Super Wild Card Weekend, Day 2: What We Learned From Dak Prescott, Cowboys

Day two of Super Wild Card Weekend didn't go as expected, at least for the Dallas Cowboys. Filled Super Bowl Aspirations, the Cowboys fell in the wild card round for the second time in three years as the Green Bay Packers knocked them out of AT&T Stadium (and the game wasn't that close).

Jordan Love put his stamp on the Packers' win as Green Bay became the first No. 7 seed to win a playoff game in an expanded playoff format. The Cowboys have gone 13 consecutive postseasons without reaching the conference championship game, the longest such streak. NFL History.

The Lions also won their first playoff game since 1991, and their second playoff game since 1957. Detroit will host two playoff games for the first time in franchise history.

With Sunday's wild card games in the rearview, here's what we learned from both contests and how it will carry over into the divisional round and next week.

Cowboys continue to stink in January

The story remains the same every year in Dallas. The Cowboys are blowing out bad football teams and batting point differential to look like one of the best teams in the NFL. This year is no different.

The Cowboys were 8-1 with a +204 point differential against teams that finished with a losing record. Against teams that finished with a winning record, the Cowboys were 4-4 with a -10 point differential. The Cowboys averaged 34.3 points against losing teams and 25.0 points against winning teams. Dallas is just the third team in NFL history with nine wins by 20-plus points in a season (1999 Rams, 2007 Patriots) and has won 16 straight home games (six of them by 20-plus points).

This team was always going to be decided in January, and they laid an egg for the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. Dallas played a playoff game at home and trailed 48–16 in the fourth quarter. It was 8-0 with a +172 point differential in the regular season at home. According to CBS Sports Research, this is the largest regular-season home point differential by any team in NFL history to lose a playoff opener at home.

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The Cowboys lost against a team with a winning record, but that's not surprising since the defense allowed 26.3 points per game against teams with winning records and 11.7 points per game against teams with losing records.

Dallas is now 5-13 in the playoffs since winning its last Super Bowl, failing to advance to the divisional round. For all the hoopla that comes when the Cowboys beat bad teams, they are definitely that bad team in January.

Dak Prescott has yet to lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl

Prescott was excellent in putting up those numbers in garbage time in Sunday's blowout loss. After the Cowboys trailed 48-16 in the fourth quarter, Prescott finished 17 of 21 for 210 yards with a touchdown and a 140.1 passer rating. Before that, Prescott was 24 for 193 yards, including two bad interceptions (one a Big Six) that led to 14 Green Bay points.

Prescott is 2-5 in his postseason career, tied for the worst postseason record of any quarterback with at least five playoff starts. Despite quarterbacking a team that won 12-plus games in four of his five attempts in the postseason, he has yet to make the conference championship game in his nine seasons in the league.

Prescott's two playoff wins were against teams with a combined 18-15 record (.545 winning percentage). His playoff losses against teams with a combined record of 57-27 (.679) include three at home.

The Cowboys are going to decide if Prescott can take this team to where they want it to go. He certainly struggles to beat good teams in January — and plays well against such teams.

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Jordan Love has a very bright future for the Packers

The No. 7 seed Packers are the first in the 14-team playoff era (since 2020) to win a playoff game. Prior to the Packers' blowout win over the Cowboys in the playoffs, No. 7 seed was 0-6, Jordan Love finished 16 of 21 for 272 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the win.

Love tied CJ Stroud (who finished Saturday with a 157.2 rating) for the fourth-highest single-game passer rating. NFL Playoff history. Only Terry Bradshaw (158.3 in 1976), Peyton Manning (158.3 in 2003) and Josh Allen (157.6 in 2021) have scored more. Not only did Love shine in the win, but the Packers put up 48 points on the road — the second-most in a playoff game in NFL history.

Green Bay is the youngest team to win a playoff game (average age 25 years and 214 days). The future is now for a team with playmakers across the board, and they already have a franchise quarterback to lead them into the next decade (like Fred Favre and Aaron Rodgers).

The Lions hit the reset button when they moved on from Matthew Stafford, giving him a chance to win a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams. Detroit acquired Goff as the centerpiece of the trade and selected Jameson Williams, Jahmir Gibbs and Sam LaPorta in a series of trades along with the draft picks they received from the Stafford deal.

Goff led the Lions to their first playoff win since 1991, beating Stafford in Detroit's first playoff game in seven years (first home playoff game since 1993). The Lions quarterback finished 22 for 277 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions (121.8 rating), becoming the first quarterback to beat his former head coach in the playoffs since Brett Favre beat Mike Holmgren in 2007. His former team won the playoffs in 28 years (Favre also did it against the Falcons in 1995).

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Dan Campbell did nothing but stick with Goff during the duo's three seasons in Detroit, continuing to elevate the franchise and the city due to an improvement in win totals each year. Now, both have won a playoff game and a divisional round game at home.

Goff isn't an elite quarterback, but he knows how to win in the playoffs. Campbell is in great position to succeed Goff, and he is rewarding his head coach for the faith he has placed in him. The result knocks Detroit out of the conference championship game.

The Rams continue to lose games against playoff teams

No one wanted to face the Rams in the postseason, but they shouldn't have. Heading into the playoffs, Los Angeles was 2-6 against playoff teams (one of which was Week 18 and their opponent rested their starters).

In essence the Rams struggled against good teams. That held true in Sunday's loss to the Lions, as the Rams failed to score a touchdown in the second half of the loss, failing to get into the end zone on their final four drives.

Regardless of how the Rams perform against playoff teams, the team still has a bright future. Puka Nacua is already one of the best wide receivers in the NFL (and a rookie this year), Kyron Williams is a top-five running back, while Byron Young and Kobe Turner are future stars on defense. They could still have Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald.

The Rams should be a player in the NFC for the next several seasons.

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