Monday 12th January LIVE @ 5am (repeated 4pm ESPN2)
Over the coming weeks the NFL playoffs will unfold to determine who will progress to Super Bowl XLIX. The Dallas Cowboys have an unmatched pedigree when it comes to playoff victories (they have a 34-25 postseason record overall) although they have lost their last two playoff games on the road… with Tony Romo the quarterback in both.
Despite this unwanted hoodoo, Cowboys fans know that their star quarterback will need to be fit and on the field for them to stand a chance. After putting up outrageous regular-season numbers and leading the Cowboys to an NFC East title for the first time since 2009, Romo knows it is what he will do in the playoffs that will ultimately define his career.
Romo has had a wonderful season which has been eclipsed by few, though you would say the king of Lambeau Field – Aaron Rodgers – would be one of those few. The favourite for MVP and arguably the finest deep-ball thrower in football hasn’t thrown an interception at home since 2012, which in itself makes the Cowboys task seem a pretty tall order.
Romo suffered some big hits and appeared to be affected by them in Dallas’ controversial win over Detroit, while Rodgers has not been able to train fully either; both are tipped to feature from the off nevertheless.
If the quarterback battle alone isn’t enough to draw you to this game, it may help to know that these sides value running the football. At the forefront all season has been the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray, who (with 1845 yards) is the NFL’s rushing champion.
Green Bay’s Eddy Lacy will provide the most potent running threat for the Packers, who are unbeaten at home (8-0) in 2014. The Cowboys are unbeaten on the road (8-0). Something has to give in this one… you can catch it live on Monday.