Does the Dream Die in Dallas?

With Aaron Rodgers declared out for Sunday's game, the odds just got a whole lot longer that the Pack can stay in the playoff race for another week.

You look up the word "mediocre" in the dictionary and you will find the Dallas Cowboys. But they're playing for their playoff lives and are looking to erase the memory of their dismantling at the hands of the Bears on Monday night. I hate facing a team that just got embarrassed in prime time.

So Flynn gets at least one more start. Mike McCarthy said after practice on Friday that Flynn had his best practice by far. That's encouraging. There are plays to be made against the Cowboys defense, as we saw on Monday night in Chicago. Dallas will be without injured linebackers Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, as well as corner Mo Claiborne. Everybody has moved the ball on this team and the Pack should be no different, no matter who is playing QB.

As for the Packers defense, therein lies the story of this game. They showed improvement last week against a decent offense in the Falcons, but that team had very little motivation. This week's opponent is led by a guy who very few people (not names Jerry Jones) believe in--especially in December and January. Tony Romo, in my mind, is a top ten talent who will be extra motivated to do all he can to keep his team in the NFC East race. With targets like Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Miles Austin and Terence Williams, he is averaging 30 points per game at home.

The Packers are as healthy defensively as their likely to be the rest of the season. CJ Wilson is out, but everyone else is no worse than probable on the injury report. If the Packers are to slow the Cowboys, they must corral talented DeMarco Murray and force Romo into tough down and distance situations. That's when you can get after him and get him to throw you the ball.

If the Packers are to score the road upset without Rodgers, special teams will have to be as strong as it was last weekend. Flynn needs to take a major step and show that playing on the road is something he can handle. He needs to channel the night in Foxborough, not the turkey of a day in Detroit. Most of all, the defense needs to get a couple turnovers and win a vital game in December.

The Bears could stumble in Cleveland and the Lions face an ornery champ in the Ravens, and since they're the Lions, they could choke away another home game. But regardless of what the other guys do, the Packers need to keep winning, if they want to earn a ticket to the playoff dance. And based on what I've watched the last six weeks, I don't give them a great chance.

Cowboys 27 Packers 23


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