Receiver Terrell Owens was rendered a non-factor with just two catches for 17 yards. Tight end Jason Witten had a productive seven catches for 67 yards, but he did not find the end zone and it was not a game-breaking performance by any stretch.
But that's the thing about the Dallas Cowboys. A defense can do a respectable job against some of their headliners, but there's always another one coming at you. Or two.
On Sunday night, the big names with the big games were running backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones. They combined for 218 rushing yards on 34 carries, simply wearing down Green Bay's defense in a 27-16 Dallas victory.
"Really what we're most disappointed with was the run game," defensive end Aaron Kampman said. "We gave up 200 yards, and that's very uncharacteristic of us. That really set them up."
The productive run game put the Cowboys in several short-yardage situations, allowing them to "really open the playbook," according to Kampman. That's in part how the lesser-known Miles Austin got behind the secondary for 115 yards receiving on just two catches.
Barber was the workhorse for Dallas, carrying 28 times for 142 yards. He never broke a really big run, with his longest going for 25 yards, but his punishing running style was having an impact as the game progressed.
Barber had nine carries of 8 yards or better in the game, and six of those came in a span of 10 carries in the second half, when the Cowboys' mammoth offensive line was asserting control.
"Give a lot of credit to Barber, he's a talented back," Kampman said. "He's very physical, but honestly a couple times we were out of our gaps, we weren't where we needed to be. Other times give them credit. They are some road-graders up there. They do a nice job."
To its credit, the defensive line sacked Dallas quarterback Tony Romo three times with little to no help from blitzes. But combined with the 76 rushing yards from the speedy rookie Jones, who had a 60-yard TD run in the second quarter, the Cowboys' ground attack averaged a gaudy 6.2 yards per carry.
"It starts up front, so as a D-lineman you kind of take it personal," Cullen Jenkins said. "We feel like we owe it to the team to stop the run. That's what we should do first before you get the pressure against the pass. It's something we really have to buckle down on and get stops."
Sunday's game marked just the second time in the Mike McCarthy era that the Packers allowed more than 200 yards on the ground to an opponent. The other was Seattle, back on Nov. 27, 2006, when Shaun Alexander had 201 and the Seahawks as a team had 235.
The only team to come close last year was St. Louis, which put up 173 rushing yards on Dec. 16 behind 143 from Steven Jackson. His individual total is still the most by a single back against the Packers since Alexander's big game, though Barber came up just short of that on Sunday.
"Hopefully that's just an anomaly for us," Kampman said. "I feel like we are a good run defense. It didn't show up tonight, and that's what matters, but I'll continue to bet on us with our run defense."