The National Football League has a campaign to help foster physical fitness in America’s youth.
It’s called Play 60.
Well, the Green Bay Packers heeded that advice in Dallas on Sunday afternoon.
And it’s a good thing that they did.
Because their play in the first half was a total disaster, one of the worst in recent memory.
Trailing 26-3 at the half, the Pack scored 34 points after intermission for an improbable, unlikely and totally surreal comeback win, 37-36, at Chez Jerry Jones, aka AT&T Stadium.
This was one for the ages.
A road victory against the Cowboys.
A modern-day bookend to The Ice Bowl.
While it wasn’t for the championship, it was clearly a season-saving victory.
And it bolsters the brain trust’s decision to keep Aaron Rodgers out for at least another week.
The most talked about clavicle in NFL history will be in the forefront again starting Monday morning.
Rodgers, who was crestfallen at being held out last week, will be champing at the bit to take the snaps at Lambeau Field next week.
The Chicago Bears won and the Detroit Lions play Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
The NFC North title is still up for grabs and the Packers, incredibly, are still in the mix.
Only the division winner will get a playoff nod when you look at the rest of the NFC.
How did they do it?
Well, rookie RB Eddie Lacy took the handoff to open the second half and scampered 60 yards.
He went over 1,000 yards on the ground, matching the feat of John Brockington in 1971.
Lacy's burst led to Jordy Nelson’s wrestling match/touchdown grab with 13:06 left in the third quarter.
He also launched himself into space and over the goal line with 1:31 to play for the game winning score.
That was after he willed himself to a first down inside the five as a preamble to his heroic amble.
Big D got its cushion with five Dan Bailey field goals and three TD passes from Burlington, WI native Tony Romo.
Big receivers have been a bugaboo for the Packer secondary all season.
Romo was throwing jump balls to Dez Bryant and it looked like he would pick apart the Packers all afternoon.
But Tramon Williams and Sam Shields tightened up their coverage and Romo threw picks to each in the fourth quarter.
A third interception was reversed by replay challenge which only added to Romo’s rep as being a choker in big games, especially in the month of December where he has had his troubles.
Flynn was able to get into a rhythm once they head coach Mike McCarthy eschewed the no-huddle and went more conventional.
He got contributions from a variety of targets: Nelson, James Jones, Andrew Quarless, Jarrett Boykin and RB James Starks.
After swapping field goals, the Cowboys drove right down the field.
But the Packer ‘D’ broke up consecutive passes in the end zone and Dallas took a 6-3 lead with 4:52 left in the first quarter.
Poor field position, coupled with a sack and delay of game penalty, gave Dallas the ball back in pretty good shape.
Tony Romo responded with a four-play, 65-yard drive topped off with a 25 yard hookup to Jason Witten.
That made it 13-3 with 28 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Flynn was feeling pressure and got sacked and hurried a few times.
Lacy, coming off the ankle sprain of a week ago, had trouble getting untracked and the ‘O’ line was not getting much of a push up front in the first quarter.
Flynn was unable to get into much of a rhythm and struggled mightily on every possession.
The Pack was supposed to be able to feast on the Cowboys secondary, given what the Chicago Bears did the previous Monday.
The ‘D’ stood for Dallas but not necessarily ‘Defense.’
But such was not the case.
A couple more Bailey three-pointers and a one-yard touchdown run by DeMarco Murray saw the score balloon to 26-3.
Bailey’s fifth FG made it 29-10 with 6:34 left when the Pack showed off its mettle.
After Clay Matthews sacked Romo inside the five yard line, Green Bay came to life.
They took advantage of the short field and Flynn hit Quarless from a yard out to make it 29-17.
Another drive and a pass to James Starks in the flat made it a more doable, 29-24 with 12:47 left in the game.
With Dallas pinned deep, Romo threw what looked like a pick to Williams, who brought it inside the 10 yard line.
The successful challenge gave the Boys enough life to stem the tide and Romo responded with a touchdown strike to Bryant at the back of the end zone for a 36-24 lead.
The Pack answered that bell and Flynn sent a missile to James Jones to cut it to 36-31 with 4:17 left.
Romo was looking to close out the deal and tossed a ball to Bryant.
But Shields stepped in front the pass at midfield for the timeliest of turnovers.
The Packers come back to Lambeau Field next Sunday, December 22, to face their opponents in Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kickoff is at 3:25 for the game between not having their best seasons.