* KD Drummond gets you set with Cowboys Crunchtime as he talks with Sports Illustrated's Aaron Nagler about why he thinks Dallas can win, and then CowboysHQ's own Mike Fisher catches you up on all the latest from Valley Ranch.
* The Sultan of Stat, Jordan Ross, gives his four reasons why the Cowboys can win on Sunday in Lambeau.
* We went on 750 The Game in Portland, Oregon to preview Cowboys-Packers on "In the Huddle with Ragz"
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Since 1990, when playoff formats were last adjusted to include two wildcard teams per conference, 24/96 of the wildcard round winners ended up winning in the divisional round.
The last time an undefeated team on the road met an undefeated home team at their place in the playoffs was the 1972 AFC Championship Game when the Miami Dolphins defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-17.
The Cowboys haven’t won a road playoff game since the 1992 NFC Championship Game. The only members of the coaching staff that were on that team were assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett and strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik.
According to The Weather Channel, temperatures the high for Sunday will be 20 degrees. The Dallas Cowboys all-time are 2-4 when the temperature is 20 degrees or less. Their last win was a 31-27 defeat of the Broncos on 12/6/92.
The coldest game the Cowboys ever won was on 12/15/63 when they beat the Cardinals 28-24 in St. Louis with temperatures at six degrees at kickoff.
The coldest playoff game the Cowboys ever won was the NFC Divisional Playoff in Minnesota on 12/25/71 when Dallas beat the Vikings 20-12 with a kickoff temperature of 21.7 degrees.
Since 1960, the Packers are 21-13-1 at Lambeau Field when the temperature is less than 20 degrees.
The Cowboys are 4-1 against the Packers in the month of January.
The Packers have lost more playoff games at Lambeau Field since 2003 (five) than they have on the road (three).
The Packers are 4-1 all-time at home in the divisional round of the postseason.
The Cowboys are 4-5 all-time on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs. Their last divisional round win on the road was in 1980 at Atlanta with a 30-27 victory.
The Packers are 5-1 in the divisional round with their lone loss coming on 1/15/12 against the New York Giants, who ultimately won Super Bowl XLVI.
The Cowboys are 10-6 in noon-time postseason games.
The Packers are 8-2 in early playoff games.
This is the first early playoff game the Packers will have played since 1/4/04 when they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 33-27 in overtime in the 2003 NFC Wildcard.
The history books and reference websites may indicate the Dallas Cowboys have beaten the Green Bay Packers at home before, hinting that the Cowboys have won at Lambeau Field prior to 9/21/08. However, the Packers used to split their home games between Milwaukee County Stadium and Lambeau Field from 1953-94. The Cowboys compiled a 3-2 record in Milwaukee.
With two career postseason wins, Romo now firmly owns fifth place in franchise history:
>Last week, Romo didn’t throw an interception against the Lions. He has never thrown an interception in the wildcard round of the playoffs. His career two playoff picks occurred in the divisional round.
Romo has a 99.4 passer rating in the wildcard round of the playoffs compared to 61.8 in the divisional round.
The Packers defense finished with the seventh-lowest opposing quarterback passer rating with 82.0. Romo had four games against four other teams in the top 10, and posted a 3-1 record along with three 95-or-better passer ratings.
Against Dom Capers, Romo is 0-2 and has a 79.1 passer rating. On average, he goes 27/44 for 305 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and takes four sacks.
Romo owns the franchise’s only career win in Lambeau Field when he helped the Cowboys beat the Packers 27-16 on 9/21/08.
A win would make Romo the only undrafted free agent quarterback to have won a playoff game at Lambeau Field.
Romo finished a full point ahead of Aaron Rodgers for the best passer rating in the NFL this season at 113.2. This is the first time since Rodgers became the starter in Green Bay in 2008 that Romo has finished with a higher passer rating than him.
Rodgers is 3-3 when the temperature is 20 degrees or lower with a 2-2 record at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers has a 91.6 passer rating at Lambeau Field in the playoffs and a 1-2 record. On the road, he has a 3-2 record and a 108.2 passer rating.
Rodgers and Favre are the only Packers quarterbacks to have lost postseason games at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers has a career 103.1 passer rating in the playoffs along with a 5-4 record. In the divisional round, Rodgers is 1-2 with a 100.4 record.
