Huge Matchup Ready for Primetime

The big game is here. The Cowboys and Packers game is the first time two 10-1 teams have met since 1990.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones calls it the biggest game at Texas Stadium since the two teams met in the 1996 NFC Championship Game.

"Green Bay is intimidating to me," Jones said. "What this game is about is to get back here in January. It's a big one. There is a difference between playing in Dallas and playing in Green Bay in January."

The Cowboys have won only one playoff game since that magical season, which was the last time they made to the Super Bowl. And if the Cowboys are going to make it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1996, beating the Packers on Thursday would be a huge step in that direction.

"People love football, but when you see two organizations with great history, old-school football teams with great records that are going to play each other, that is a great thing," linebacker Greg Ellis said.

The winner of the game gets the inside track to home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

Remember the Ice Bowl? Well, the Cowboys would prefer not to.

"If it's bad weather up there and they can't throw it and they have to go with their running game, that wouldn't be too bad," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "But, yeah, you'd rather play at home. That's the big thing. The crowd, the motivation factor."

A Cowboys victory against the Packers would also clinch them a playoff spot. A Cowboys victory and a loss by the Giants on Sunday would clinch them the NFC East title. Right now, all the Cowboys care about is taking care of business against the Packers on Sunday.

"We know this next game is, at this point in the season, certainly the biggest game in the NFC so far," Phillips said. "And we know the challenges, Brett Favre and all those things. But we're looking forward to it."

What he's not looking forward to is Favre having a typically huge performance.

"The thing I'm most concerned with is their passing game," Phillips said. "Favre can light you up, and he's done it through the years."

WEDNESDAY NOTES --WR Patrick Crayton said he is good to go for Thursday's game against the Packers. He is not fully healed from the sprained ankle that kept him out of last Thursday's game against the Jets but he is healthy enough to play. Crayton will not take any pain killers before the game. He said the ankle feels better when he gets warmed up.

--LB Bradie James is having a Pro Bowl season. At least that is the opinion of coach Wade Phillips. James leads the team with 96 tackles and is the team's vocal and inspirational defensive captain.

--CB Anthony Henry will continue to come off the bench as a nickel corner as he remains slowed by a high-ankle sprain that kept him out of three games earlier this season.

--CB Roy Williams has no complaints about a defensive package that takes him off the field when the opposing team goes with three receivers. The Cowboys put cornerback Anthony Henry in the game, leaving three cornerbacks to go along with free safety Ken Hamlin. The package led to Williams' streak of 90 straight starts coming to an end against the Jets last Thursday. "Whatever needs to be done to help the team win, I'm all for," Williams said.


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