Packers vs. Cowboys – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 37 DAL 36 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Jarrett Bush breaks up a pass against Dallas.
Jarrett Bush breaks up a pass against Dallas.

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys:  2013 Game 14

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.


Aaron Rodgers was held out of this game and he is pissed about it.  Packers always err on the side of extreme caution with injuries, ironic since they always seem to have so many.

With Taylor and Tretter out, that leaves Sherrod and Newhouse as the 2 OL subs. That means Newhouse at guard again if something happens to EDS. Oh dear…

Dallas has the worst defense in the league, and the fourth-worse since 1935 in terms of yardage given up. Time of possession could be a big factor in this game.

The last time the Packers won in Dallas was 1989.


Today’s captains for the Packers: – T/G Don Barclay (offense), LB A.J. Hawk (defense) and S Sean Richardson (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:


Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers

12 QB Aaron Rodgers
51 LB Nate Palmer
65 G Lane Taylor
73 G/C JC Tretter
85 TE Jake Stoneburner
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy

10 QB Matt Flynn will start for Rodgers.

Dallas Cowboys
17 WR Dwayne Harris
23 S Jakar Hamilton
24 CB Morris Claiborne
50 LB Sean Lee
54 LB Bruce Carter
56 DE Martez Wilson
75 T Darrion Weems

32 CB Orlando Scandrick starts for Claiborne, LB 52 Justin Durant moves from strong side to middle to start for Lee, 51 Kyle Wilber takes Durant’s normal strong-side spot, and 59 LB Ernie Sims starts for Carter.

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

(sorry – missed most of it…)


Guys in trenches will be critical/ability to get ball in space is where big plays will happen.

Flynn brought consistency and flow to the offense…does a great job…playing to strengths.





Packers vs. Cowboys – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win toss and defer.

Well that was awful coverage by Tramon and too late help from Burnett on a 27yd completion from Romo to Williams.

Josh Boyd showing up early – big tackle for loss.

How do you see the blitz, make your adjustments and you still look caught by surprise and take a sack? Can someone explain that?

More impressed by the height, and straightness of Crosby’s 57yd kick than the distance. We know he has the leg.

MD Jennings in at safety – didn’t they learn their lesson last week?

Tyron Smith was my #1 rated OT in the 2011 draft. #2 was Derek Sherrod. I had them both ahead of Castonzo and Solder.

Without any real pressure, Romo will destroy the #Packers.

What in the hell does Matt Flynn have against getting rid of the ball?

Score at end of 1st quarter:     Dal 13 GB 3

Nothing like a 2yd pass on 3rd and 15. Thanks Mike!

Romo has all day to throw – Packers secondary has no chance – even if they were good.

It’s essential the Packers get the run game going.

3rd and nine and first read is a 4yd out route. Thanks Mike!

Sean Richardson comes up aggressively and lays hits on people. Works for me.

Finally some pressure, and Mike Daniels was obviously held. Otherwise he gets to Romo.

Thought process: Four Cowboys around Nelson. Lets loft one to him. Oh darn, interception.

That was some of the best coverage we’ve ever seen from Jarett Bush. (breaks up pass to TE on seam route)

Quarless was completely uncovered deep on that underthrow to Lacy. Any kind of pass there would be a TD. Of course, if he couldn’t reach Lacy…

Great coverage by the ref on Dez Bryant. Can we sign him?


Score at end of 1st half:   Dal 26 GB 3


Packers vs. Cowboys – First Impressions – Second Half:

Jordy Nelson – stealing the ball again.

Clay Matthews has been downright invisible so far.

Josh Boyd drawing the holding penalty. He’s getting a lot of snaps. Has a strong burst.

So evidently, the new normal is the Packers have to really suck for a half before they start playing like they mean it.

Packers using the rollout extensively now and it’s working – as it did the one time they used it in the first half.

Datone Jones having better success against Tyron Smith than Clay Matthews is.

