Favre, Packers Not Hung Up On History

All the losses in Dallas earlier in his career don’t make for great memories for quarterback Brett Favre, but he’s taken to developing a sense of humor about them. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Cowboys Game Center


All the losses in Dallas earlier in his career don't make for great memories for quarterback Brett Favre, but he's taken to developing a sense of humor about them.

During the Packers' team meeting before practice on Sunday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy was informing his otherwise young squad that the media are likely to make a big deal out of the fact that Green Bay hasn't won in Dallas since 1989. It's a losing streak that covers eight meetings at Texas Stadium from 1991 through 1999, including playoff defeats in three straight years from 1993 to 1995.

"He said, 'All you guys were in Little League the last time they played down there,'" Favre said. "I had to raise my hand ... 'Not all the guys.'"

While Favre's perspective on the history in Dallas is understandably different than that of most of his teammates, both the veteran quarterback and the rest of the locker room are taking healthy approaches to the past as the Packers prepare for their NFC showdown with the Cowboys on Thursday night.

For Favre, the losses are something to laugh about, at least a little, with two Super Bowl appearances and now a slew of NFL records coming his way since those three consecutive postseason defeats.

He doesn't see it as his job to become a history teacher to try to motivate anyone this week, and he doesn't think his teammates want him, or should need him, to be.

"I think if I got up and shared my experiences, they'd say, 'Ah, shut up. Who cares? We'll be fine,'" Favre said.

"If I have to tell them it's going to be tough to win at Dallas - a team that's 10-1 that's playing outstanding, probably gave New England their toughest challenge up to this point aside from Indianapolis, ... if we can't see that ..."

Meanwhile for the rest of the Packers, the history is irrelevant - "We're right now," says receiver Greg Jennings ... "This is now, it's a different time," adds center Scott Wells... - and the rather loose and care-free attitude Favre alluded to is a reflection of two things.

It fits both the team's growing confidence and its level-headed mindset - that while this week's game at Dallas is important and could have major playoff seeding and home-field implications, it's not time to change the team's ways and all of a sudden think this is the Super Bowl.

"Play loose but be ready to play," Favre said of the approach the team is taking this week. "Study your stuff, know what's going to happen, know it's going to be a tough environment, as it always is for us, and see what happens. That's been a pretty good formula for us this year whether our guys realize it or not."

The here and now is certainly what McCarthy wants his players to focus on, and that was the thrust of the morning meeting.

"What they should be talking about is how many road games we've won in the last two years here because that, in my opinion, pertains to us as a football team," McCarthy said.

Indeed, the Packers are 5-0 on the road this season and have won seven straight road games dating back to last year, one shy of tying the franchise record for a road win streak. Green Bay is 10-3 on the road under McCarthy, tied with (coincidentally) Dallas for the second-best road record since the start of the 2006 season.

"We just try to approach each game the same," Wells said of the road success. "We don't really look at on the road or at home, or one is bigger than the other. We try to stay level-headed and reach out for that next success, that next step in the right direction. So far we've been able to do that."

But the key is they've been able to do so without stopping to bask in the glory too long. These Packers have managed to keep where they're going more in the forefront of their minds than where they've been.

{sportsad300}"The greatest challenge is not saying, 'Yeah, we're there,' because there's a huge challenge right now," linebacker Brady Poppinga said. "We've done a lot up to this point, but we're not there. We have to fight that. We have to continue to get better, we have to continue to pay attention to details, we have to continue.

"If we're going to sit here and think that we've accomplished what we set out to do this year, then we're sorely mistaken and selling ourselves short. We can't do that."

Favre won't either. He spoke repeatedly on Sunday about how much more he feels the offense can still accomplish despite being ranked third in the league, including second in the league in passing.

He also made reference to how much more he can accomplish as a quarterback, which undoubtedly means another deep postseason run if the team can maintain its high level of play.

Favre didn't specifically mention winning for the first time at Texas Stadium, though he'd probably like to check that off before he's done. It's one of nine stadiums Favre has played in without a win, though it's the one in which he's suffered the most losses (five reg. season, three postseason) without a victory.

But Favre, applying his and the team's healthy perspective, insists that doesn't bother him.

"Not anymore," Favre said. "It did when we lost every time, but it's just one of those things.

"We hope that changes this week."

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