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May 23, 2024

Packers Dominate Cowboys in NFC Wild Card Game Behind Jones’ 4 TDs

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Jan 15, 2024

The Green Bay Packers went into AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and dominated the Dallas Cowboys in their NFC Wild Card playoff matchup on Sunday. Led by running back Aaron Jones’ four touchdowns, the Packers cruised to a 31-14 victory to advance to the divisional round.

Jones Has Historic Day to Lead Packers Offense

Jones was the star of the show for Green Bay, rushing for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns while adding a receiving touchdown as well. His 4 total TDs tied the Packers franchise record for a playoff game.

After the Cowboys opened the scoring with a Dak Prescott TD pass, Jones powered the Packers to a lead they would not relinquish. He had a pair of first half touchdown runs to give Green Bay a 14-7 advantage at halftime.

In the second half, Jones continued his dominance. He caught a short pass from Jordan Love and took it 8 yards for a score to extend the lead to 21-7. After the Cowboys cut it to 21-14, Jones put the game away with a 9-yard touchdown run late in the 4th quarter.

Aaron Jones Wild Card Game Stats
Rushing Attempts 24
Rushing Yards 143
Rushing TDs 3
Receptions 1
Receiving Yards 8
Receiving TDs 1
Total TDs 4

Jones now has 8 career postseason touchdowns, passing Ahman Green for the most in Packers history. And with his 143 yards on Sunday, he became the first player in franchise history with 4 straight 100-yard rushing games in the playoffs.

Packers Defense Clamps Down on Cowboys

While Jones and the offense stole the show, the Packers defense also had an outstanding performance. They held the Cowboys to just 287 total yards and came up with a number of key stops throughout the game.

Dallas took the opening drive and marched right down the field for a touchdown, going 75 yards in 11 plays. But from that point on, defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s unit tightened things up.

Over the next 4 drives, the defense forced 3 straight 3-and-outs. The Cowboys didn’t get another first down for the rest of the first half after their opening score. Green Bay sacked Prescott 3 times on the day and pressured him constantly, never allowing the Dallas offense to find a rhythm.

In the second half, the defense delivered another huge stop after the Cowboys had cut the lead to 7 points. Dallas drove to the Packers 7 yard line looking to tie the game. But the defense held firm, forcing a turnover on downs to get the ball back for their offense.

That key red zone stop allowed Green Bay to go down the field on the ensuing drive and extend the lead back to 14 points on the Jones touchdown reception. It took away all the momentum Dallas had built and put the Packers firmly back in control of the game.

Slow Start Dooms Cowboys Hopes of Upset

The Cowboys were hoping playing at home would provide the spark for them to pull off the upset over the Packers. But a slow start on offense prevented that from ever materializing.

Dallas won the toss and chose to defer, hoping to get a defensive stop and set the tone early. But the plan backfired, as Green Bay methodically marched 77 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive to grab a 7-0 lead.

First Half Drive Results
Team Drives Points
Packers 5 14
Cowboys 5 7

The Cowboys didn’t get their initial first down on offense until there was 5:30 left in the 1st quarter. By that point, they were already down by a touchdown and the Packers were finding their rhythm on offense.

Dallas played from behind the entire rest of the way. Their only lead came briefly in the 2nd quarter after Prescott hit CeeDee Lamb for a 3-yard score to cap a 75-yard drive. But the Packers answered right back with another Jones touchdown run on the very next possession.

That was a common theme throughout the game. Any momentum the Cowboys tried to gather was quickly snatched away by the efficient Packers offense. The early deficit put pressure on Prescott and the Dallas offense and they just could never fully recover.

What This Means Going Forward

The win moves Green Bay on to the NFC Divisional round, where they will face the winner of Monday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys. It will be the Packers third straight playoff appearance under Matt LaFleur after failing to quality the previous two seasons.

As for the Cowboys, it’s another year of disappointment after high preseason expectations. Dallas is now just 2-4 in playoff games during the Dak Prescott era. The future of head coach Mike McCarthy will come into question after failing to lead his team deeper into the postseason.

But on this day, it was all about the Packers and Aaron Jones delivering a clutch performance to overwhelm a Dallas team that struggled to match their offensive execution. Green Bay looks primed for another potential Super Bowl run behind Jones and their versatile offensive attack.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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