I’m sorry, but anyone who can’t see the difference in the play calling between these two halves is blind. Same “bad” players…

And this is why I criticize McCarthy. His playing calling sometimes downright sucks. Even with injuries and “bad” players, there’s enough talent to be competitive.


Score at end of 3rd quarter:   Dal 29 GB 17

Call plays like he has this half. All I’ve ever asked of McCarthy.

Wow – Could have been a huge interception by Tramon Williams – rightfully overturned. Would have put them inside the 10 and a chance to actually take the lead.

Instead, Cowboys driving aided by a couple of Packers penalties.  Although, encroachment against Mike Neal should have been false start on the Cowboys’ right tackle.

Packers march downfield yet again. beating a dead horse, but what a difference good playcalling can make.

I’m not writing much because I’m totally engrossed in this comeback bid. Also, entertaining idiots on twitter calling me a bad fan for criticizing McCarthy.

Three minutes left, Packers in Dallas territory after a sick INT by Sam Shields.

Under two minutes, Packers inside the 20 looking to take the lead. Part of me does not want the Packers to score too soon…

Lacy scores.  1:30 left – one time out left for Dallas. Biting nails…

Tramon with another possible INT – called incomplete. He thinks he caught it. I think he did too. This ones going to booth review. All nails gone…

INT GAME OVER. Unbelievable.

It doesn’t have to be this hard.


Final Score:   GB 37 Dal 36


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


76 thoughts on “Packers vs. Cowboys – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 37 DAL 36

  1. Picks jaw up off the floor…

    Where has that been for the last 6 weeks?

    But seriously, great win to keep any hopes alive. They’ve won two straight by playing only two halves of good football.

    1. I literally walked around in a dream state after the game for few minutes and I had to zip to the end of the dvr recording and watch it again to make sure it actually happened.

      I have to admit I was getting conditioned, but in a bad way.

      What a win.

  2. Two entirely different games – what a comeback. Matt Flynn worth every penny – he has been a great back up QB. You can’t ask for more.

    No Rodgers and we beat a decent team.

    Season ain’t over. We need help next week from teams playing Bears and Lions but we close season with the Bears in Chicago so couldn’t ask for a better situation.

    Funny rooting for the Vikings against Detroit for final reg. season game, but we will be.

  3. Never Give Up! Never Give Up!! Never Give Up!!! I’m not sure why we are only playing for real in the second half but it ‘s working. As for those who malign MM’s play calling, how about 5 TD drives on the road, in the second half, with a backup QB!? Better to win ugly every time. Someone beat the Lions. Go Pack Go!!! Thanks, Since ’61

    1. I malign his play calling – because it often sucks, as it did in the first half. Look at the difference in the second half – you saw plays we haven’t seen for months, not the same old tired plays we normally see. Look at the difference it made.

      1. We won Al we won!! I mean this really feels good, and your right some of those plays, well Dallas had NO CLUE!!!

      2. Sorry Al. My comment was not directed at you but some of our fellow bloggers who criticize MMs play calling. I believe in execution versus play calling. Otherwise, when a play works it’s a good call and when it doesn’t it’s a bad call. For example, is Lacy’s 60 yard run a good play call or great execution. I think it was great execution? If it was a good play call it still requires great execution. If the play is stuffed at the LOS it’s poor execution and we never know if it’s a good call or not. In any case congrats to the Packers and all Pack fans on a great win. Thanks, Since ’61

        1. Well, I criticize his play calling, so you can include me – and it’s certainly ok to disagree. However, I hear your argument all the time and it doesn’t address creativity. There were some plays that went nowhere in the second half that I would still give a thumbs up because they weren’t the same old tired plays. They gave Dallas a look they didn’t expect. Even if it doesn’t work, it improves your chances of the next play working.

        2. Agree, it’s all about execution. Obviously executon works better when the QB the offense is designed around is playing. That and if the QB’s running the current version actually know the entire offense. Flynn is getting there but lets face it, he has learned 3 new offenses in the past year, trying to remember what he knew of our offense and learning an entirely new running game than we used to use.

