Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys: Lombardiave staffers predict


It’s game day as the Green Bay Packers host the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game beginning at noon.

Not much more can be said. It’ time for some football …

So much has been written about this game … the Ice Bowl II; Aaron Rodgers‘ golden calf; the Packers unbeaten record at home; the Cowboys unbeaten record on the road.

Not much more can be said. It’ time for some football …

But before we get to the game, here are the game predictions as prognosticated by the Lombardiave staffers.

Enjoy …

Lombardiave staffers predict

Darryl Krejci

Darry Krejci: I am torn as I write this as it is the first home game of the season where I will not be up in Green Bay.

Can the Pack win without the power of the tutu being present?  Can the Pack stop the Cowboy’s running attack and neutralize Tony Romo?

Will the temps remain frigid making this a true “Ice Bowl?”

These are the things that I must ponder as I drive south listening to the game as I head to a warmer climate for a few weeks. Life is so difficult!

So here is how I see this game playing out.  The weather will not be a factor as the temps are supposed to be in the 20s.

Good winter football weather. Aaron Rodgers will have some mobility issues and the time away from practice will create a slight disadvantage coming out of the chute as he trys to establish a rhythm with his receivers.

Eddie Lacy will be the key to the victory.  As long as he can initially sustain the offense until Rodgers and the receivers mesh, the Packers will be able to hold off the Cowboys.

On the defensive side of the ball. I believe that Julius Peppers is going to have a very big day and get to Romo often. Look for the secondary to have at least one pick six.

My only concern falls to special teams where blocked kicks have become common. This cannot happen in the playoffs. Each possession is too big and important.

So while the tutu is packed in my suitcase and I head south to the warm waters, look for the Packers to hold off the Cowboys and then for the big surprise, host the NFC Championship game at Lambeau because I am predicting an upset out West in Seattle.

Packers 23 Cowboys 17

Josh McPeak is this season’s expert pick winner at

Josh McPeak: A lot of things will change after Sunday’s much anticipated match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. Dallas will either lose their first game on the road all year, or Green Bay will lose their first game at Lambeau all season.

That will not be close to the biggest change once this game is over however. A team that was labeled “soft” just a year ago will complete its transformation. A quarterback who had his toughness placed under the microscope when he missed several games with a broken collarbone just last season, will silence his doubters. I’m not going to flatter you with x’s and o’s in this prediction.

Green Bay will out play, out tough and out grit the Cowboys on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers will prove why he is the 2014 NFL MVP and reveal that the mystique of Lambeau Field is alive and as potent as it has ever been. Many are calling for a shootout and one of the best games of the year. I’m not feeling it. Packers dominate from start to finish.

Packers 35 Cowboys 17

Kevin Gibson

Kevin Gibson: Am I the only one who has noticed that all the talk leading up to Sunday’s playoff game seems to be about the Cowboys, and how they have a three-headed monster on offense similar to the Cowboys of the 1990s?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Four heads are better than two, especially in conditions the Cowboys don’t want to play in.

In any case, I think the Green Bay Packers are tired of being jettisoned from the playoffs early, and I think Rodgers means it when he says this particular team seems hungrier.

Packers 34 Cowboys 24

Kenn Korb

Kenn Korb: The game we’ve all been waiting for, Packers fans. There are so many places these teams match up well together at, which should bring us a very intriguing contest.

Green Bay has the luxury of playing at home (8-0 there this season), but Dallas brings in a surprisingly impressive road mark of their own (8-0 this season).

Dallas brings in a run-heavy offense hitched to the league’s top QBR quarterback, a top-5 wide receiver, a handful of quality role-players and a resurgent defense. Green Bay counters with a two-headed monster on offense of their own that has the league’s likely MVP at QB, a bulldozer RB, two 1,000-yard receivers and their own resurgent defense.

Beyond all their other impressive statistics, these teams are also great in a very important but highly overlooked area: offensive line. Though they’ve gone about their methods for constructing them slightly differently (Dallas has three first-rounders playing there, while Green Bay built theirs mostly through mid-/late-round gems), both have managed to make units that are easily a couple of the best league-wide.

