Romo bests Rodgers as Cowboys top Packers in NFC showdown

In what could be a potential playoff matchup in the NFC, the Cowboys handed the Packers their first loss of the season, beating Green Bay 27-16 on Sunday night.

Tony RomoIt was over when…
Tony Romo stepped up in the pocket and connected with WR Miles Austin 52 yards downfield for a touchdown through double coverage, giving the Cowboys a 26-9 lead with nine minutes left.

Game ball
Cowboys RB Marion Barber turned in the Cowboys’ first 100-yard rushing performance of the season, carrying 28 times for 142 yards. When Barber has at least 11 rush attempts, the Cowboys are 22-1.

Key stat
The Cowboys outgained the Packers on the ground 217 to 84. Dallas collected 13 of its 22 first downs on the ground, while 12 of the Packers’ 17 first downs came through the air.

Sunday’s win was the Cowboys’ first at Lambeau Field. Including playoffs, Dallas is 1-5 all-time at Lambeau. The Cowboys’ three previous road victories over the Packers came in Milwaukee. … The Packers are 10-2 in their last 12 home games and 19-4 in their last 23 games overall. … The Cowboys are 12-1 in their last 13 road games. … Dallas has started 3-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976-77. … The Cowboys have won four in a row on Sunday night and are 16-14 all-time on Sunday night.

In the battle of quarterbacks, Romo was 17 of 30 passing for 260 yards, a touchdown and a pick, while Rodgers finished 22 of 39 for 290 yards. But Rodgers racked up most of his yards when Dallas got up big in the fourth quarter and allowed the Packers to complete underneath passes to keep the clock running.

But forget the quarterbacks, the difference-maker(s) for Dallas was Marion Barber and Felix Jones, who combined for 218 yards and two touchdowns. They set the table for the Cowboys offensively and the Packers couldn’t generate enough pressure on Romo because they had to honor the run. Conversely, Dallas’s defense was able to apply pressure on Rodgers all night because Green Bay couldn’t consistently run the ball. Ryan Grant’s fumble on the Packers’ opening position (which Dallas eventually turned into a 3-0 lead) didn’t help either.

For as good as Rodgers has been, the Packers need Grant and the running game to be productive. Especially when playing better defenses like Dallas.

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