GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP)Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes to rookie Christian Watson and led a 55-yard drive in overtime to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal, and the Green Bay Packers stopped a five-game skid with a 31-28 win over former coach Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Green Bay (4-6) appeared well on its way to losing six straight games in the same season for the first time since 1988, trailing 28-14 in the fourth quarter before Rodgers led two long drives that ended with scoring passes to Watson.
McCarthy coached the Packers to their most recent Super Bowl title after the 2010 season and posted a 125-77-2 record with Green Bay before getting fired in 2018. This was his first game against the Packers since he took over as Dallas’ coach in 2020.
Rodgers was McCarthy’s quarterback for most of his time with the Packers. Their relationship grew strained in McCarthy’s later seasons, but they exchanged compliments over the last week and shared hugs before and after Sunday’s game.
The Cowboys (6-3) blew a 14-point lead heading into the fourth quarter for the first time in franchise history. They entered Sunday with a 195-0 record in such games, including playoffs.
McCarthy chose to go for it on fourth-and-3 from Green Bay’s 35 on the opening possession of overtime instead of trying a long field goal. Dak Prescott was pressured by Jarran Reed and threw a desperation pass to Tony Pollard that fell incomplete.
The Packers had third-and-1 from their own 44 on the ensuing drive when Rodgers threw across the middle to Allen Lazard, who caught the ball just beyond midfield and raced to the 20 for a 36-yard gain. The Packers then set things up for Crosby’s game-winning kick.
Green Bay’s Aaron Jones rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Watson, a second-round pick from North Dakota State, finished with four catches for 107 yards and became the first Packers rookie since Keith Woodside in 1988 to have multiple touchdown catches in a game. They were the first three TD catches of Watson’s career (he had a 15-yard TD run against New England on Oct. 2).
Rodgers found Watson for a 39-yard score on fourth-and-7 with 13:23 left. They connected again on a game-tying 7-yard TD with 2:29 remaining.
Watson had a 58-yard touchdown – the Packers’ longest completion of the season – in the second quarter. He celebrated by doing a back flip in the end zone.
Dallas scored 21 straight points to take its 28-14 lead.
Prescott’s 5-yard pass to Dalton Schultz tied the game at 14-all with 8 seconds left in the first half. After a fumbled punt return by Amari Rodgers gave Dallas the ball at the Green Bay 45, Prescott hit CeeDee Lamb for a 30-yard gain to set up Tony Pollard’s 13-yard touchdown run with 7:14 left in the third.
Lamb capped the Cowboys’ next possession with a 35-yard touchdown reception.
Lamb finished with 11 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Pollard ran for 115 yards and a score. Prescott went 27 of 46 for 265 yards, three TDs and two interceptions.
Cowboys CB Anthony Brown left with a concussion in the second quarter.
The Cowboys were missing running back Ezekiel Elliott (knee). … Green Bay’s defense was missing outside linebacker Rashan Gary (knee), linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (knee) and cornerback Eric Stokes (ankle/knee). The Packers placed Gary and Stokes on injured reserve after both players were hurt in a 15-9 loss at Detroit last week.
Cowboys: At Minnesota on Sunday.
Packers: Host Tennessee on Thursday night.
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