3 Storylines: Packers vs. Cowboys

Ryan Wood
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Each Tuesday, Press-Gazette Media will look to the week ahead and the Green Bay Packers’ next opponent. This week, it’s the Dallas Cowboys. Here are three storylines to watch when the Packers host the Cowboys for a 3:25 p.m. kickoff Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) tries to pull down a pass on the one-yard line late in the fourth quarter during an NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field.

1. The big mo': The Packers were one wing and a prayer from being 7-5, the same record as the surging Seattle Seahawks, but this would've felt very different. The Hail Mary that beat the Detroit Lions last week wasn't just one of the most remarkable plays you'll ever see. It also saved the Packers from inexplicably losing five of six games since their late-October bye week. It was a gift, more than anything else. The Packers somehow won a game in which they never led. The question this week is, what can they do with it? Was it the springboard that will propel them to a fifth straight NFC North title and maybe more, or was it just one win? We'll find out soon.

2. The rematch: The Packers were a special kind of hyped up for their early-season home game against the Seahawks. It was a rematch of last season's painful playoff exit, and the bitterness lingered through the offseason. This week, the Packers find themselves in the role of the Seahawks. They ushered the Dallas Cowboys to a painful playoff exit last January when receiver Dez Bryant failed to complete what would've been a highlight-reel catch near the Packers goal line late in the game. There is little reason to believe the Cowboys can beat the Packers inside Lambeau Field this week, but you never know what can happen when a team plays with the kind of intensity Green Bay had earlier this season against Seattle.

3. Running backward: Just when Eddie Lacy looked like he had momentum for the first time this season, he took a major step back. Lacy entered last week’s matchup in Detroit having rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He had 39 carries combined in those two games, which made it surprising when he ran only five times against the Lions. There was good reason for Lacy’s diminished role: He and backup running back Alonzo Harris missed curfew Wednesday night in Detroit. Harris was cut; Lacy demoted. What makes it especially interesting was the emergence of John Crockett, promoted from the practice squad last week to lead the Packers' tailbacks with 22 yards on five carries. It will be interesting to see how the Packers order their backfield against the Cowboys. and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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