Editor’s note: apparently every beat writer took the weekend off. But what a glorious weekend it was.
No Jordy Nelson, no problem. Before Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli dialed up a series of blitzes to confuse Green Bay in the second half, Rodgers had led the Packers to 66 points in the first 74 minutes since Nelson's Wild Card-round exit last week. Prior to the opening whistle, FOX analyst Troy Aikman declared that Rodgers is playing quarterback at the highest level it has ever been played. Rodgers spent the next 60 minutes of game time proving Aikman right. The man who turned the Hail Mary into a routine play deployed every other weapon in his arsenal on Sunday, extending plays, throwing receivers open, pump faking to dupe defensive backs, picking up first downs with his legs and tricking Dallas' defense into untimely penalties. Rodgers' 34-yard touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers was his 14th on a "free play" due to defensive offsides since 2012. No other quarterback has more than three such scores over that span. A master craftsman possessing the position's most gifted and varied toolbox, Rodgers has advanced the art of quarterbacking over the past two months.
Jerry Jones, Cowboys question officiating in loss to Packers - Star-Telegram
On their second offensive possession of the game, the Cowboys drove into Packers territory and had a second-and-5 from the Green Bay 37. Quarterback Dak Prescott hit Terrance Williams for a 22-yard gain, seemingly putting the Cowboys in great position to score.
But wide receiver Brice Butler was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for entering the huddle and exiting without staying in for the play.
“That was crazy. I was confused,” Butler said. “I was like, ‘They said my number?’ The ref told me you can’t do that and I was like, ‘What?’ That’s a call they can call in every game on every team.”
Coach Jason Garrett said he’d never seen that penalty called before.
“That was a critical play early on … it ended up being about a 30- or 40-yard penalty,” Garrett said. “Obviously we didn’t handle that situation well enough.”
Prescott also didn’t understand the call, saying he’d have to study up on the rule book more this offseason.
The NFL has submitted follow-up questions to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott related to the assault accusations made in July by his ex-girlfriend, league sources told ESPN.
Elliott is still in the process of responding to the league's questions, which he received within the past month, sources said.
No resolution is expected this season. Sources said any potential discipline from the NFL would be for the 2017 season.
Over the summer, Elliott's ex-girlfriend posted pictures of her bruised arms on Instagram and tagged Elliott, sparking an investigation that has lasted all season. Police in Aventura, Florida, were also called to Elliott's apartment in February to investigate an altercation involving the same woman, according to a report in USA Today Sports.
Elliott was not arrested and did not face charges related to the alleged incidents. Elliott said he was interviewed by the NFL during the season, but the league's investigation is not complete.