Pregame warmup: Who will make the play that changes the game?

Packers' defense has tough task, but several players to call upon for a big play


DALLAS -- Playoff games always feature changes in momentum. Often times, the teams that win make the plays that change momentum at the most critical times.

The Packers have had a number of different players do that over the years, from Tramon Williams in Atlanta in 2010 to Davante Adams last week. Who will it be today in Dallas in the NFC Divisional playoff against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium?

Two years ago in this same round against the Cowboys at Lambeau Field, it was LB Julius Peppers, who stripped RB DeMarco Murray of the ball for a critical turnover for Green Bay. Peppers helped change the game last week, too, when he sacked Giants QB Eli Manning deep in New York territory with the Packers trailing 6-0.

Moments later, QB Aaron Rodgers hit Adams for 31 yards down the right sideline, and Green Bay's offense was off and running.

The jobs of contraining Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott and QB Dak Prescott are tough tasks, and it'll take momentum-changing plays on defense to get the job done against two players who haven't been slowed down much all season. Will it be Peppers again? Clay Matthews? Nick Perry? Mike Daniels? Damarious Randall? Ha Ha Clinton-Dix? Morgan Burnett?

The Packers have plenty of options. It's up to one or more of them to change the game when it will mean the most.

Secondary health: CB Damarious Randall (foot), who was added to the injury report on Saturday, is active and will play, but fellow CB Quinten Rollins (neck/concussion) remains out.

Rollins practiced both Wednesday and Thursday, but Head Coach Mike McCarthy declared he had not been cleared in the concussion protocol yet. He will now miss his second straight game.

On special teams and offense, WR Jeff Janis (quad) is active and will play. Janis played a big role on punt coverage and kickoff return last week as the Packers turned in their best special-teams performance of the season.

Next round: The Falcons already have advanced to next Sunday's NFC title game and is awaiting the Packers-Cowboys winner. If Green Bay wins, the Packers will travel to Atlanta. If the Cowboys win, they will host the Falcons.

Playoff seeding trends: Last year, the No. 1 and 2 seeds in both the AFC and NFC met in their respective conference title games.

That broke a 10-year streak, though, of at least one road team winning on divisional weekend and knocking out one of the top two seeds. In Saturday's action, both home teams -- Atlanta and New England -- won, so it'll be up to Green Bay or Pittsburgh (playing at Kansas City) to not let the top two seeds sweep the divisional round for the second year in a row.

Storied postseason history: This will be the eighth all-time postseason meeeting between the Packers and Cowboys, tied for the most postseason games against one opponent in Green Bay franchise history.

The tie is with the Giants, who played their eighth postseason game against the Packers last week.

The Packers-Cowboys postseason history dates back to the 1966 NFL Championship game played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Packers won that game, plus the Ice Bowl the next year, before losing four straight postseason games to the Cowboys in 1982, '93, '94 and '95. The Packers won the 2014 meeting in the NFC Divisional round, making Green Bay 3-4 in the postseason against Dallas.

Nobody's underdog: Head Coach Mike McCarthy hasn't uttered those famous words this season, but he hasn't had to. That's the subject of this week's "One Last Look."

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