The key to the game could be which team can make an impact against those sterling groups. If Dallas can find a way to slow Eddie Lacy and pressure Aaron Rodgers – who may have a partial tear in his calf by the way – they could do a lot of damage to the Packers’ love of picking teams apart all across the field.

If Green Bay can break through the Dallas front with their defense, they could force the Cowboys away from their preferred method of offense (lots of runs, then letting Romo make plays) and force them into a one-dimensional outlook that lets the Green Bay secondary (the most skilled area of the defense) get more opportunities at forcing crucial turnovers.

I think we’ll see fireworks from both offenses, both on the ground and through the air. Plays will be made, points will be scored, and defensive coordinators will be highly upset for most of the day.

I think that over the course of the game though, it will be the Green Bay defense that finds a way to make enough plays here and there to help make sure their offense’s efforts were not in vain.

Packers 37 Cowboys 33

Jerry Bulone

Jerry Bulone: This is a very unfortunate spot for our beloved Green Bay Packers.First of all we shouldn’t even be playing the Cowboys, we should be playing the 8-8-1 Carolina Panthers.

The Lions “are who we thought they were” and found a way to choke away a game they should have won (with a little help from the officials, of course). Now instead of the much overrated and pedestrian Panthers club, we get the Cowboys.

The Cowboys are undefeated on the road this year. Of the past teams that have done that, only one didn’t at least get to the Super Bowl.

They have impressive victories at Philadelphia and at St. Louis and of course the crown jewel on the resume — at Seattle. So they can beat anyone, anywhere. They are second in the NFL in rushing (really the first because Seattle gets so many yards from QB Wilson) and they are eighth against the run. So basically Jerry’s Boys are used to dominating the trenches.

It should be the same Sunday.

The Packers have run OK this season, but I am still not buying the “rejuvenated run defense” that rose from dead last to a mediocre 23rd. Also the Cowboys are getting an MVP season from Tony Romo and have one of the games elite receivers in Dez Bryant.They are loaded.

The Packers would have a hard time beating them even if they were completely healthy. And with word coming out that Aaron Rodgers injury is more severe than people think, the Packers hopes in my opinion took a nose dive. Rodgers almost surely will not be mobile at all. The Packers offense will be dialed down to protect Rodgers as best they can, and this is assuming Rodgers can play the whole game.

I don’t think he will be able to, and if Flynn is in – forget it. I see Dallas being able to score at will, and the wounded Packers offense unable to keep up.

Cowboys 38 Packers 24

Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes: Sunday marks the first of the two very difficult matchups the Packers have remaining on their NFC schedule.

The Cowboys are the real deal. Their offensive weaponry matches up with any of the best in the NFL.

Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Tony Romo, and DeMarco Murray are sure to be disrupting Dom Capers’ sleep. The Packers defense has certainly improved over time and I believe they are up to the task.

But at the end of the day the Packers best defense is their offense. Long, sustained touchdown scoring drives led by Aaron Rodgers will keep Romo and company off the field.

It is also a recipe to take the ball out of DeMarco Murray’s hands and force Romo to be the hero – a role I am not confident is suited to the Cowboy QB.

Rodgers and his infamous calf will survive to be a storyline for another week. Jerry Jones and his mojo Chris Christie, aka the Kool-Aid man, go home on ice.

Packers 28 Cowboys 24

Coalter Hansen

Coalter Hansen:  The one that we’ve all been waiting for. I must admit, I’ve wavered back and forth multiple times before typing this one out, it may waver again before I’m done.

The battle of the unbeatens. Something has to give for one of the teams.

The Cowboys are coming in with a lot of hype, even after sneaking out of Dallas with a more than controversial win. But this team is built for the playoffs. A strong running game to go with a sneaky defense.

The Packers have owned teams at home but it’s hard to overlook the calf injury that Aaron Rodgers has.

