In Week 7 of the 2004 season, the Packers beat up the Cowboys in Green Bay, 41-20, by outscoring Dallas 35-10 over the second and third quarters. Brett Favre threw for 258 yards and a couple of touchdowns, and Ahman Green rushed for 163 yards on 15 carries and two TDs, including a 90-yarder late in the third quarter that put the game out of reach.
Even though Dallas' lead in the overall series is slight at 14-12, the Cowboys have actually dominated the series since 1991 -- the year Favre entered the league, winning nine of 11 games played, including two NFC divisional playoff matchups and one NFC championship game. Furthermore, Favre has never beaten the Cowboys in Dallas in eight tries. His only two victories in the series came at Lambeau Field (1997, 2004).
Both teams played on Thanksgiving Day, meaning they'll each have had a week's rest before this showdown. Favre helped the Packers win their seventh straight road game by throwing for 381 yards and three touchdown passes in a 37-26 win over Detroit. Two of Favre's TDs went to WR Greg Jennings, who is quickly becoming the quarterback's favorite target with six touchdowns in his last five games. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are off to their first 10-1 start in team history after trouncing the New York Jets 34-3. Tony Romo staked the Cowboys to an early lead with two touchdown passes, including a single-season club record-tying 29th in the second quarter.
There might not be a game played this season with more at stake. While it's not automatic that the winner here will gain home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, the loser will essentially be two games behind (the winner will own the head-to-head tiebreaker) with four to play. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he'll treat this like any other game, not taking any chances on injured players like cornerback Charles Woodson, who is questionable to play with a toe injury. The Cowboys, on the other hand, appear to be treating this like a playoff game. Asked about the prospects of losing and having to travel to Lambeau Field in January for a possible playoff matchup, wide receiver Terrell Owens shuddered at the notion. "I've played up there when it's really cold," Owens said, "and it's not a place you really want to play."
Packers secondary vs. WR Terrell Owens, TE Jason Witten, et al.
Charles Woodson and Al Harris form arguably the top cornerback tandem in the NFL. They have allowed only two wide receivers to go over 100 yards in the last 24 games –- Drew Carter and Marty Booker -- and the Packers defense has picked off at least one pass in 16 of the last 17 games (27 interceptions total). Woodson, who has 10 of the interceptions during the streak, suffered a toe injury in the Packers' Thanksgiving win at Detroit, and will be a game-time decision. If Woodson can't play, Jarrett Bush would take his spot at cornerback and Frank Walker would be the nickel back. Making matters worse for Green Bay is the uncertain conditions of safeties Nick Collins, who has missed the past three weeks with a knee injury, and rookie Aaron Rouse, Collins' replacement who injured his knee against the Lions after enjoying one of the best games of his young career. The Packers secondary would be severely handicapped if any or all of them can't go against the Cowboys' vaunted passing attack that features Owens, who has caught a touchdown pass in six straight games and has 13 on the season. It might even be too much for Green Bay to overcome.
Did you know?
Green Bay has won 14 of its last 15 games dating to last season. ... The Packers' seven-game road winning streak is one short of the franchise record, accomplished twice (last done from 1966-67; the other streak was in 1941-42). ... Packers are off to best start since starting 10-1 in 1962, when they finished 13-1 and won the NFL Championship. ... Wade Phillips is the third coach in the Super Bowl era to start 10-1 in his first season with a new team (Steve Mariucci in 1997 and Red Miller in 1977 are the others). ... Cowboys have scored at least 24 points in 12 straight games. ... This is the first meeting between two 10-1 teams since 1990. ... The last time the Packers played at Dallas was in 1999, when the Cowboys won 27-13. Favre passed for a touchdown in the game but was intercepted twice and sacked three times.