Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay Packers

The Cowboys and Packers played in 2007 in prime-time in Dallas. The Cowboys came away with a victory that enabled the 'Boys to win the tie-breaker for home-field advantage. Tonight's game could have the same significance.

I thought the Vikings would be the team to beat in the NFC North. Although we have only seen 2 weeks of games, when the Cowboys win the NFC East, I don't expect the NFC South/NFC West to hold their main competition for home-field advantage. It will be the NFC North and with Aaron Rodgers strong play, the Packers are as good in 2008 as they were in 2007. Perhaps, you could even argue they are better.

Here are the 3 keys to the game for the Cowboys from the Sporting News:
1. Stop committing penalties at such an alarming rate. The Cowboys had 10 penalties Monday night against the Eagles, giving them a two-game total of 21. You name it, they've committed the infraction. They had the talent to overcome those miscues in the first two games, but this week against a quality opponent, penalties will cost them.

2. Do a better job defensively on first down. This is especially important because the Packers can run the ball. Wade Phillips is at his best calling exotic blitzes on second- and third-and-long situations. If the Cowboys can win first downs playing the run strong and force the Packers to become one-dimensional, they can make Rodgers uncomfortable and force him into mistakes.

3. Take it easy, Tony. Quarterback Tony Romo has a lot of gunslinger in him, but the less he plays like his idol Brett Favre, the better. Sometimes, a no-gain or an incompletion is a good play. Every play can't be salvaged. Romo knows the difference most times, but he had an interception and a fumble against last week that helped the Eagles score 14 points in a 14-second span in the second quarter. It's hard to win that way.

Keys 1/3 are critical, not just for this week but for the season. This is the most talented team in the league. If they play with passion and focus, they are the best team in football and nobody will beat them. Let's hope they don't shoot themselves in the foot this week (or especially in January/February).

Here's my prediction for the game: Dallas 20, Green Bay 17

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