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Packer Partisan (12/05/2007)
By Dave DeLano

Cowboys Corral Packers in Shootout in Dallas

Billed as the biggest game in the NFC thus far in 2007, the Green Bay Packers came up short and were bested by the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 37 - 27 Thursday night. The Packers got outplayed by the ‘Boys in this game, but not by much, and there were some interesting twists and turns.

It was an odd game. The Pack started out their offensive attack with an inexplicable deluge of unsuccessful "stretch" pass plays which seemed totally out of character. The plan didn't work and Brett Favre had a miserable first half while being heavily pressured by the Cowboys. Favre threw deep balls six times early in the game without success. I have no idea why the Packers abandoned their lethal short-pass attack.

Favre got hurt and Aaron Rodgers took over and played the rest of the game. This was the first chance for Rodgers to show what he has to bring to the Packer party and he did a good job. Down by 17 points early, Rodgers brought the Packers back to have a chance to win, but that wasn't to be. It was a disappointing loss, but Cheeseheads have to feel good about the performance of Rodgers who will eventually replace Favre.

The Packers' defense let the Cheese nation down in this game with way too many mental mistakes. In particular, the defensive secondary got toasted and our stud cornerback, Al Harris, lost too many battles with Terrell Owens. Harris wasn't nearly as bad as Nick Collins and Jarrett Bush, or for that matter Atari Bigby, all of whom seemed lost in coverage responsibilities at times. It got pretty ugly and proof that the Pack still has areas to improve. Bush was eventually replaced by Tramon Williams. I don't know what Coach McCarthy will do with Collins and Bigby. Maybe they can improve but long-term, I suspect the Pack will need to upgrade their safeties.

Sour Cheeseheads could cry about a ton of injuries which kept KGB, Charles Woodson and others out of this game and some lousy officiating in Dallas, but the truth of the matter is the Cowboys outplayed the Pack. The young Packers can grow from this game though and I fully expect they will. Ten wins and two losses is a heck of a record going into game 13 against the Raiders at Lambeau next week and the extra few days off will allow the many ailing players to recuperate.

The Raiders don't have much of a team this year and have a record to prove it. Look for the Pack to return to their West Coast offense that got them where they are this year next Sunday. Look for Aaron Rouse (if he is healthy) to replace Bigby or Collins at safety and guard Junius Coston to replace Daryn Colledge, who had a horrible game against the Cowboys. The Packers needs to regain their swagger and they have a good chance to do that against the Raiders. 


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