Rodgers had a 6-1 record and a 101.5 passer rating against Rod Marinelli’s defense in Chicago from 2010-12. On average, he 23/34 for 268 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and two sacks on average.
On 12/25/11, Rodgers posted a 142.7 passer rating against the Bears in a 35-21 win. The passer rating was the highest against Marinelli in his time in Chicago. The five touchdowns were also the most against a Marinelli-led defense in that span.
All of Rodgers’ starts against the Cowboys have been at Lambeau Field, where he holds a 2-1 record.
The Cowboys are 9-1 in December and January when Murray scores a rushing touchdown compared to 1-7 when he does not.
Green Bay’s defense gave up 119.9 yards per game rushing in 2014, finishing 10th-worst in the league. Murray had four games against four teams in the bottom 10, and had a 100-yard game against each of them as Dallas won all four games.
When the temperature is 32 degrees or colder, Murray has 32 carries for 232 yards and a touchdown. His yards per carry is 7.25.
The Packers employ a 3-4 defense. Murray has topped 100 yards only 6/10 times this year compared to 6/7 times when facing a 4-3 defense.
Last year against the Packers, Murray rushed 18 times for 134 yards and a touchdown in a 37-36 loss to Green Bay at AT&T Stadium.
Murray has played 17 straight games this year, the longest streak in his entire football career.
Garrett is 0-1 against the Packers. Garrett is 1-4 in rematches with teams that beat him first.
Garrett has a 1-2 record against the NFC North on the road and a 3-3 record against them at home. It is his worst winning percentage against any other NFC division:
NFC West: 6-5
NFC South: 4-4
NFC North: 4-5
A win Sunday would join Garrrett with Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, and Barry Switzer as the only Cowboys head coaches to have won two playoff games.
No Cowboys head coach in his first postseason trip has ever won two games.
Last week, Garrett joined Andy Reid, Tom Coughlin, and Wade Phillips as the only NFC East head coaches since 2000 to lead their teams out of the wildcard round.
Garrett went 4/7 (.571) on challenges this season, tied for ninth-accurate in the league.
Garrett is 16-9 against Super Bowl-winning head coaches with a 7-4 record on the road.
Garrett is part of 4/10 head coaches hired in 2010 that are still coaching in the league.
McCarthy is 1/7 coaches to have a consecutive playoff-season streak.
McCarthy and Bill Belichick are the only active head coaches with the longest active playoff-season streak with six seasons (2009-14).
Regardless of whether Sunday’s game would be played at AT&T Stadium or Lambeau Field, a win over Dallas would make McCarthy the first Packers head coach since Vince Lombardi in the Ice Bowl to defeat the Cowboys in the postseason.
McCarthy has the second-most postseason wins in franchise history with seven.
McCarthy is 12-9 against the NFC East with a 7-4 record at home.
McCarthy is 1-2 when coming off a first round bye.
McCarthy’s Packers are 5-4-1 at Lambeau Field when the temperatures are 20 degrees or colder.
McCarthy went 0/4 on challenges this year, the worst in the NFL. Only two other coaches joined McCarthy in the o-fer category at the bottom of the list: Bill Belichick (0/3) and Mike Smith (0/1).
The Cowboys are 2-0 against the Packers in the playoffs on FOX and have a 6-4 record against them overall.
The Cowboys are 4-5 on FOX in the postseason.
The Packers are 14-12 on FOX in the postseason.
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will call another Cowboys game for the second-straight week. The last commentating team to call consecutive Cowboys postseason games were Pat Summerall and John Madden in the 1995 NFC Playoffs.
This is Buck and Aikman’s 42nd postseason game together, the most by any NFL on FOX team. Summerall and Madden are second with 27.
The last time the Cowboys played the Packers in the postseason in Lambeau Field was the 1967 NFL Championship Game, otherwise known as the Ice Bowl. Buck’s father, Jack Buck, was part of the CBS’s broadcast team for that game.
The last time the Cowboys and the Packers faced each other in the playoffs on FOX, Aikman was the Cowboys starting quarterback in the 1995 NFC Championship Game.
Since 2002, the home teams are 1-1 on 1/11 when Buck and Aikman call their divisional round game.
