Cookin' at home: Packers win, 41-20

The Green Bay Packers smashed the Lambeau Field hex that plagued the team through the early part of this season with another game of impressive execution. For the second straight week, the Packers played error-free football, converted a majority of their third downs and dominated their opponent.<p>

Still in high gear from a 38-10 win over Detroit a week earlier that snapped a four-game losing streak, the Packers got their second straight victory and first at home this season, 41-20, over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday before a crowd of 70,679.

The victory helped the Packers (3-4) stay within two games of the NFC North Division-leading Minnesota Vikings, who trampled Tennessee, 20-3, to stay on top of the division at 5-1.

Brett Favre completed 23 of 29 passes for 258 yards and threw two touchdowns, and the Packers did not commit any turnovers for the second straight week. Ahman Green rushed for a season-high 163 yards on 15 carries, including a 90-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to give the Packers a 41-13 lead, and two touchdowns overall. Wide receiver Javon Walker, the league's leading receiver entering the game, had eight catches for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively the Packers held the Cowboys to one touchdown through most of the game and limited Dallas (2-4) to 5 of 12 (42%) on third-down conversions. The Packers held Cowboys running back Eddie George to 41 yards on 10 carries as Dallas finished with just 66 yards on the ground.

The Packers, third in the NFL in third-down conversions entering the game, converted 9 of 13 (69%).

Green Bay scored on seven consecutive possessions against the Cowboys. Punter Bryan Barker didn't launch his first kick until there was 9:58 left in the game.

Coach and general manager Mike Sherman again called the plays from scrimmage for offensive coordinator Tom Rossley, who is recovering from an emergency angioplasty on Oct. 12. Though Rossley offered input to Sherman throughout the game, Sherman, who directed the Packers to 434 yards at Detroit, said Green Bay's ability to execute was the key to beating the Cowboys.

"I think we're coming into our own a little bit, that's part of it," said Sherman. "I wish we would have come into our own sooner.

"Trust me, it's not the plays, it's the players making plays."

Green Bay took a 20-6 halftime lead, then stretched it to 27-6 on the first series of the third quarter when running back Tony Fisher passed to tight end Bubba Franks for a nine-yard touchdown. The trick play, suggested by Rossley to Sherman, highlighted a seven-play, 72 yard march.

"I don't know if the plays have changed any, but the execution part of it has changed," said Favre. "It's hard to figure out. Hopefully we have figured it out."

The Packers finished with a season-high 480 net yards of offense, the third straight game the Packers have topped the 400 mark. The Packers rushed for a season-high 220 yards. Green Bay hasn't had three straight 400-plus yard games of offense since it had four straight from Sept. 17 to Oct. 8, 1989.

Green Bay built a 20-6 halftime lead on Ryan Longwell's field goals of 26 and 40 yards, Green's 1-yard touchdown run, his first touchdown rushing since the season opener against Carolina, and Walker's 5-yard touchdown pass. Dallas got field goals of 46 and 24 yards from Billy Cundiff.

"Our problem at times this year was maybe too much confidence," said Favre. "There was a lot of hype, obviously, going into the season and what we were capable of doing. ... I don't know if our guys thought we were better than we actually were, but it's frustrating to see what we did today and last week and know that we should have done that against the (New York) Giants and against Chicago (Bears)."

The Packers won for the first time in four tries at home this season, and for the first time since beating the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs last January.

"If feels like it's far overdue," Sherman said. "As I told the players, ‘We should expect this, expect to win at home, even though we had a very worthy opponent today or any day. In front of our crowd, in our stadium, we should expect to win.' The fans today were phenomenal. They were there. You could hear 'em. You could feel 'em. They were very much a part of this win."

The Cowboys closed to 27-13 on tight end Jason Witten's 42-yard touchdown catch midway through the third quarter. Whitten, who finished with eight catches for 112 yards, blew past cornerback Al Harris to catch the pass from Vinny Testaverde. But the Packers bounced back, marching 63 yards on 8 plays, capped by Favre's 33-yard pass to wide receiver Donald Driver for a touchdown.

Typical of many of their drives in the game, Green Bay converted on two third-downs en route to the end zone.

"This is what practice is for," said Walker. "Everything we do out here is not just because it happened. It's what we do at practice, and we are going to continue to work at it."

Extra points:

-- By rushing for 163 yards, Green has 27 100-yard rushing games, surpassing Jim Taylor (26) for most in team history.

-- Green is the second player in NFL history with two 90-plus-yard touchdown. Bo Jackson also had two 90-plus-yard touchdown runs in his career.

-- Walker is just 27 yards short of his career-high receiving yards of 752, set in 2003.

-- Favre, who started his 196th straight regular season game, has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 32 straight games, second longest streak all-time (Johnny Unitas, 47).


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