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Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett completely abandoned the run, allowing the Packers' blitz-happy defense to pin its ears back and rush Tony Romo. Marion Barber had an impressive first quarter, gaining 27 yards on four carries. He had one carry for minus-1 yard the rest of the game. Tashard Choice and Felix Jones carried only three times apiece. Teams that refuse to run the ball get dominated in time of possession, which is what happened to the Cowboys.
Romo's numbers (24-39-251, 1 TD, 1 INT) are deceivingly decent. His fantasy owners benefitted from garbage time. Roy Williams (five catches, 105 yards, TD) had his best statistical game as a Cowboy, but he took the blame for the loss after losing a fumble and dropping a deep ball. Miles Austin also dropped a potential touchdown. And the pass protection was a huge problem. The Packers sacked Romo five times, including CB Charles Woodson coming clean on a blitz to force a fumble that set up the game-sealing touchdown.
Green Bay's Ryan Grant gained 79 yards on 19 carries, an average of 4.2 yards per carry. That's more than the Cowboys want to allow, but the Packers' running game didn't make a major difference. Considering the amount of time the Cowboys' defense spent on the field (35:58), they held up pretty well against the run. OLB Anthony Spencer had an outstanding performance. He was credited for eight tackles, including two for losses.
The Packers averaged 4.5 yards per passing attempt, a number that is well below NFL standards. The Cowboys had four sacks, including a pair by DeMarcus Ware, and forced Aaron Rodgers to rely on short, quick passes. However, Rodgers was effective on the most important possession of the game, completing seven of nine passes for 59 yards on a 15-play, 80-yard drive for the game's first touchdown. Nickel CB Orlando Scandrick was flagged twice on that drive and gave up two third-down completions.
Nick Folk's missed 38-yard field goal on the Cowboys' first possession was a deflating moment. The Cowboys allowed an 18-yard punt return to set up the Packers' field goal at the end of the first half. Curtis Johnson was flagged twice for blocks in the back on returns. One, which pinned the Cowboys at their 8-yard line after the Packers took a 10-0 lead, was an absolute killer. The Cowboys couldn't capitalize on Patrick Crayton's 18-yard punt return that gave them the ball near midfield in the first half.