          All that isn’t even taking into consideration that almost every play has as many as 4-6 sight adjust plays associated w/ it.

          1. No, it’s not “all” about execution. it’s about giving the defense something they’re not prepared and waiting for. You can not get away with being predictable any more, even if you have superior talent.

      3. I agree with Al. The play calling of MM in the first half was horrible. I mean on 3rd and 15 how many 2 yard passes can you throw? In the first half, in McCarthy’s world, many. That call to Starks for a TD in the second half was a beautiful call. So was finally getting Quarless involved. After last week and Sean Lee out, the Packers should have been getting Q involved in the 1st half.

        1. I’m with you Nick–we saw McCarthy do this against the Falcons, he failed to even give the Lions the NO HUDDLE to deal with and allowed them to substitute fresh players and they pummeled Flynn and Lacy all game long. He waits till almost halftime and down by 23 points before giving Flynn the no huddle or roll out passes to slow down pressure and get some production. The second half-Cowboys were looking for pass on the 60 yd run by Lacy-GB was down 26-3, of course they would be looking for McCarthy to come out throwing because they were so far behind. That run and two CONSECUTIVE TD drives by Flynn knocked Cowboys and coaches back on their heels, they thought the game was over at halftime. Once the score starting shrinking you could see Cowboy offense panic. They were sure the late TD to Bryant was the clincher, never expected Flynn and Packers to be as resilient. Finally some defense in the end to talk about, can’t say enough about the play of Shields and Williams in second half–where have they been all season long?

      4. Agree with Al, the play calling was poor in the first half. There were many third a longs where they threw short passes with no chance of picking up the first. It was like they’d given up.

        Another time, the Pack had a second and two situation. Instead of running it with Lacy, they threw two incomplete passes and had to punt. That’s just not smart football.

  4. Don’t need any help from teams playing Bears. We just need to go in there and win the division. Lions will not win there final 2.

    Like I always say, any team can win on any given half on any given Sunday.

  5. Great prediction Al. You noted that the Packers could win if they scored in the 30’s & they did! Amazing!

  6. This game was so amazing… I’ve never seen anything like it.

    The Packers were so incredibly bad in the first half and so incredibly good in the second half. It was as if two different teams played today.

    I honestly can’t explain what I saw today, but I’m overjoyed nonetheless!

    1. I was having Thanksgiving flashbacks for awhile in the first half, and not of the meat sweats…

    2. What we saw in the second half was what it was like to play against the Packers over the last several weeks…

  7. Just as surprising was that Dallas couldn’t find it in the second half when a share of the division lead was theirs to be had (thanks to the Vikes).

    We saw a collapse tonight that will cost Jason Garrett his job.

    1. Didn’t the last GB-Dallas tilt result in Wade Phillips getting canned?

      Up to now, Jason Garrett has been bailed out by Romo & Bryant and all the rest of the talent they have on O. Everyone knew he was bad, but he took to another level today. Wow.

  8. I really have to congratulate the packers team of the way they came back next the pitsburg and then we will return the favor to the bears and cutler.

  9. It’s not about play calling. The idea that McCarthy somehow reinvented himself during halftime is bonkers. It’s about execution. Minor adjustments aside, the same coach called the same plays based on the same philosophy in the first half as in the second half.

    Was it creative and innovative play calling that busted Lacy for 60 yards on a straight-up off-tackle run to open the second quarter? Was it crappy play calling that got Flynn snowed under before he could even set his feet on almost every passing play in the first half?

    1. “same coach called the same plays based on the same philosophy in the first half as in the second half.”

      Sorry, marpag, you are dead wrong. It was like night and day different. Did you see a bunch of rollouts in the first half (only one)? Did you see a middle screen (when was the last time?) Did you see fake screens, misdirection plays, No to all. I’ll have more on this tomorrow.

