Cowboys' quality beats Packers' quantity

Dallas' elite offensive weapons are too much for Green Bay's arsenal of quality players. However,'s Steve Lawrence says there's hope in the likely rematch.

Quantity is great, but give me quality every time.

Player for player, the Packers' offense is better than the Cowboys' offense. Give me Brett Favre passing the ball to Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Ruvell Martin, Koren Robinson and Donald Lee and handing off to Ryan Grant, and I'll have an offense that piles up a bunch of points.

That's great most weeks of the season. In a league filled with mediocre or worse quarterbacking, the Packers have more than enough firepower to outscore most teams.

But on Thursday, we saw what happened against a team with a couple of elite offensive players.

Receiver Terrell Owens and tight end Jason Witten simply destroyed a Packers defense that entered the game tied for fifth in the league in scoring defense.

Driver is a fantastic player and certainly is among the better receivers in the league, but Owens is one of a handful of receivers who can flat-out dominate any game he desires. Lee is a fine player, but Witten is a true playmaker at the position.

The superlative skills of Owens and Witten offset all of the Packers' other strengths on Thursday. Jennings is a budding star — at this time next year, he'll probably have supplanted Driver as the Packers' No. 1 receiver. He's far superior to his Dallas counterpart, Patrick Crayton. With Terry Glenn sidelined, Dallas' other receivers, Sam Hurd and Miles Austin, probably would never see the field in Green Bay.

But none of it mattered on Thursday.

Owens chewed up and spit out standout Packers cornerback Al Harris, as well as Bob Sanders' defensive game plan. In this day of the NFL, where the rules are tailored to foster touchdowns and officials call pass interference if the players' shadows overlap, Owens will win most matchups with Harris.

Witten, on the other hand, is an elite tight end who happened to be playing against the Achilles heel of the Packers' defense. Nick Collins should change jersey numbers, because he's not fit to carry LeRoy Butler's dirty socks, much less wear his No. 36. The Packers' linebackers can't cover, either, and safety Atari Bigby can neither cover nor tackle without grabbing a facemask.

The Packers have a bunch of weapons, but they don't have one player who's capable of turning a matchup against a decent player into a mismatch. That's especially true when the offensive line can't hold up against the blitz.

Hope is not lost, though.

Crayton scored two touchdowns against No. 3 cornerback Jarrett Bush, and Owens found himself matched against Bush on occasion, too. They won't have it so easy once Charles Woodson is healthy for what figures to be a rematch on Jan. 21.

A healthy Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila should apply the pass rush the Packers failed to get on Tony Romo. Will Romo be so pinpoint perfect when he doesn't have enough time to write a letter to Jessica Simpson or whoever he's dating at the time?

Once the Packers get these two defensive players on the field, they should have a better chance to win the game between these teams that really matters.

Steve Lawrence is a regular contributor to E-mail him at

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