FRISCO, Texas -- No quarterback is playing as well as Aaron Rodgers.
In the Green Bay Packers' current seven-game winning streak, Rodgers has 19 touchdown passes, no interceptions and just one turnover.
In the Dallas Cowboys' 30-16 win against the Packers in October, Rodgers was in a funk. He entered the game with the worst completion percentage in the NFL. The running game was not helping much. The protection wasn't the strongest.
Rodgers had a touchdown pass but was intercepted once and fumbled once. He was sacked once, too. The Packers had just three plays of 20 or more yards. Most importantly, the Cowboys allowed the Packers to score touchdowns on just one of four red-zone trips. The Cowboys aren't letting that performance alter their preparation for Sunday's divisional playoff rematch at AT&T Stadium, though.
"I mean it helps," cornerback Morris Claiborne said of the first meeting, "but it's a new season. It's another game. You can't go out and rely on the same things you did the last time, but what we're relying on is just effort. Effort, going after the ball, tackling, all 11 guys to the ball, if we go out and do that on the defensive side of the ball, I think we like our chances."
The Cowboys could catch a break if Jordy Nelson doesn't play because of a rib injury.
"We're not going to change," Brandon Carr said.
Even without Nelson the Packers are dangerous. Davante Adams has seven touchdown receptions in the winning streak and had eight catches for 125 yards and a score in the wild-card win against the New York Giants. Ty Montgomery looks more like a running back than a receiver playing running back. Tight end Jared Cook did not play in the first meeting against Dallas but has 18 receptions in his last four games.
But Rodgers is the maestro.
Two years ago in the divisional round Rodgers threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys. Despite a calf strain that limited his mobility, the Cowboys sacked him just twice. As good as he was that day, he's been better lately and the Cowboys know they must affect him.
"He's uncomfortable when it's tight and we're all in the pocket with him," defensive end Tyrone Crawford said. "But as soon as he gets out of there, he's a great player and he makes big plays. Just keeping him in there and limiting his comfort throwing the ball (will be big), but I mean the guy makes crazy plays no matter what. I don't know how he does some of the things he does to pass the ball."
Despite the good showing in the regular season, there is a feeling of doubt that the Cowboys can do it again Sunday.
"Who's doubting?" Carr said. "They're not in here through, right? We're not going to worry about them. It's a new ballgame. We're ready for a challenge. You have an elite quarterback coming into town, a high-powered offense. It's the same story for us every week: execute our game plan, find ways to make plays."