Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) participates in warmups prior to the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Perfect at home, Cowboys cite comfort of playoff spot against Packers

Quarterback Dak Prescott and the NFL’s highest-scoring offense enter the playoffs with a confidence that can only be found at home.

The Cowboys host the Green Bay Packers in a wild-card matchup Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium, where Dallas had a perfect 8-0 record during the regular season.

Dallas averaged a league-high 29.9 points per game, posted a 12-5 record and won the NFC East for the second time in three years.

Prescott threw 36 touchdown passes, which led the NFL. CeeDee Lamb caught a league-high 135 passes for 1,749 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

The statistics are impressive, but the Cowboys want something bigger: playoff success.

“Obviously, there’s going to be a sense of urgency because there’s no tomorrow, because it’s win-or-go-home every single week,” Cowboys wideout Brandin Cooks said. “At the end of the day, we’re looking at a great team (in the Packers) that has been playing at a high level to finish this season.

“As far as pressure (goes), no, because we know what’s in front of us. It’s playoff ball. That’s the best of everyone’s ball. We’ve just got to show up and continue to be who we are without putting more on ourselves than we need to. … We’ve just got to take care of business.”

Green Bay travels to Texas in an underdog role, but not without an air of confidence. The Packers, who have one of the NFL’s youngest rosters, won their last three games and six of their final eight with multiple strong showings from quarterback Jordan Love as running back Aaron Jones finally looked healthy.

Love threw 32 touchdown passes, which trailed only Prescott. He took control in his final eight starts as he threw for 18 touchdowns with only one interception.

“Everybody looks to him as a leader,” said guard Jon Runyan of Love’s development. “He’s got complete control of this offense, and what he does. We trust him, and you’re able to see it on the field.

Rookie wideout Jayden Reed led the team with 912 yards from scrimmage (793 receiving, 119 rushing) and 10 touchdowns (eight receiving, two rushing). Jones added 889 yards from scrimmage (656 rushing, 233 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving).

Packers coach Matt LaFleur said his team is playing as if it has nothing to lose.

“I think for us it’s just the opportunity to be in the dance and have a great week of preparation and put our best foot forward,” LaFleur said. “I think we’ve been going through this the last few weeks. We knew what was at stake. I mean, the last three weeks basically have been playoff games for us. So, really, it’s the next opportunity.”

On the opposite sideline, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy will have a chance to make history against his former team. McCarthy won a Super Bowl as the Packers coach during the 2010 season, and he can become the first person to win a playoff game against a team with which he won the Super Bowl as head coach.

McCarthy deflected questions about his tenure in Green Bay and what the game meant to him.

“This game’s about our commitment,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

Both teams had one injured player sit out the first practice of the week. Packers running back A.J. Dillon was sidelined by thumb and neck injuries, and Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore sat out because of a shoulder injury. Gilmore said he’s confident he’ll be on the field Sunday.

The teams’ most recent matchup was Nov. 13, 2022, when Green Bay held on for a 31-28 win. This is their first playoff meeting since Jan. 15, 2017, when Green Bay won 34-31 in Dallas.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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