In the “Bag” Win bottoms out as Cowboys fall to the Packers

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Greg Yette Andrew QuarlessIn this episode of the Red Light Sports Ramble, Evan and Troy discuss the Packers 23 point comeback victory over the Dallas Cowboys.  After 30 minutes of play, the Dallas Cowboys were superior in every aspect of the game.  They ran the ball, they passed the ball, and they disrupted Matt Flynn in the pocket on more than one occasion.  A record-setting first half in terms of yardage (332) only resulted in 26 points.  If there was any flaw in the Cowboys during the first 3o minutes is that they had to settle for 4 Field Goals.  The old saying goes, you can’t win games kicking field goals.  Although the Cowboys were having a hay-day moving the ball up and down the field, the Green Bay Defense mustered enough on 3rd down to force the Cowboys to settle for field goals in the first half.  Even late into the game, the suspect defense of the Packers had held the Cowboys without a 3rd down conversion until a 5 yard TD pass to Dez Bryant mid-way through the 4th quarter.  The cowboys ended the game converting on only 2/9 third downs.

But where did the bottom fall out? How could a team that looked so dominating, be so bad in the 2nd half?

Listen in detail to what Evan and Troy saw on the RED LIGHT SPORTS RAMBLE !!

Well, the first thing that happened is that the Dallas Cowboys failed to manage the clock effectively in the second half.  DeMarco Murray had 18 rushes for 134 yards, but more astonishing is the 7.4 yards per carry average.  After the Packers had trimmed the lead to 29-17, the Packers defense came up big with a much-needed 3 and out.  However; in that sequence the cowboys opted to run three pass plays and only ran 1:08 off the clock.  Also, on this possession, the Packers forced a sack inside the Cowboy 5 yard line.  This was a huge momentum change as Micah Hyde returned the punt to the Cowboy 22 and 5 plays later a short middle screen pass to James Starks cut the lead to 5.

Before this; Monte Kiffen had dialed up a number of blitzes in the first half to limit Matt Flynn and the Packer offense to 3 points.  Eddie Lacy was getting minimal gains and nothing was working on offense.  So what happened in the second half?  Matt Flynn now had time in the pocket to find one of his favorite targets Andrew Quarless time and time again in the seam against a thin LB core.  He finished the day with 6 receptions for 66 yards, but converted on two big first down catches.  Eddie Lacy on the first play from scrimmage in the second half had a career long 60 yard run off tackle.  The Packers never abandoned the run game and on the games winning TD, B.J. Raji lined up as a fullback to lead the way for Lacy to jump into the end zone for a 37-36 lead.

The final thing that happened is that the Packers Defense created turnovers when it mattered most.  Critics will say that this is Classic Tony Romo throwing an interception at a critical time. However; on the first interception, Clay Matthews barely missed a sack and Romo scrambled out of the pocket.  Some will argue that Tony Romo is a good quarterback outside the pocket; however, like any quarterback if he is being pressured outside the pocket he is prone to make mistakes.  Some credit should be given to Sam Shields who made the interception, he was initially beaten on the play and recovered enough to make the interception.  The second interception, whether it was an audible or not there was miscommunication on the route.  Listen to what Evan and Troy think about that last interception.

At the end of Sundays game, both the Packers and the Cowboys still have playoff hopes and it could come down to each of them winning a game in week 17.

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  • It was revealed today by Nick Eatman of Dallas when he spoke on the NFL Network, that Tony Romo DID NOT check out of the run. The play sent in to him was an option. Garrett used his own QB as a scapegoat.

    Before questioning why Romo was throwing to Beasley I suggest you read my last article on him and/or do a little research. Beasley has proven to be Romos’ most reliable receiver. However, they don’t use him enough. He has the highest completion to target percentage on the team, and with a lot less reps he has destroyed Miles Austin’s numbers for the season. In fact, at one point while Miles was out with a hamstring injury, Beasley had 14 1st downs on 16 targets.

    I agree the Packers defense played lights out. That interception when Beasley and Romo had a miscommunication, was a remarkable catch by the DB. In fact it was so remarkable, no one including the refs thought he actually caught it. If that had been a WR making that catch it would have been in the highlight reels of every major network.