At 5-4, the Cowboys could see a potential wild-card partner in the Packers be greatly affected by missing their quarterback. In 2008, Tony Romo missed three games with a broken pinky. The Cowboys lost two of the three games with Brad Johnson at quarterback, including a 34-14 embarrassment to the St. Louis Rams, and missed the playoffs by a game.
The smoothest road for the Cowboys to take for a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009 is to win the NFC East. They have a one-game lead on the Philadelphia Eagles and a 3-0 record in the division.
Thinking wild card should not enter into their equation. They would lose a tiebreaker to the Detroit Lions. The San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers have better records at this point. The Cowboys control their fate in the division.
If they get into a wild-card battle, then they almost have to sweep the Chicago Bears and Packers in December meetings.
Rodgers could be back for the Packers by Dec. 15. The last time he played at AT&T Stadium, he won Super Bowl XLV.