DALLAS (13-4) at GREEN BAY (12-4)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 12:05 p.m., Fox
OPENING LINE: Packers by 6 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD: Dallas 10-7, Green Bay 8-7-1.
SERIES RECORD: Dallas leads 16-15.
LAST MEETING: Packers beat Cowboys 37-36, Dec. 15, 2013.
LAST WEEK: Cowboys beat Lions 24-20; Packers had bye, beat Lions 30-20, Dec. 28, 2014.
AP PRO32 RANKING: Cowboys No. 4, Packers No. 3.
COWBOYS OFFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (2), PASS (16).
COWBOYS DEFENSE: OVERALL (19), RUSH (8), PASS (26).
PACKERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (6), RUSH (11), PASS (8).
PACKERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (15), RUSH (23), PASS (10).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: Teams meeting in Green Bay in postseason for first time since 1967 NFL Championship, known as "Ice Bowl." Kickoff temperature for that game was minus 13 with a wind chill of minus 46, making it coldest game in league history. ... Forecast for Sunday's Divisional round calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 23. ... First time in NFL history team with 8-0 road record on road in regular season (Cowboys) is visiting team with 8-0 home record in regular season (Packers) during playoffs. ... Cowboys seeking to advance to NFC Championship Game for first time since 1995. ... Cowboys 15-9 in divisional playoffs, having lost last three. ... QB Tony Romo had fourth-best road passer rating ever in single season (121.8). ... Romo 2-3 as playoff starter, completing 60 percent of passes with six TDs and two INTs. ... WR Dez Bryant has 20 catches for 239 yards and two TDs in two career games vs. Packers. ... TE Jason Witten has 33 catches for 356 yards in five career playoff games. ... RB DeMarco Murray led league in regular season with 1,845 yards rushing and 2,261 yards from scrimmage. ... DE Anthony Spencer with three tackles and sack last week against Lions has 19 tackles and three sacks in four career playoff games. ... Packers won last meeting in 2013 in Dallas when backup QB Matt Flynn threw four touchdown passes and Green Bay rallied from 23-point halftime deficit. Flynn started for Rodgers, who had collarbone injury. ... Rodgers' home passer rating of 133.2 best in NFL history. ... Rodgers in midst of streaks of 418 pass attempts and 36 touchdown passes at home without interception, both NFL records. Rodgers last threw interception at home on Dec. 2, 2012, against Minnesota. ... WR Jordy Nelson with nine TD catches at Lambeau Field had at least one score in seven of eight home games this season. ... Nelson (98 catches) and Randall Cobb (91 catches) first duo in franchise history with 90-plus catches in same season. ... LB Clay Matthews had 6 1/2 sacks in last four games. ... CBs Sam Shields and Tramon Williams each with four postseason INTs to tie four other players for franchise record. ... Packers finished first in league in turnover margin (plus-14).
CALF WATCH: The most closely-monitored leg muscle in Wisconsin belonged to Aaron Rodgers, who hurt his left calf three weeks ago. He hasn't practiced much over the last week in order to focus on treatment, though most teammates think their veteran leader could play well without any practice at all.
"No, I'm going Sunday. Just a matter of how," Rodgers said at midweek.
Coach Mike McCarthy expects Dallas to stick with a typical scheme that doesn't include much blitzing. The Packers could also line up Rodgers in more shotgun formations to limit his steps.
CLEARED COWBOYS: Linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Jeremy Mincey cleared concussion tests and practiced Friday after missing the first two workouts of the week dealing with symptoms coming out of the win over Detroit. They are important pieces for the Cowboys, especially against the potent Packers.
McClain, though he's had a hard time staying on the field late in the season, has been a stabilizer as a late addition before training camp after Sean Lee was lost for the year to a knee injury.
Mincey, who joined Dallas as a free agent after going to the Super Bowl with Denver last season, has been a leader for the line and came on late to lead the team with seven sacks.
SLOWING DOWN?: NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray ran for at least 100 yards in 10 of the first 11 games, but has been held under the century mark in four of the past six games, including 75 against the Lions. He's up to 411 carries and is closing in on doubling his previous career high of 217.
"I feel fresh," said Murray, who has 1,920 yards in 17 games. "I haven't missed time. I'm feeling good."
CLAMPING DOWN: Green Bay's run defense improved in the second half of the season. Once the worst unit against the run in the league, the Packers started giving Clay Matthews more snaps at inside linebacker at midseason to help tighten up against the ground game.
But stopping Murray will by far be the toughest test for the improved run defense.
“Obviously, we understand this is playoff football. However, we don't want to treat this thing any differently," Matthews said. "We've been doing some good things and obviously there's room for improvement."
THIRD GO-ROUND: Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten have their third chance to reach the NFC championship game. After losing a division-round game to the New York Giants as the No. 1 seed in the NFC during the 2007 season, they followed a wild-card win over Philadelphia with a blowout loss to Brett Favre and Minnesota two years later. "It's just exciting to be in this position," Witten said. "So much work and the challenges to get back here, you don't take that for granted."
|Turnover Margin (+14)||1||1|
|Points Scored (30.4)||1||1|
|Points Allowed (21.8)||6||13t|
|Total Offense (386.1)||3||6|
|Total Defense (346.4)||6||15|
|vs. Rush (119.9)||13||23|
|vs. Pass (226.4)||4||10|
|Third-Down Offense (47.2%)||3||3|
|Third-Down Defense (40.3%)||7||18|
|Red-Zone Offense (57.8%)||6||10|
|Red-Zone Defense (56.3%)||8||20|
|Passing: Rodgers (112.2)||2||2|
|Rushing: Lacy (1,139)||4||7|
|Receptions: Nelson (98)||4||7|
|Rec. Yds.: Nelson (1,519)||2||4|
|Interceptions: Hayward/Williams (3)||17t||27t|
|Sacks: Matthews (11.0)||5||12t|
|Turnover Margin (+6)||6||9t|
|Points Scored (29.2)||3||5|
|Points Allowed (22.0)||7||15|
|Total Offense (383.6)||4||7|
|Total Defense (355.1)||8||19|
|vs. Rush (103.1)||4||8|
|vs. Pass (251.9)||11||26|
|Third-Down Offense (47.3%)||2||2|
|Third-Down Defense (43.6%)||13||27|
|Red-Zone Offense (64.7%)||1||2|
|Red-Zone Defense (61.2%)||12||27|
|Passing: Romo (113.2)||1||1|
|Rushing: Murray (1,845)||1||1|
|Receptions: Bryant (88)||8||12|
|Rec. Yds.: Bryant (1,320)||4||8|
|Interceptions: Carter (5)||2t||3t|
|Sacks: Mincey (6.0)||27t||51t|