NFL Playoffs

Winners, losers as Packers embarrass Cowboys in stunning playoff result

In his playoff debut, QB Jordan Love helped the Packers become the first No. 7 seed to upset a No. 2 seed.

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A Texas-sized embarrassment.

In the first shocking result of this year's NFL playoffs, the No. 2 Dallas Cowboys were embarrassed by the No. 7 Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday.

The Packers opened the wild-card matchup with 27 unanswered points and took a commanding 27-7 lead into the halftime break. The Cowboys wouldn't get any closer than 16 points in the second half as Green Bay ended Dallas' 16-game home winning streak with a decisive 48-32 victory.

Led by first-year starting quarterback Jordan Love, the Packers became the first No. 7 seed to upset a No. 2 seed since the NFL playoff field expanded to 14 teams in 2020. No. 7 seeds were previously winless in six total games.

As the lowest-seeded NFC team, the Packers will now visit the No. 1 San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round. But, before looking ahead to that matchup, let's examine the winners and losers from Green Bay's upset of Dallas:

Loser: Mike McCarthy

Did the Cowboys know this was a playoff game? As the No. 2 seed in the NFC, the Cowboys entered the postseason needing to win just two home games to reach their first conference championship game since the 1995 season.

But the vibes seemed off for America's Team from the jump on Sunday, and they didn't show any real signs of life until falling into a 27-0 hole. Dallas simply didn't look ready to play, which ultimately falls at the feet of the head coach.

Yes, the Cowboys are 36-15 over the last three regular seasons with McCarthy at the helm, but now two of those three campaigns have ended with a home loss in the wild-card round. After this latest early playoff exit (and with Bill Belichick suddenly available), will Jerry Jones make a head-coaching change?

Winner: Jordan Love

Another day, another impressive NFL playoff debut from a young signal-caller. One day after Houston Texans rookie C.J. Stroud lit up the Cleveland Browns en route to a blowout win, Love carved apart Dallas' defense to power a lopsided victory.

The 25-year-old was a super-efficient 16-for-21 through the air for 272 yards and three touchdowns. He made a number of impressive throws, highlighted by a 20-yard touchdown to wideout Dontayvion Wicks.

On the heels of a promising regular season, Love looked like a seasoned pro and outplayed Dak Prescott in his first playoff start. He defeated the NFC's No. 2-ranked scoring defense with ease and now has the conference's top-scoring defense waiting to face him in San Francisco.

Loser: Dak Prescott

It was Prescott, not Love, who looked like he was making his playoff debut. The likely MVP finalist contributed to Dallas' nightmare first half and insurmountable deficit with a pair of brutal interceptions.

First, Prescott was picked off by Jaire Alexander in the final minute of the first quarter, setting up the Packers inside the red zone.

Green Bay turned the interception into points via a one-yard touchdown run from running back Aaron Jones.

Then, with Dallas trailing 20-0 late in the first half, Prescott threw the ball right into the hands of safety Darnell Savage, who returned it 64 yards to the house for a pick-six.

Prescott was nearly picked off for a third time on Dallas' subsequent possession, but linebacker De'Vondre Campbell couldn't haul it in.

Prescott finished 41-for-60 with 403 yards, three touchdowns and two picks, adding 45 yards on the ground. But he did most of his damage with the game out of reach.

Winner: Aaron Jones

If Aaron Jones got to play the Cowboys every week, he would be one of the greatest running backs of all time. The one-time Pro Bowler entered Sunday averaging 123 rushing yards per game against the Cowboys, the most of any player ever with a minimum of three head-to-head matchups with Dallas.

And the El Paso, Texas, native continued to own the Cowboys, racking up 118 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.

With his playoff hat trick, Jones now has nine touchdowns across four career games versus Dallas.

Winner: Romeo Doubs

Packers wideout Romeo Doubs tallied 674 receiving yards in the regular season. He put up nearly one-quarter of that number against Dallas.

Doubs went above 100 yards receiving for the first time in his young career, catching all six of his targets for 151 yards and one touchdown.

The 2022 fourth-round pick became just the third Packers player ever to record at least 150 receiving yards in a playoff game.

Loser: Dan Quinn and the Cowboys' defense

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn won't be putting this game on his head-coaching resume.

A matchup of the NFL's No. 5 scoring defense and No. 12 scoring offense was completely one-sided in Green Bay's favor. Love threw for 272 yards with just five incompletions and zero sacks taken, never looking overwhelmed in his playoff debut. The Packers tallied 4.3 yards per carry. And Green Bay went a combined 7-for-11 on third and fourth down.

In total, Dallas' defense was gashed for 415 total yards and 41 points (seven of Green Bay's points came from Prescott's pick-six) while forcing zero turnovers. The Cowboys had previously given up more than 20 points at home just once this season, which came in a 41-35 Week 13 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Quinn has enjoyed a strong run as DC in Dallas, but this would be a rough way to go out should he depart for a head-coaching gig.

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