By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Moral of the story: Get your ass to Texas Stadium while you can. There are only 10 regular-season Cowboys games remaining at the lovable old dump, and Thursday will likely be the best of them all.
Packers-Cowboys has all the feel of the Washington Redskins' visit in 1983. In a showdown of 12-2 rivals, the Redskins arrived wearing Army fatigues and left with a victory when Cowboys quarterback Danny White audibled Landry into his infamous "No, Danny! No!"
The Cowboys and Packers enter as, by far, the class of the NFC. Favre and Romo (who, painfully, idolized Brett while growing up in Wisconsin) are the NFC's two top-rated passers. Terrell Owens is the NFL's most dangerous offensive weapon; the Packers' physical cornerbacks have allowed only one 100-yard receiver. The winner moves to 11-1 and will likely play the NFC Championship in its own stadium.
The significance? Of the last 14 teams to host the NFC title game, 10 advanced to the Super Bowl.
The Cowboys will win Thursday.
Because they don't want to travel to Lambeau Field on January 20, when the average temperature is 24 degrees. And because they don't want to wait to host the NFC Championship Game until 2009, when the new stadium's Chablis and caviar ambience will mute their home-field advantage.
"It's going to be more like Wimbledon than an NFL crowd," said another former Cowboys employee. "They might sell it out, but it will be a group of elitists who don't live and die with the outcome of each game. That's the shame of it all."
Goodbye, America's Team.
Hello, Corporate Cowboys.