      1. If they didn’t roll Flynn out more, screens, misdirections, etc., he was going to get killed.

        Still, is it execution? Is it the call? Or is it the fact that they played the only D in the league that’s slumping worse than ours?

        1. they played the same D in the first half. It was like two completely different playbooks from first half to second. the second half playbook is the one I’ve been waiting for.

      2. I’ll read it with interest, Al. In fact, let me offer just one, very sincere suggestion: Don’t rush it. To write the article you intend to write is a huge undertaking. It’s not just about comparing the first half of yesterday’s game to the second half. You’ll need to go back over the last handful of games (at least to all the “non-Rodgers games”) and show that what McCarthy did in the second half yesterday was really out of character for him, that he turned over a new leaf. Sure, there were a few wrinkles yesterday. There are in every game – for example, the middle screen to Starks that you mentioned. But you don’t expect to see 20 middle screens per game. You expect maybe one, maybe two. Is it really true that McCarthy hasn’t been doing these things in other games, even once or twice? And even if it wasn’t a middle screen that he called, were there some other playcalls in previous games that were “change it up, keep ’em guessing” kind of calls?

        More than that, I’d be interested to hear which plays were really successful. Yes, Flynn rolled out more yesterday, particularly in the second half. What were the results of those plays? I’ve already mentioned that the 60-yarder from Lacy was certainly not innovative or creative. Can you show that it was the “new McCarthy” calls that really turned the tide? Or was it just better execution all-around?

        You’ll need hard evidence. “When’s the last time you remember…” isn’t really going to cut it. It’s a huge job, but I can wait a few days. So take your time and do it right. I’ll be interested, and I’ll read it with an open mind.

        1. unfortunately, you’re not getting such a detailed piece. First run will be a general post. I’d love to do what you suggest, but just don’t have the time right now.

          However, to answer one of your questions, as someone who watches the play calling closely, yes, I’m sure these plays have not been seen in other recent games.

          And it’s not about turning over a new leaf. McCarthy has three unique games worth of plays according to him,,yet we see the same subset every week. It’s like have a giant walk-in closet full of clothes and only choosing from the same dozen outfits to wear every day.

    1. Not only did he try to twist Jone’s injured knee(and you can bet he knew about it, especially after Jones tweaked it early in the game) but then he had to talk smack and get in Jone’s face. Turd. They got what they deserved in the end.

      1. Mojo couldn’t agree more with you. Between Dez Bryant’s show boating and that scumbag trying to take Jones knee out,it was very satisfying seeing the Cow-Pies fail in “Epic Fashion”. The icing on the cake was watching Dez Bryant leave the game with a minute left.If I didn’t know any better I think Jason Garett and Tony Romo have a meeting during the course of the week trying to figure out how to lose a game in the last few minutes. They have that down to an exact science! The Dallas Cowboys “America’s Team” more like America’s Train Wreck”!

  10. Quarless had a good game. He’s getting better ever week which is pretty neat.

    Not sure why MD still plays football.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Wag. MD Jennings needs to be shown the door, just like McMillan was. Or at the very least the bench. Lets see what Richardson has, he can’t possibly do any worse.

  11. I did see this coming, I have egg on my face because I definitely thought we would lose this game. After watching the first half, I thought we were done, however I didn’t think we would look that bad on offense in the first half against such a bad D. It looked like Thanksgiving all over again.

    I cant express how happy I am after watching that 2nd half. I truly dislike the Cowboys and it was making me depressed watching them dominant us in that first half, but my hats off to this team for not giving up. Great win. I even liked the huge smile on MMs face on the sideline after the game. I give Flynn all the praise in the world today, but, here’s to Arod coming back next week and Cobb the for the following week to win the division against the Bears

  12. first half – very hard to watch. second half – wow! what a comeback. we haven’t had a half of offense like that since Rodgers went down. Complete team victory. Big game balls to Sam Shields and Tramon Williams. This win will taste good for a long, long time!

    1. Game balls to Lacey and Jordy. If not for them Shields’ and Williams’ would not have mattered. Lacey is this year’s team MVP and Nelson is a close second. No one, and I mean no one has given the team as much as these two.

