Thumbs up, thumbs down

Packer Report's Todd Korth offers his opinion on the highs and lows from the Green Bay Packers' loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night

Thumbs up: Cullen Jenkins is silencing all those who said he was overpaid last year. The defensive end was a disruptive force with 1 1/2 sacks and five tackles. He had two tackles for a loss, three quarterback hits and forced a fumble while bringing down Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. It marked the third straight game that Jenkins, who was bothered by nagging injuries last year, has played very well.

Thumbs down: Penalties, especially on punt and kickoff returns cost the Packers in the second half. The Packers were flagged three times for a total of 52 yards. The back-breaker came early in the fourth quarter after Will Blackmon's 43-yard return to the Packers' 48 was wiped out by a holding penalty on Tracy White, forcing the Packers to start at the 19. The play came right after the Cowboys took a 27-9 lead on Romo's 52-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin.

Thumbs up: Even though he suffered his first loss as a starter, Aaron Rodgers played fairly well against the Cowboys. Rodgers threw for 290 yards, completing 22 of 39 passes, and finished with a passer rating of 80.1. He missed on a few of his passes, but for the third straight game he did not throw any interceptions and was victim of a few dropped passes.

Thumbs down: Speaking of dropped passes, James Jones dropped two early on before injuring his knee. At that pass, Jones will be in danger of getting surpassed by rookie Jordy Nelson in the pecking order at wide receiver.

Thumbs up: Like Jenkins, A.J. Hawk played like an animal and was one of the few Packers to slow Cowboys' running back Marion Barber. Hawk had nine tackles, including seven solos.

Thumbs down: The Packers offensive line simply got beat by the Cowboys defensive line. No excuses. Rodgers was on the run often when the Packers were in passing situations and the running lanes were shut down in a hurry by the Cowboys. Tackle Mark Tauscher did not have the best of games.

Thumbs up: Brandon Jackson ran hard in the three carries that he got from the line of scrimmage. Jackson averaged 6.7 yards per carry on three attempts for 20 yards. He provides a great change of pace from Ryan Grant. Jackson also caught a screen pass and turned it into a 16-yard gain.

Thumbs down: Ryan Pickett often was buried by Dallas' massive offensive line, which meant a long day at the office for the Packers' rush defense. Green Bay gave up a season-high 217 yards rushing, including 142 to Marion Barber.

Thumbs up: The Packers played hard till the final whistle. They didn't give up or hang their heads when they lost cornerback Al Harris and safety Nick Collins to injuries. The intensity was there, but the Packers were simply beaten by a better team.

Thumbs down: The Cowboys (3-0) are still the king of the NFC. The Packers (2-1) had a chance to dethrone them at home, but couldn't get it done. Back to the drawing board.

Todd Korth writes for and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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