Tom Oates: Packers earn overall grade of D- in loss to Cowboys

October 17, 2016 GMT


Aaron Rodgers threw for 294 yards, but he also missed open receivers, threw an interception and fumbled at the 1 going in. Once again, he had time but his receivers had trouble getting open. Eddie Lacy ran well. Hurdled well, too. Ty Montgomery made things happen after the catch.


The NFL’s No. 1 rushing defense met its No. 1 rushing offense and the offense won. Ezekiel Elliott had 157 yards on 28 carries and the Cowboys totaled 191 rushing yards. LaDarius Gunter had an awful day. He had trouble with his footing and bit hard on a third-and-1 fake to give up a 35-yard pass.


At least Mason Crosby is still efficient. He was 3-for-3 on field goals. With four turnovers, beleaguered punter Jacob Schum wasn’t needed much. He did pin the Cowboys at the 3 on his one punt. Montgomery had a 40-yard kickoff return and Trevor Davis a 25-yard punt return, both welcome sights.


The offense has lost its efficiency and its killer instinct in the red zone, yet Mike McCarthy can’t find a fix. With Lacy’s iffy ankle and no other halfback active, McCarthy was handcuffed a bit. Dom Capers kept changing defenses when he should have found something that worked and stuck with it.


The Packers made a statement against the once-beaten Cowboys, it just wasn’t the one they wanted. Injuries hurt the cause, but the Packers committed four turnovers, continued to struggle on offense and their defense, facing its first real test, fell apart. If this isn’t a wake-up call, nothing is.