      1. Jordy got his 1st TD since Rodgers was injured. He’s our No. 1 receiver but his production hasn’t showed until today. Not his fault, just sayin… Can’t see how he is the MVP that being the case.

      2. I agree with everything you said, but I also would have to give a game ball to Jarrett Boykin. He quietly put together a good game today, making some clutch receptions. He really seems to be developing nicely…

      3. Game ball and big salute to Matt Flynn, he put the ball right there for receivers to make the TD catches-Quarless had a Cowboy on his back, Jones was covered by two defenders, one who tried to twist his ankle off even after TD called and play whistled dead. The shovel pass to Starks was a thing of beauty with a defender in Flynn’s face and Starks with 3 defenders on his back when he scored. I will NEVER FORGET the image of Flynn jumping up what seemed like 4 feet in the air, yelling at top of his lungs and pumping fist when Lacy scored the game winning TD. PACKERS’ FANS–did ya’ like that ROCK OF GBralta play with Daniels and Raji at fullback? That’s 630 LBS OF BEEF, with 235+ MORE LBS OF BEEF COMIN’ AT YA! That’s nearly 900 LBS OF PACKERS BEEF coming at the Cowboys! Hope this is one of McCarthy’s plays he doesn’t misplace at a crucial time in big game–like John Madden used to say–if it works–KEEP DOIN’ IT TILL THEY STOP IT!!

    2. How about, game balls to Tramon and Shields for the time period from about 5:00 central on? They were getting beat and whiffing on tackles in the first half like the others.

      1. Whiffing on tackles? I thought Tramon and Shields did very well tackling today. Just going off memory but don’t recall any major gaffes from them in tackling.

      2. Agreed. That must’ve been one heck of a speech McCarthy gave the team at halftime, because, they came out in the second and played like experienced veterans. Maybe coach reminded them that they won a Superbowl in that stadium and that they should play like it…

  13. That was the most fun I’ve had watching a Packers game all year. This is especially amazing considering the first half was the least fun I’ve had watching a Packers game all year. I think the team showed that they still believe in the coaches and want to win. I know Archie and Art and Big T and friends are disappointed right now, but that was a fun game and a great win!

  14. Perhaps OAK and BUF would like a mulligan on their decisions regarding Flynn? The guy is a true professional.

    1. Doesn’t have the big arm, but the guy is a winner. Exactly what you want as a backup. Other teams don’t know him or didn’t take the time to know him like McCarthy does and work an offense to his strengths.

      1. To say that Flynn “doesn’t have a big arm” is one of the bigger understatements you could have made. Even his short and intermediate passes seem to be dangerous floaters that are ripe to be picked.

        That’s why Flynn has never been starter material. To have a QB as noodle-armed as Flynn makes half of your passing playbook disappear. You simply can’t call those plays that require the QB to rear back and jam it in there.

        Think of yesterday’s game. Was there any play – even one – when Flynn threw the ball deep and tried to stretch the defense? I’ll have to go back and watch it again, but there certainly weren’t many. But I am NOT faulting McCarthy for the lack of downfield passing. You can’t just take a pop-gun QB and do everything that Rodgers did.

        1. Its about production isn’t it? Flynn produced 299 yds yesterday, almost 500 vs Det couple years ago, and nearly 300 vs NE the year before. No one said he’s starter material, but you can’t ask for more from a backup. He’s a winner, knows his limitations and plays to his strengths! Whats not to like about him as a backup?! I certainly can’t find any.

          1. Sure, it’s about production. It’s also about this:

            MIN – 30th in passing defense
            DET – 26th in passing defense
            ATL – 24th in passing defense
            DAL – 32nd in passing defense

            Average ranking of the past four opponents: 28th out of 32 in passing defense.

            So I might not be quite as optimistic if Flynn were playing against a team that actually knew how to defend the pass, like SEA or SF. And one of the reasons that Flynn would be likely to struggle mightily against those teams is that he just doesn’t have the arm to beat them.

