ARLINGTON The Dallas Cowboys found themselves at the mercy of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers early Sunday.
Any hopes of reaching the NFC Championship game for the first time in 21years diminished accordingly by halftime as the Packers led 21-13.
Rodgers came into the game as the hottest quarterback in the league, leading the Packers to seven consecutive wins with 19 touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Cowboys defense offered no resistance in the first half as Rodgers led the Packers to three scores on their first three drives and a 21-3 lead.
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Other than Rodgers, the biggest problem for the Cowboys was their offense, which killed itself with penalties and dropped passes.
The Cowboys opened game with a 43-yard drive, but had to settle for a 50-yard field goal when a third-and-2 pass from rookie quarterback Dak Prescott to receiver Dez Bryant was batted away.
The next drive was into Green Bay Packers territory was setback by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on receiver Brice Butler. The 15-yard penalty for going into the huddle and then going back off the field nullified a 22-yard pass that would have given the Cowboys a first down at the 22.
Two incompletions on second and 20 and third and 20 plays led to a punt.
The next Cowboys drive was a three-and-out posssession, thanks largely to a drop by Terrance Williams on first down.
Meanwhile, Rodgers simply lit the Cowboys up.
A 75-yard touchdown drive was followed by drives of 90 and 80 yards.
A 34-yard touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers was followed runs of 3 and 1 yard from running back Ty Montgomery.
Down 21-3, the Cowboys offense finally woke up and showed signs of life.
Prescott directed a four-play, 75-yard drive.
The final two plays were a 21-yard pass to Bryant and a 40-yard touchdown to Bryant.
A muff on the ensuing kickoff forced the Packers to start on their own 6.
The Cowboys defense fed off the momentum and finally forced a three and out series.
Prescott got the Cowboys as close as the 15 before the team settled for a 33-yard field goal to make the score 21-13 at halftime.
Rodgers completed 15 of 24 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown in the first half, including four incompletions on the final two drives.
Prescott was 10 of 18 for 147 yards and a touchdown. Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott had 10 carries for 44 yards.