The Green Bay Packers, and not the Dallas Cowboys, are headed to the penultimate round of the 2015 NFL Playoffs: the NFC Championship Game. Green Bay beat the Cowboys on Sunday at Lambeau by a final score of 26-21.
An injured Aaron Rodgers started slow but finished strong against an exposed Dallas defense. The Cowboys gave heck of a fight but it wasn't enough in the end. The Packers will now face the Seattle Seahawks next week.
The controversial play that everyone will be talking about after this game is the non-catch made by Dez Bryant late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were facing 4th-and-2 and Tony Romo aired it out deep to find Bryant. The Dallas receiver made a great play on the ball and went down just one yard short of the end-zone. Green Bay challenged the ruling because it looked like the ball moved as Bryant was going down to the ground, and sure enough the officials ruled that Bryant did not "complete the process." (Think: Calvin Johnson rule.) But while Cowboys fan may complain about the officiating, it's hard not to think back to last week when Dallas benefited from a number of favorable calls in their win over the Lions. I guess this goes to show that things even out.
There's no doubt Dallas finished the 2014 season better than most expected. It was the first time in three seasons that they didn't end up 8-8. But how much success they have beyond this year remains to be seen. A lot of changes could be coming. The Cowboys will need to make a decision on Jason Garrett, whose contract is up. So is one of their fifty offensive coordinators, Scott Linehan. Then there's the players: DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant are due money. Murray is coming off a HUGE workload and it will be interesting to see if he can be effective in 2015. Murray was so crucial to the Cowboys success in 2014 that it would be hard to see how good they can be without him. Then there's the fact the Dallas has the 11th least cap space heading into the offseason.
It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. For now, Eagles fans can rest easy thanks to a Cowboys loss.