This game means a lot more to the Cowboys than it does to the Packers.
I'm not saying the Packers don't care about this game. It's probably the biggest regular-season game the Packers have played in the last decade.
But if Green Bay loses at Texas Stadium on Thursday night, it won't be the end of the world. But if Dallas loses, it will be the first sign that the Cowboys may come unraveled over the regular season's final weeks.
If the Packers lose, they can return to Lambeau Field with a 10-2 record and will be heavy favorites to win their final four games. It would be a safe bet that they will finish no worse than 13-3, get the NFC's No. 2 seed, which will mean a bye in the first week of the playoffs. One could even argue that a loss would allow Mike McCarthy to get his team's attention as it prepares to make a Super Bowl run.
If the Cowboys lose, there will be questions about whether Wade Phillips can lead Dallas deep into the playoffs. People will openly wonder if the Cowboys would be better off if Bill Parcells opted to stay around for another season. While Tony Romo has been nothing short of spectacular this season, he still has yet to do anything in the postseason. Right now, that doesn't seem to be a worry, but if Brett Favre and the Packers win Thursday night, it will be. Who knows what Terrell Owens will start saying if Al Harris and company come into town and shut down one of the NFL's best receivers, after all, it was just two years ago when Owens openly wondered how much better his Philadelphia Eagles team would have been if Favre, and not Donovan McNabb, was his quarterback.
If the Packers lose Thursday night, people will start talking about a Dallas-New England rematch in the Super Bowl. The Packers, despite still having a spectacular record, will be temporarily off the Super Bowl radar. That could definitely be a good thing as the Packers get healthy and ready for the playoffs.
While getting a No. 1 seed and home-field advantage for the playoffs would be a coup for the Packers, it's not necessary for them to get to the Super Bowl.
Regardless of what happens Thursday night, would you honestly bet against Favre and the Packers if they had to travel to Dallas again late in January with the Super Bowl on the line?
A win over Dallas on Thursday would be nice. But the Packers are good enough to go into Dallas in January and win. Heck, the Packers might be better off if they had to travel for the playoffs. After all, McCarthy's team has won seven straight road games over the last two years.
Can the Packers win in Dallas on Thursday? Maybe. But if they lose, don't be surprised if their next trip to Dallas winds up with an eventual trip to the Super Bowl.