The Dallas Cowboys are lucky. That’s at least the opinion of New York Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh, who feels that his team would have beaten the Cowboys in the divisional round.
“They’re lucky that we didn’t go beat the Green Bay Packers,” Pugh said, per Ebenezer Samuel, NY Daily News. “If we were going to come to Dallas, we were going to beat them (the Cowboys) a third time.”
Okay, then. Before we get into the obvious hole in Pugh’s point, we have to mention that there’s some logic to it. New York beat Dallas twice during the regular season, while the Cowboys handily defeated the Packers in Green Bay. Based on that, Dallas would rather see Aaron Rodgers and company.
The glaring problem with Pugh’s point is that it completely ignores what happened on Wild Card weekend.
The Packers didn’t simply beat the Giants. This game didn’t come down to the bounce of a ball, a questionable play call or a bad call from the officials. New York looked like the better team for most of the first half, but could only build a 6-0 lead. Then, on the strength of some brilliant scrambling from Rodgers and a Hail Mary, Green Bay took a 14-6 halftime lead. The Packers dominated the second half on their way to a 38-13 win.
Nobody watching that game with anything resembling an unbalanced eye would call the Giants the better team. If the Cowboys got to choose between Green Bay and Dallas for their divisional round opponent, they wouldn’t have picked the Packers. If anything, the Cowboys are unlucky to be facing a Green Bay team riding such a hot streak after an inconsistent regular season.
Perhaps Pugh and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch should get together. They seem to view things in a strange, but similar way.