            Besides, I don’t think I disagreed with you anyway. Both of us said that Flynn doesn’t have the arm to be an NFL starter. He’s OK for a couple of games.

            I’m not talking about you in particular, Stroh, but I do find it a little funny that people have been lambasting TT for his grave failure to sign a suitable backup, and suddenly this morning people don’t seem to think that TT (or Flynn) is really that bad after all. I guess the two of them must have improved a LOT over the past seven days…

            1. I haven’t been on him about it, but TT did mismanage the backup QB position coming out of camp. He got very lucky that Flynn became available when he did.

              1. Fair enough. I’m not really commenting on TT’s roster management. (If pressed, I’d admit that the backup QB position was definitely a hole on the roster, so long as others are willing to admit that it’s virtually impossible in today’s NFL to assemble a team without any holes.)

                My point is simply to note how quickly the general perception seems to have changed. It seems that there are a lot of people who are a bit too much focused on the final score of last week’s game, and not focused enough on the QB’s actually ability to throw a football.

                Flynn is better than people were saying a few weeks ago, but not as good as people are saying today.

            2. IF you’re gonna whine about Flynn-you need to be reminded-Wallace=loss to Bears, Tolzien=loss to Eagles and Giants, Flynn-2 come from behind WINS, a tie that he had brought’em back to win vs. Vikings and 1 loss in game that McCarthy never called the NO HUDDLE or roll out plays to keep the pressure off of QB and run game. C’MON MAN–the only QB’s who’ve had this success in GB in past 20 years have been named Favre or Rodgers, not Wallace, Tolzien, Brohm, Coleman, Young or Harrell. Flynn doesn’t have a lifetime career passer rate of 91.1 for no reason. That’s higher than 2/3 of current NFL starters.

  15. Has anyone heard or seen an interview with Jerry Jones following this game? If he’s still supporting Garrett after today he’s certainly cemented his place in the Fool’s Hall of Fame! Thank you to Garrett (and Norv Turner) for their constant passing in the second half to give the Pack the time to come back. And thanks to Jamari Lattimore for whatever it was that he said at halftime to get everyone jacked up for the second half!

    1. Agree about the Cowboys. Hey, I love any Green Bay Packer win, and the team definitely came out in the second half with fire. But honesty compels me to ask, “How much of this victory was due to the Packers, and how much of it was a straight up choke job by the Cowgirls?”

      Guess it doesn’t matter. I’m happy either way.

    1. Great Point, I thought Boykin was great and Quarless left me with the thought that we won’t miss Finley.

      1. That much seems to be the case regarding Finley. Quarless is stepping up in a way that he hasn’t shown before. Making Finley unnecessary and unlikely we used a high pick on TE. He always had the ability, nice to see in come to the fore. Draft and develop works afterall!

    2. After last weeks game you’d think they’d get Quarless involved early, especially with Sean Lee out. At least MM figured it out in the second half.

  16. I got to see the last minute and a half after work. Was it me or did the crowd in Dallas sound like it was a home game at Lambeau Field?

    1. I was at the game. There were a lot of Packer fans throughout the crowd, but nowhere near half. We just scream louder because we care more.

  17. The crowd had to have been filled with Packer fans, you’re right Gary, it sounded like a home game.

    Props to Crosby, if he missed that 57 yarder, we have 3 less pts which gives Dallas the win. That kick looked good from 65 yards. He also had 5 touchbacks on 7 kicks

  18. Never apologize to your followers for criticizing Mike McCarthy Al! You guys actually study the tape and come to educated conclusions! In other words, you know exactly what you are talking about! I’m with you all the way. NEVER apologize!

  19. O line came out with more energy and Flynn starting finally getting rid of the ball. On D, Matthews was moved to the middle.Execution of the same plays won the game. Put that in your pipes and smoke it,all you MM bashers.LOL Boykin and Daniels are really stepping it up.

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