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NFC Wild Card Breakdown: Cowboys vs. Packers

One of the more intriguing 2-7 matchups we’ve had since the playoffs expanded.

Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints are missing the playoffs for the third straight season, which means we will have a stress-free weekend to enjoy some good ol’ playoff football.

There are a lot of good matchups this weekend, but one I found to be especially intriguing is the Dallas Cowboys vs the Green Bay Packers. While this is partially due to my brother being a Packers fans and my dad being a Cowboys fan, there are still some great storylines heading into this one.

The first of which is Jordan Love. In his first year as the Packers starter, he’s lead them to the playoffs, something even Aaron Rodgers couldn’t do last season. Love, who finished the season with 4,406 total yards and 36 total touchdowns, has led the youngest team in the NFL this year to playoffs, and when they step on the field, they will be the youngest team to make the playoffs since 1974.

Another storyline to follow is Mike McCarthy. He’s in his fourth season as the Cowboys head coach and has led them to three consecutive 12-5 seasons, but he’s still on the hot seat. If he doesn’t deliver this year, whether that be and NFC Championship birth or a Super Bowl birth, he could be gone. Oh, and you can’t forget that he coached the Packers for 13 seasons.

We live in a world where a coach that has gone 12-5 three straight seasons is coaching for his job in the playoffs because he can’t win the big one. Meanwhile, Dennis Allen’s job security has never been in doubt despite boasting the fifth worst record of any coach with 70+ games under his belt... But this isn’t about the Saints, so let’s move on.

This game should be a pretty high scoring affair. The Cowboys lead the NFL in points per game, scoring an average of 29.9 PPG while the Packers rank 12th in the league with 22.5 PPG.

The only thing that could cause this to change is Dallas’ defense. The Cowboys rank fifth in the NFL in PPG allowed, giving up just 18.5 PPG. However, when the Cowboys have played a top-10 offense (7 times), they’ve given up an average of 25 PPG. I know the Packers are ranked 12th, but they’re more than capable of being a top-10 offense when they’re on, plus, the Cowboys tend to mess things up in the playoffs.

Deep down I think the Cowboys are going to win this game. They’re just the more well-rounded team and much more experienced than the Packers, but part of me really wants to pick the Packers. Jordan Love has been one of the most exciting QB’s in the league this year behind CJ Stroud (in my opinion), and again, it’s the Cowboys, when was the last time they didn’t choke in the playoffs?

Just for fun, I’m going to officially pick the Packers in this one. There are no stats to back this up other than that’s just what my gut is telling me. I’m sure the Cowboys will win by 20+ and make me look like a fool, but I don’t care, I’m riding with Jordan Love and the Packers.

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