GREEN BAY - Randall Cobb had a feeling Dec. 30 might be his last game in a Green Bay Packers uniform, and he shared an emotional embrace with Aaron Rodgers on the turf of Lambeau Field before he would catch one pass for 27 yards against the Detroit Lions.
"I mean, obviously with the uncertainty, not knowing what the future holds, just taking in the moment,” Cobb said afterward. “You know, it is what it is. I’ve enjoyed being here. I’ve enjoyed playing with him. So we just had a moment together.”
It was the last the pair shared together, as Rodgers would leave the game early due to injury and Cobb is now headed to Dallas as an unrestricted free agent on a reported one-year, $5 million deal, ending an eight-year career with the Packers.
Cobb, 28, played just nine games last season and caught 38 passes for 383 yards and two scores. His season highlight — and the highlight of the entire 2018 Packers’ season — was a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Rodgers to beat Chicago 24-23 in the season opener.
He concluded his career in Green Bay with 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns. He also rushed for another 352 yards. On special teams, he returned 89 punts for 832 yards and two scores and returned 74 kicks for 1,915 yards and one score.
Cobb made one trip to the Pro Bowl, in 2014.
In 11 career playoff games, he caught 47 passes for 596 yards and five scores.
One of the most memorable came against the New York Giants in the 2016 playoffs, when Cobb hauled in a 42-yard Hail Mary pass from Aaron Rodgers at the end of the first half to give Green Bay a 14-6 lead in a game the Packers went on to win 38-13.
Cobb may be most fondly remembered for his 48-yard TD reception on fourth-and with 38 seconds left against the Chicago Bears in the 2013 regular-season finale at Soldier Field that gave the Packers a 33-28 win and the NFC North title.
Cobb acknowledged at the end of the season that there was uncertainty about whether or not the Packers would re-sign him, what with a new offense being installed and three receivers being drafted and groomed to take on larger roles.
Rodgers bid a public farewell to Cobb by quoting a line from "The Shawshank Redemption":
Despite battling through a severe hamstring injury and suffering a concussion late in the year, Cobb felt like he had years left in the game, and the Cowboys agreed.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst thanked Cobb for his contributions in a statement via the team's website:
"For the past eight seasons, Randall was a terrific leader and great player for the Packers. He was part of some very memorable moments and contributed to a lot of great wins. We thank Randall, his wife, Aiyda, and the rest of their family for all they have given to the organization and our community. Randall will always be a member of the Packers family."
At the end of the season, Cobb said if he moved on to another team, it would be business decision with very little emotion involved.
“You can never take things personally in business,” he said. “I would never want to leave here after everything that I’ve enjoyed and been a part of, I would never want to leave here resenting the people or the organization. That’s just not who I am as a person. I take it for what it is.”
But he did acknowledge it could be strange suiting up in another uniform, for both him and Packers fans.
“It was weird to see Jordy (Nelson) in another helmet,” Cobb said. “It was weird to see Greg (Jennings) in another helmet. John Kuhn. Brett Favre. Reggie White played for a couple different teams. That’s the nature of what we do. It’d definitely be weird.
“But some people are fans of players and some people are fans of teams and the people that are fans of players will appreciate them wherever they are and the ones that are fans of teams will look at them different when they’re in a different uniform. That’s just the truth.”