The Green Bay Packers' first playoff matchup is set. They draw the No. 3 seed Dallas Cowboys who defeated the Detroit Lions Sunday 24-20.
Because the Packers held the lower of the top two seeds, they were set to take on the highest seeded team remaining after the Wildcard Round. Had the Lions, seeded sixth, upset Dallas, it would instead be the No. 4 seed Carolina Panthers traveling to Green Bay next weekend.
The Cowboys are the only remaining NFC playoff team the Packers did not play during the regular season, and after the Seattle Seahawks, they likely represent the biggest threat to Green Bay. Despite enduring through a painful back injury during the middle of the season, Tony Romo delivered some of the best quarterback play in the league. He's a mobile, accurate passer who can carve up defenses behind arguably the NFL's best offensive line.
Further aiding Romo's cause is All-Pro Dez Bryant. A 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver, Bryant plays with a physical bent rare for players at his position. His style is equally adept at exploiting long defensive backs (Richard Sherman) as it is for speedsters (Sam Shields). Bryant finished with six touchdowns over his final three regular season games.
And yet, neither Romo nor Bryant may even be the most important player on Dallas' offense. Running back DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing yards (1,845), rushing touchdowns (13), and finished near the top in yards per carry (4.7). He's a bruising back with nimble feet that can exploit a defense's tackling deficiencies. How well the Packers adjust to Murray could very decide the outcome of the game.
The Packers will host the Cowboys at Lambeau Field, with kickoff set for 12:05 PM Central on Sunday, January 11th.