What it means: The Packers are going back to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since their run to Super Bowl XLV. It wasn't easy -- or pretty -- but quarterback Aaron Rodgers, injured left leg and all, turned in a memorable performance. They will need him healthier for next week's conference title game in Seattle, but they will worry about that later.
Stock watch: Since he caught six passes for 121 yards against the New England Patriots on Nov. 30, rookie receiver Davante Adams had four catches for just 29 yards over the final four regular-season games combined. On Sunday, he caught seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. And he made perhaps the play that sealed the game, ripping the ball away from Cowboys cornerback Sterling Moore, who went for the interception on third-and-3. Instead Adams took the pass for a 26-yard gain with 2:24 left in the game.
Peppers' plays: Julius Peppers signed with the Packers in part because he wanted a shot at a Super Bowl. He played like it. Peppers had a sack and two forced fumbles. He stripped Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on his first-quarter sack, although Dallas recovered. Peppers then stripped running back DeMarco Murray, a fumble that Packers defensive end Datone Jones recovered, on Dallas' first possession of the second half.
Perry's plays: Nick Perry had three sacks in the regular season. He was in on two sacks on consecutive plays in the second half Sunday. He got one on his own on the final play of the third quarter and then shared one with Mike Daniels on the first play of the fourth.
Dirty play? Clay Matthews was lucky he didn't get penalized -- or worse, ejected -- for hitting Romo late and in the knees on the quarterback's 1-yard touchdown pass to fullback Tyler Clutts in the first quarter. Romo complained to referee Gene Steratore after the play.
Game ball: Early in the third quarter, someone on Twitter asked whether a healthy Matt Flynn would be better than an injured Rodgers. Rodgers' 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Rodgers in the fourth quarter is one of the many reasons why that theory would be wrong. Few quarterbacks could make that throw with two good legs. Rodgers did it with one. Drifting to his left, he fired a rocket between Moore and safety J.J. Wilcox to give the Packers a 26-21 lead with 9:10 remaining. Rodgers finished 24-of-35 for 316 yards with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 125.4.
What's next: The Packers return to the NFC Championship Game for the first time in four years next Sunday at the top-seeded Seattle Seahawks.