The Dallas Cowboys get to play Green Bay this week, 8 1/2 months later than they wanted to.
The Cowboys were knocked out of the playoffs by the Giants last January a week before they would have played host to the Packers in the NFC championship game. They travel to Lambeau Field on Sunday night, where they meet a team that doesn't seem to have lost much with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback instead of Brett Favre.
Even on the road, Dallas is favored by three points. That's because even after the Cowboys' sloppy 41-37 win over Philadelphia on Monday night, America's bettors still believe in America's Team.
At this point, the Cowboys are on course at 2-0, although they have never won in Green Bay: 0-5, the most famous loss being the ``Ice Bowl,'' the 1967 NFC championship game won 21-17 by Vince Lombardi's Packers on Bart Starr's 1-yard sneak over Jerry Kramer.
But the Packers are one of several teams that could stop what Dallas fans think is an inevitable Super Bowl run. Green Bay is also unbeaten, with Rodgers making Favre's departure irrelevant - at least for the first two games.
ppy themselves in Detroit last week, losing a 21-0 lead. But they came right back after falling behind 25-24, rallying for 24 straight fourth-quarter points, including two interception returns for TDs.
One advantage for the Cowboys: They are the only NFL team that gets to see Rodgers for a second time. He came on in relief of an injured Favre at Texas Stadium last Nov. 29 and completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards an a touchdown in a 37-27 Dallas win, the only significant action in his first three seasons.
In any case, this won't be easy against a good team in prime time in a tough venue.
``We know that no game is going to be perfect,'' said Dallas' prime-time talker, Terrell Owens. ``There's going to be interceptions, fumbles, missed assignments by everyone.''
That's one reason the Packers can win this game.
Another is the Cowboys' humility. Or lack thereof.
``The Lord has obviously blessed me with a lot of talent,'' Owens said.
He blesses Green Bay this week.
PACKERS, 37-27
---
Pittsburgh (plus 3) at Philadelphia
Three points for the home field seems about right for the battle of Pennsylvania.
EAGLES, 21-17

Jacksonville (plus 5 1/2) at Indianapolis
ville has.
COLTS, 24-19

New York Jets (plus 9) at San Diego (Monday night)
The Chargers are too good to lose three straight, and the officials owe them a call.
CHARGERS, 27-16

Miami (plus 12 1/2) at New England
The limited offense the Patriots run for Matt Cassel will be no problem here.
PATRIOTS, 24-6

Carolina (plus 3) at Minnesota
Go with desperation after the Vikings benched QB Tarvaris Jackson for 37-year-old Gus Frerotte.
VIKINGS, 15-14

New Orleans (plus 5) at Denver
Another mile-high shootout.
BRONCOS, 43-42

Cincinnati (plus 13 1/2) at New York Giants
The Giants have outscored Washington and St. Louis 57-20 without playing consistently.
GIANTS, 57-20

St. Louis (plus 10) at Seattle
The Rams have been outscored 79-16.
SEAHAWKS 79, uh, 33-21

Oakland (plus 9 1/2) at Buffalo
The Raiders got their win for the first half of the season.
BILLS, 24-6
Arizona (plus 3) at Washington
Kurt Warner's 1999-like numbers take a hit against a pretty good defense.
WASHINGTON, 31-20

Houston (plus 5) at Tennessee
Kerry Collins was in his prime at the same time as Warner.
TITANS, 20-10

Tampa Bay (plus 3) at Chicago
ears last season. So he doesn't cut it on his return to Chitown.
BEARS, 16-12

Cleveland (plus 2) at Baltimore
Even this early, a must win for Cleveland.
BROWNS, 20-13

Detroit (plus 4) at San Francisco
Jon Kitna will pass the Lions into the lead ... then pass them out of it.
49ERS, 37-34

Kansas City (plus 5) at Atlanta
Remember that the Chiefs played New England tough in Foxborough.
FALCONS, 17-16

LAST WEEK: 11-4 (spread); 9-6 (straight up)
SEASON: 20-11 (spread); 20-11 (straight up)

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