interceptions. There were several occasions where Dak seemed to not make the right decision or simply missed an open target.

Ceedee Lamb put up his first 100-yard receiving game since last season catching 11 balls for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He took advantage of the holes in Green Bay’s defense and proved he has the skillset to be a number one receiver going against top corner Jaire Alexander.

Without Zeke, Dallas was still able to run the ball effectively with Tony Pollard in the backfield. Pollard ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Pollard did not have the breakout run he had last week, but was still able to poke holes in the Green Bay front in key situations.

The loss left many questioning the coaching decisions made at the end of the game, particularly on fourth down in overtime. The fourth-and-four decision to go for it instead of kicking the field goal knowing they are in Brett Maher’s range was controversial to say the least and could be pointed to when explaining the loss.

On top of that, penalties late in the game costed Dallas in a big way taking away conversions and key yardage, which could have altered the game in a different direction. The undisciplined nature of this team is what was apparent last year and seemingly costed the Cowboys’ season.

Dallas would start with the ball, however, after two straight incompletions; they would quickly punt the ball away. Dak started the game on their first two possessions 0-4 on pass attempts.

The first Green Bay drive would show some early momentum as they committed to the run, which Dallas has struggled with all season. The Packers’ 10-play drive would include seven run plays ultimately leading to a 54-yard field goal attempt by Mason Crosby. The attempt would fall well short and well right keeping the score 0-0 with 9:39 left in the first quarter.

After another three-and-out from the Cowboys, Green Bay would lead another extended drive where the Dallas defense would hold. A seven-play drive where the Dallas defense showed its bend-don’t-break quality.

The Cowboys would strike first early in the second quarter with a three-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Ceedee Lamb giving Dallas a 7-0 lead. Lamb’s fourth touchdown grab of the season capped off a 19-play drive that spanned from the three-minute mark in the first to the 9:52 mark in the second.

Dallas looked to be gaining momentum on the ensuing Packers drive forcing an Aaron Rodgers fumble giving the Cowboys the ball at the Green Bay 10-yard line. Safety Jayron Kearse recovered the fumble.

That momentum would be short-lived however, as Dak would throw an interception in the end zone giving the ball back to Green Bay with just over seven minutes to play in the half. Rudy Ford picked off the pass intended for Ceedee Lamb.

Green Bay would take advantage of Prescott’s mistake scoring on their next possession. Rodgers would show the big-play ability that seemed absent in the first half of the season by completing a 58-yard touchdown pass to rookie WR Christian Watson tying the game at 7-7. Anthony Brown was beaten over the top and Rodgers’ throw was as good a throw he has made all year.

The following Dallas drive would end in the same fate as their previous one. They led an eight-play drive that would end in another interception from Prescott handing the ball back to the Packers on the Dallas 22-yard line.

It would only take Green Bay four plays to tack on another touchdown to take a 14-7 lead with under two minutes to go in the half. Aaron Jones punched in a 12-yard touchdown run for his second rushing touchdown of the season.

Green Bay would cause a special teams scare for Dallas as Peyton Hendershot fumbled on the squib kick return. However, it was recovered by Dallas LB Luke Gifford at their own 34-yard line allowing the Cowboy community to catch their breath.

Dallas would end the half on a high note leading a successful two-minute drill to end the half. Dak would go 6-7 on the drive including a 23-yard bullet to Michael Gallup setting up a short field. The Cowboys would tie the game at 14-14 with eight seconds left in the half on a five-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz to cap off a successful eight-play drive to end the half.

Despite Dak throwing two picks, the game was tied 14-14 at the half. Dak was 16 of 25 for 113 yards and two touchdowns to go along with two interceptions at halftime. Ceedee Lamb pulled in seven catches for 56 yards and a score to this point.

Green Bay committed to the run in the first half running the ball 18 times as opposed to only six pass attempts in the first half. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for 93 yards rushing and a score in the first half. Rodgers was just four for six on pass attempts for 73 yards and a touchdown.

The Packers would start the second half with the ball, but would fail to make anything of it giving Dallas the ball back early in the third quarter. The seven-play drive saw DeMarcus Lawrence wreak havoc in the backfield disrupting multiple plays both in the run and pass game.

The following Dallas drive would end in a punt; however, Packers kick returner Amari Rodgers fumbled on the return giving Dallas the ball back at the Green Bay 45-yard line. TE Sean McKeon recovered the fumble as Dallas’ special teams unit remains one of the strongest in football.

This time, Dallas would take advantage of a Green Bay mistake punching in a score on their next possession. The four-play drive would end with a 13-yard touchdown run by Tony Pollard giving Dallas a 21-14 lead with just over seven minutes to go in the third.

The Cowboys would keep the momentum going on their next drive following a defensive stop. Backup RB Malik Davis put together an exceptional drive as he carried the ball three times for 36 yards on the drive. The Prescott to Lamb connection would continue to be red hot in this one as they connected for their second score of the day on a 35-yard touchdown pass. The score would give Dallas a 28-14 lead with under three minutes to play in the third quarter.

One thing Cowboys fan know: never count out Aaron Rodgers. The following Green Bay drive would leadoff the fourth quarter with a touchdown narrowing the Dallas lead to seven. Rodgers would hit Christian Watson again on a 39-yard touchdown strike giving Green Bay a much-needed jolt. The score would then sit at 28-21 just two minutes into the final period.

Despite pushing the football down the field, Dallas’ next drive would prove unsuccessful. The eight-play drive would lead to a punt pinning the Packers back to their own 11-yard line.

On the Packers’ next drive, Rodgers would continue to prove he is poison for the Dallas defense driving 89 yards down the field on nine plays to tie the game 28-28. Rodgers would connect with Christian Watson for a third time in the end zone on a seven-yard pass with two and a half minutes to play in the game.

Dallas’ next drive would end in a three-and-out forcing a punt with 1:38 left on the clock. The Packers would start their next drive at their own 33-yard line.

The Cowboy defense, as they have all year, came up big forcing a three-and-out of their own getting the ball back with 16 seconds to play and the score tied at 28. However, the Cowboys would not make anything of the final seconds sending the game into overtime.

Dallas won the coin toss and would start with the ball. Penalties would hinder what was otherwise a successful drive causing Dallas to make a controversial decision. Dallas would elect to go for it on fourth down on the Green Bay 35-yard line instead of kicking the field goal that would have given them the lead. Dallas would then fail to convert giving Green Bay solid field position going the other way.

All it took was a 36-yard pass to Allen Lazard to put the dagger in the game. Green Bay would then set up a tailor-made 28-yard field goal for Mason Crosby to win the game 31-28 in overtime.

A heartbreaker for Dallas as they fall to the 3-6 Packers to fall down to third place in the NFC East at 6-3. The Cowboys face another tough challenge next week as they travel to Minnesota to take on the 8-1 Minnesota Vikings.

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