PackerReport.com staff predictions

Pundit panel split down the middle for the Big One in Big D

Bob Fox, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 10-1
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 10-6
Thursday's game: Packers 27, Cowboys 24
Comment: If I'm ever going to pick against the Packers this year, this could be the week. Green Bay hasn't won in Dallas since 1989. Brett Favre has never won in Big D in 8 tries, including 3 playoff games. But there is something different about the 2007 Packers. They have proven a lot of the doubters wrong in tough places like Denver and Kansas City. The Packer defense will be able to sufficiently hold down the Cowboy running game, while getting pressure on QB Tony Romo. The Packer offense will be effective, as Favre and the wide receivers will exploit the Dallas safeties. Look for a lot of Big 5 formations. Special teams will have to come up big again this week.

Tyler Dunne, Correspondent/Rookie pundit
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 9-2
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 9-7
Thursday's game: Packers 41, Cowboys 35
Comment: It does not get better than this. Cable owners: find a bar, find a stool, order a beverage, sit back and enjoy the ride. Brett Favre vs. Tony Romo. Al Harris vs. Terrell Owens.10-1 vs. 10-1. After Thursday, the road to the Super Bowl will go through Lambeau Field. Green Bay and Dallas have both improved immensely week after week, but right now the Packers have a swagger that cannot be shaken... even in the biggest game of the season...even at Favre's personal House of Horrors (he's 0-8 in Irving). Mike McCarthy has built a fearless team that excels under adverse circumstances, as evident by his 10-1 road record and five wins this season by a touchdown or less. Green Bay faces both hurdles Thursday. Look for Air McCarthy to test the Cowboys' secondary early and often. The Cowboys' 21st ranked pass defense has had the luxury of playing with big leads throughout the season. They won't Thursday in a textbook drive-for-drive shootout. If Favre finds his 70% completion percentage rhythm early, 'Big D' will not be able to keep up. Romo is having a historic season, but he doesn't have Favre's big-game experience. The swagger is back. And so is the Pack. Reserve your bar stool, now.

W. Keith Roerdink, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 8-3
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 9-7
Thursday's game: Dallas 31, Green Bay 27
Comment: It might be a different story if this were in Green Bay, but when these two red-hot teams meet, the home team gets the nod. As the NFL's youngest team, only quarterback Brett Favre remembers those painful trips to Texas Stadium in the early and mid 1990s. This is a very different scenario, as Green Bay is not some chippy underdog chomping at a perennial power. They actually match up well with the Tony Romo-led Cowboys. They'll do their best to rattle him, but it may be the Cowboys ground game that wins this game. That and a crucial turnover could be the difference. But a loss this Thursday doesn't mean Green Bay can't get revenge come January.

Jay Royle, Publisher
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 8-3
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 9-7
Thursday's game: Packers 31, Dallas 27
Comment: Unfortunately, I think this is as simple as home-field advantage, even though the Packers have been tough on the road. WAIT!!!!! Something SPECIAL is going on this year and I think McCarthy is quietly becoming one of the best coaches in the NFL. That combination, plus the way No. 4 is playing, and the Packers once again find a way.

Harry Sydney, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 8-3
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 7-9
Thursday's game: Cowboys 24, Packers 21
Comment: This is a tough one and, trust me, I want to say the Packers will win this one, but I can't because I think Dallas will win the battle of the line of scrimmage. I don't think that Aaron Kampman can do it by himself, and if Kabeer is hurting he would have to. So unfortunately I have to go with the Cowboys.

Todd Korth, Managing Editor
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 8-3
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record will be 8-8
Thursday's game: Packers 34, Cowboys 27
Comment: The Packers have been doing the improbable all season, so there is no reason to think they will fall apart on Thursday night. Green Bay has won six straight, including its last four games by double digits. Brett Favre is red hot, and the defense continues to make plays. What more can you ask for if you're a Packers fan?

Tom Andrews, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 8-3
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 8-8
Thursday's game: Packers 31, Cowboys 30
Comment: This is one of those games where I believe the action on the field will actually match all of the pre-game hype. Both teams are loaded offensively. Brett Favre and Tony Romo command headlines for good reasons. What concerns me most for the Packers are the injuries to Charles Woodson and KGB. Green Bay will need KGB's pass rush from the outside as well as Woodson's tenacity and savvy in the defensive backfield if they are to hold down the Cowboy's passing attack. If Woodson can't go, youngsters like Tramon Williams and Jarrett Bush must fill the void. Besides Terrell Owens and the wide receivers, Green Bay will also have to find some way to contain tight end Jason Witten. Opposing tight ends have killed the Packers this year and Witten's very, very good. All of this being said, Mike McCarthy has done an outstanding job keeping his young team focused, especially on the road. I expect that to continue with the Packers winning a tight one.

Steve Lawrence, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 7-4
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 8-8
Thursday's game: Cowboys 31, Packers 27
Comment: The Packers have been healthy all season — until this week. Not particularly good timing, given the Cowboys' strength on offense. So, Round 1 goes to the Cowboys. There's no reason Round 2 — assuming both teams reach the NFC title game and the Packers' secondary returns to full health — won't go the other way, though. Mike McCarthy has an excellent road record, so I'm not sure home-field advantage is absolutely crucial to this team.

Matt Tevsh, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 7-4
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 7-9
Thursday's game: Cowboys 33, Packers 28
Comment: This is a really tough game to pick, but I'm giving the edge to the Cowboys based on the Packers' uncertain injury situation. Plus, I see the Packers having trouble with a tight end, Jason Witten, again. This game will probably be the difference in home-field advantage for the playoffs. While it would be nice for Packers' fans to have the playoffs go through Lambeau again, the team has really been built to be just as good on turf and on the road. Home field shouldn't mean as much this year as in the past.

Doug Ritchay, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 7-4
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 7-9
Thursday's game: Cowboys 24, Packers 21
Comment: Tony Romo vs. Brett Favre. I'm sick of hearing about it. This game goes deeper than the quarterbacks, especially for the Packers, who are fighting the injury bug. If "KGB" and Charles Woodson can't play, the Packers will be hard-pressed to win in a place Favre is 0-for. You need to be healthy against teams like Dallas. Turnovers will determine the winner in this one and something tells me Favre may try too much if the Packers trail going into the fourth quarter. I like the Cowboys. Wait a minute, I hate the Cowboys, but I pick them to edge the Packers. Then after the game Romo can celebrate with his new girlfriend, who is his old girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, and they can ponder if Chicken of the Sea is chicken or tuna.


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