Even with the injury, the offense should be okay with Eddie Lacy taking some of the pressure off of Rodgers.

The wild card will be the defenses. Which defense can get off the field the most? Quite frankly, I don’t trust either of these defenses.

Will the Packers be able to stop DeMarco Murray?

Will the Cowboys be able to stop Aaron Rodgers?

That will determine the outcome.

I think this game will come down to Tony Romo and with the ball in his hands for an extended amount of time, I think that will work against the Cowboys.

Packers in a cold, close game.

Packers 30 Cowboys 26

Kevin Dickens

Kevin Dickens: There is a monkey on Aaron Rodgers’ back and it’s called recent playoff skid. Having lost the last 3 playoff games his legacy is somewhat tarnished. The critics have pointed out that he hasn’t looked like himself in those losses but those losses definitely cannot be solely attributed to the bad man.

Wide receiver drops, essentially no running game, and a porous defense were major contributors in losses to the NY Giants and San Francisco 49ers in recent years.

Enter this year’s divisional playoff contest against the Dallas Cowboys.

If you’ve been watching ESPN, NFL network, and following all the playoff talk it would seem like Green Bay is the underdog in this matchup. And I don’t think the Packers would have it any other way. I think this still gives the team a chip on their shoulder and I expect them to play like it Sunday

If you break down the matchup, this Cowboys’ team is undefeated on the road but if you look closely at their opponents it may be more luck than anything.

Away contests featured wins over Tennessee, Jacksonville, Washington, NY Giants, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.

Of those eight victories only one team is a playoff team and only two actually ended up with .500 or better records.

The Seattle victory is awesome but I believe the turmoil in Seattle’s locker room allowed the Cowboys to sneak into CenturyLink Stadium and steal a victory. If you counter with Green Bay’s home victories in which they are averaging an astonishing 39.8 ppg, you would see victories against Carolina, New England, Detroit (playoff teams) amongst other victories against Minnesota, Chicago, N.Y. Jets, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.

Furthermore the Cowboys’ defense is at best mediocre and according to the numbers even worse than the Packers’ defense.

They finished the season ranked 19th overall (26th against the pass – 8th against the run) as opposed to Green Bay’s defense which finished 15th overall (23rd against the run – 10th against the pass).

The underlying statistic is that the Packers have played exceptionally well against the run since Week 8, only allowing approximately 80 rushing yards per contest. That includes against the likes of LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, and Fred Jackson.

Yes I know Aaron Rodgers is injured and the Packers will curtail a game plan to try and keep him upright and more in the pocket. Which means Eddie Lacy will have a chance to see more carries and become more featured for the offense.

Yes I know everybody is ready for the return of the Cowboys but they can wait for another year.

Packers will continue their home dominance and I really don’t expect it to be close.


Packers 38 Cowboys 20

Ray Rivard

Ray Rivard: The talking heads make me puke, especially idiots like Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin on NFL Network.

In fact, their spittle and drivel is so bad, that I have turned completely away from the television is recent years, especially during the season and most especially during the Playoffs.

From what I’ve read from respectable writers both on the Internet and in print, is that this Packers vs. Cowboys matchup has become the darling of the talking heads … with it seemingly being that the Packers are underdogs … in January … at Lambeau Field.

Yes, the Packers have had troubles in the playoffs over the past few years and there have been reasons for those troubles … but it ain’t happenin’ this weekend, folks.

Rodgers is injured, but they don’t know the Aaron Rodgers that we know. Break his leg, chop it off, make him play on bloody stumps and he will. He proved that against the Lions.

This week won’t be any different. He will probably show signs of pain and will probably tweak that calf at some point in this Playoff game, but don’t expect him to come out of this one.

If the pain in his leg is there, you won’t see it because the chip on Aaron Rodgers chip shoulder will far outweigh any calf problems.

That being said, the talking heads can take the overhyped Cowboys and Tony Romo.

This game will belong to the Packers and it’s not even going to be close.

Packers 35 Cowboys 20