Packers' Harris, Woodson Looking for Redemption Against T.O. and the 'Boys

Ty HeglandContributor ISeptember 18, 2008

The hype before last year's game featuring the Packers and Cowboys was immense.  Veteran Brett Favre lead his 10-1 Pack into big D to play NFC favorite Cowboys. In the week leading up to the game, Favre was criticized time and time again about not being able to win in Dallas. 

Unfortunately, the critics were right. My beloved Packers were absolutely torched by Tony Romo; he completed 63% of his passes for 309 yards and threw for four touchdowns. 

A big part of Tony's success was No. 81. Terrell Owens caught seven passes for 156 yards including a touchdown. Moreover, it wasn't just any regular touchdown: it was the infamous popcorn celebration touchdown.

Coming into the game, I felt very confident with my team. Why shouldn't I have been? The Packers were 10-1 entering the game (so were the Cowboys) and were supposed to have two shutdown corners that could limit the Dallas passing attack.

Instead, Al Harris was completely dominated by Owens. I'll tell you why: every time press corner Al Harris is lined up across from a physical receiver, such as T.O., he gets pushed around like a rag doll. The same result came for Charles Woodson. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the Packers and I love Harris and Woodson. On the other hand, something needs to change in order for the cheese to have a chance at the "W" this Sunday night. 

The Cowboys' offensive line is great; hell, their whole team is great, especially their offense. With a dominant offensive line, Marion Barber should have his usual producticity. If Marion opens the game hot, it will open up play-action, and then things could really get ugly. 

The Packers cannot allow big plays out of the Cowboys' offensive attack or it will be a long night. They must force long drives and make them work for points. On obvious passing downs, the Packers' defensive front needs to get pressure on Romo: if they don't, Romo will repeat his '07 passing performance.

Referring back to Harris and Woodson getting tossed around, did anyone see the Lions' game last Sunday? Before quarterback Jon Kitna collapsed in the fourth quarter, he and wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, went wild against our corners. Johnson is a physical receiver. 

Look back to last year's NFC Championship game against the New York Giants. Once again, Al got beat, bad. A very big, and physical, Plaxico Burress caught 11 balls for 151 yards. 

See a pattern?

If I hadn't stated that I am a longtime cheese head, you may think that I hate the Packers. I am not the type of person to sugarcoat obvious problems. I don't sweep dirt under the rug. I'm a realist.

Hopefully, Al and Charles have learned from their mistakes and will prove me wrong; nothing would make my Sunday night any better than to have the Aaron Rodgers era start at 3-0.

For the Pack to win, they must win a shootout; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that a Dallas offense with eight pro bowlers will put points on the board. 

If Aaron and the Packer offense can move the ball with limited penalties and turnovers, and the defense can contain the high-powered Dallas offense, we have a legitimate shot. 

If not, 2-1 isn't that bad, is it?