Dallas Cowboys X Factor: Road Warriors
Normally a visit to Lambeau Field in January (expected high this Sunday: 23F) is a formidable assignment. Not for the 2014 Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys went 12-4 this season, and 8-0 on the road. They may have been paradoxically beatable at home, but they dominated their road matchups – both offensively and defensively.
Tony Romo was almost a completely different quarterback on the road in 2014. He completed 67% of his passes at home; 70% on the road. He threw 17 TDs to 9 INTs at home – a respectable ratio. On the road, though, he was nearly flawless: 20 TDs to only TWO interceptions.
The Cowboys defense experienced a similar split personality. At home, they produced 11 sacks, 30 passes defensed, 12 turnovers and one defensive score. On the road, those numbers expanded to 17 sacks, 39 passes defensed, 19 turnovers and two defensive scored (and a blocked kick, to boot).
The Dallas Cowboys are a rarity – they enjoy a road field advantage.
Dallas Cowboys Red Flag: Romo vs Rodgers
As good as Romo and the Cowboys are on the road, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are equally good at home. Rodgers threw 13 TDs and 5 INTs on the road, but at home he had an other-worldly 25 TDs and only ONE interception. All four of the Packers’ defensive scores occurred at home.
As they like to say, something’s gotta give. Either Romo continues his mastery of opposing defenses on the road, or Green Bay defends their home turf as they have shown they can do.
We’re probably past the argument that Romo can’t win playoff games, but he’s going to have to take his game up a notch to beat Rodgers in Green Bay, with the ghosts of playoffs past swirling around the stadium.
It’s an important test on the journey to the status of Super Bowl winning QB.
Next: Can Green Bay defend their home turf?