This week’s referee is Gene Steratore. Since becoming a referee in 2006, the Cowboys are 2-4 when Steratore officiates their games. Here are the results:
2006 – DET, 31-39 – L
2008 – TB, 9-13 – W
2010 – @MIN, 21-24 – L
2011 – @PHI, 7-34 – L
2013 – PHI, 22-24 – L
2014 – NO, 38-17 – W
Surprisingly, Dallas is has won the penalty battle 4/6 times under Steratore:
2006 – DET: 7/65; DAL: 4/45
2008 – TB: 7/58; DAL: 5/35
2010 – MIN: 5/45; DAL: 11/91
2011 – PHI: 6/33; DAL: 3/20
2013 – PHI: 6/50; DAL: 1/5
2014 – NO: 3/20; DAL: 6/50
Steratore had the second-highest home team winning percentage among NFL referees in 2014, and is the highest among remaining playoff referees:
Ed Hochuli: .800
Gene Steratore: .733
Jerome Boger: .667
Jeff Triplette: .667
Tony Corrente: .600
Pete Morelli: .600
Bill Vinovich: .600
Walt Anderson: .563
Carl Cheffers: .533
Craig Wrolstad: .533
Terry McAulay: .467
Bill Leavy: .467
John Parry: .467
Clete Blakeman: .467
Brad Allen: .400
Walt Coleman: .400
However, Steratore also tied with Clete Blakeman for the third-worst rate of home teams having fewer penalties than their opponents:
Tony Corrente: .750
Brad Allen: .733
Terry McAulay: .733
Jeff Triplette: .667
Bill Vinovich: .667
Walt Anderson: .625
Craig Wrolstad: .607
Jerome Boger: .600
Walt Coleman: .600
Carl Cheffers: .500
Pete Morelli: .500
Ed Hochuli: .467
Gene Steratore: .400
Clete Blakeman: .400
Bill Leavy: .286
John Parry: .267
Green Bay is 5-6 under Steratore. Here are the results:
2006 – @MIA, 34-24 – W
2006 – MIN, 9-7 – W
2007 – @NYG, 35-13 – W
2007 – CAR, 31-17 – W
2008 – CAR, 31-35 – L
2009 – @MIN, 30-23 – L
2010 – @WAS, 16-13 – L-OT
2010 – @DET, 3-7 – L
2011 – @KC, 14-19 – L
2013 – @Ravens, 19-17 – W
2013 – @DET, 10-40 – L
The Packers have only won the penalty battle 5/11 times under Steratore:
2006 – MIA: 8/70; GB: 9/74
2006 – MIN: 10/68; GB: 4/35
2007 – NYG: 6/71; GB: 8/63
2007 – CAR: 4/25; GB: 6/75
2008 – CAR: 2/12; GB: 8/49
2009 – MIN: 2/10; GB: 7/57
2010 – WAS: 4/28; GB: 9/63
2010 – DET: 6/35; GB: 3/20
2011 – KC: 7/55; GB: 5/37
2013 – Ravens: 6/40; GB: 8/55
2013 – DET: 5/50; GB: 3/25
This is Steratore’s sixth playoff game to referee. Home teams are 2-3 in the postseason when Steratore referees:
2008 – Arizona at Carolina – 33-13 Arizona
2009 – Baltimore at New England – 33-14 Baltimore
2010 – NY Jets at Indianapolis – 17-16 NY Jets
2011 – Denver at New England – 45-10 New England
2013 – San Francisco at Seattle – 23-17 Seattle
However, in the penalty battle, home teams have fewer penalties 3/5 times:
2008 – AZ: 5/65; CAR: 6/40
2009 – BAL: 3/15; NE: 5/41
2010 – NYJ: 3/15; IND: 2/10
2011 – DEN: 5/55; NE: 2/20
2013 – SF: 7/65; SEA: 8/66
The Cowboys are 1/2 on challenges with Steratore while their opponents have never lost a challenge, going 3/3. Replay Assistant is 2/2 with both of those calls having benefited the Cowboys.
The Packers are 2/3 on challenges with Steratore. The competition is 1/4, and Replay Assistant is 2/5 with two of those decisions benefiting Green Bay.
The umpire for this game is Bill Schuster, who has been an umpire since 2000. Though having worked all of 2014 with Walt Coleman’s crew, Schuster was Steratore’s umpire from 2011-13.
The head linesman is Dana McKenzie, who has been a head linesman since 2008. McKenzie is a member of Pete Morelli’s crew since 2012.
The line judge is Rusty Baynes, who has been a line judge since 2010. Baynes was a member of Bill Vinovich’s crew in 2014.
The field judge is Terry Brown, who has been a field judge since 2006. Brown was a member of Jerome Boger’s crew in 2014, and has bounced between Boger and Terry McAulay’s crews from the beginning of his career.
The side judge is Tom Hill, who has been a side judge since 1999. In 2014, he was a part of rookie referee Brad Allen’s crew.
The back judge is Todd Prukop, who has been a back judge since 2009. Prukop has been a member of Carl Cheffers’ crew since 2010.
Green Bay’s offense has the highest scoring percentage for their drives in the NFL at 46.7 percent. Meanwhile, 17.4 percent of Cowboys opponents’ drives end in turnovers, the highest rate in the league.
Since 2013, Green Bay is 12-3-1 when Lacy gets 17 or more carries compared to 8-8 when he does not.
The Packers are 5-1-1 when Lacy gains over 100 yards rushing compared to 15-10 when he fails to do so.
Green Bay is 12-5-1 when Lacy scores a rushing touchdown compared to 8-6 when he doesn’t.
The Packers are 5-2 when Lacy scores a rushing touchdown in December and January compared to 0-2 when he doesn’t.
Receiver Jordy Nelson has as many 1,000-yard seasons as fellow Packers ’08 second-rounder QB Brian Brohm had seasons in the NFL (three).
In two career games against the Packers, Dez Bryant has 20 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He was the reason why the Cowboys weren’t shutout in their humiliating 45-7 loss on 11/14/10.
In 2014, Bryant has caught 49 passes for 794 yards and 11 touchdowns on the road versus 42 catches for 574 yards and five touchdowns at home.
Bryant has 11 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown in two career games where the temperatures were 25 degrees or colder.
Terrance Williams’ two touchdown catches last week against Detroit actually ties him with Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin, and many others for 17th-most receiving touchdowns scored in a single playoff game.
The Packers finished 2014 tied for the ninth-most sacked in the league with 41. Dallas had seven games against five teams in the top 10. On average, the Cowboys gave up 2.5 sacks.
Packers linebacker Julius Peppers finished tied for second-most pick-sixes with two in 2014.
Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews has 2.5 sacks and a pick-six in three career games against the Cowboys.
Green Bay’s defense is tied for ninth-place in allowing the longest drives on average at 2:54. Average Cowboys offensive drives last 2:56.
When Rod Marinelli was the Bears defensive coordinator from 2010-12, Nelson averaged four catches for 61 yards.
When Marinelli was the Bears defensive coordinator, Cobb averaged three catches for 43 yards.
On 9/19/10, Romo completed 34 passes against the Chicago Bears, which turned out to be the most completions against Marinelli’s defense in his time in Chicago. Eight days later, Rodgers would tie that mark on Monday Night Football. Marinelli’s defense won both games however.
Packers returner Micah Hyde’s two punt return touchdowns tied with the Saints’ Darren Sproles for the most in 2014.
Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby finished one notch below Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey in most extra point attempts for the year (55 to 56).
In order for AT&T Stadium to host the NFC Championship Game next week, not only would the Cowboys have to win, but Carolina would have to win in Seattle. Since 1990, when the playoffs were last adjusted, only 2/48 times has a wildcard winner hosted a conference championship. Those two teams were the ’06 Colts and ’08 Cardinals.
Lambeau Field actually has more seats than AT&T Stadium (80,735 to 80,000), but when AT&T Stadium combines standing room and expanded seats, its capacity jumps to 105,121.
The Cowboys are 0-1 on 1/11 with their lone game being the 1980 NFC Championship Game they lost 20-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys have only one birthday to celebrate on Sunday:
Stephen Peterman, G, 2005 – 1/11/1982
As we close, we remember the death of Cowboys defensive end Jethro Pugh, who played for America's Team from 1965-78. Pugh played in the Ice Bowl. We remember the passing of Pugh, and hope he is in Coach Landry's suite this Sunday watching their favorite team play.