The Dallas Cowboys aren’t sticking with their routine this week. They will visit Lambeau Field on Saturday after arriving in Green Bay.
Coach Jason Garrett hopes the players take in the historic venue, so they’ll be solely focused on the NFC divisional playoff game Sunday.
“We just wanted to do it for whatever the reason,” Garrett said. “A lot of guys haven’t been to Lambeau. We’re driving right past the stadium. Get out, move around. It’s an early game on Sunday, so the idea that guys haven’t been to this place before, you’re getting there early, we don’t want to spend any time looking at the place. ‘We did that yesterday, guys. Let’s get up, put our cleats on and let’s go play football.’
“So that’s probably it more than anything else. If it was a late game Sunday, and you had a little more time, maybe you don’t do this, but we just felt it made sense and logistically it was easy to do.”
The Cowboys are scheduled to land around 5 p.m. in Green Bay. They typically head directly to the team hotel. But earlier this season in Seattle, the Cowboys had a similar itinerary as the one this weekend.
On that trip, the Cowboys left early in their warm-up suits and did their Saturday walk-through at the University of Washington. This time is similar except they’ll do the walk-through at Lambeau.
“That’s how we used to travel,” Garrett said. “We always did that for years. You’d get off the plane, go to the stadium with Jimmy [Johnson] and coach [Barry] Switzer and other teams I’ve been on, that was always the routine. We always did our walk-through at the stadium in our suits and so … old school.”
The trash talking started last week, before the Cowboys had even beaten the Detroit Lions to advance to the divisional round. Jakar Hamilton is a safety for the Cowboys. His brother, Demetri Goodson, is a cornerback for the Packers.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me just to have family members in the NFL and doing what we love to do the most, which is playing football,” Hamilton said. “It’s also an opportunity to see our younger brothers and sisters as well.”
There have been 364 documented sets of brothers to play in the NFL, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which hasn’t updated the list this season. Only 27 have three or more brothers to have played a down in the NFL.
The Goodson/Hamiltons will make 365 and 28.
Another brother, Mike Goodson, was an NFL running back for five seasons before the Jets cut him over the summer. Their father, Michael, is serving a 27-year sentence in a federal prison in Beaumont for mortgage fraud.
Hamilton and Demetri Goodson have never played against each other. They were on the same high school team.
There is a chance neither sees the field. Goodson was inactive for 10 games this season, but he did play special teams the final four games. Hamilton, who was suspended the first four games, was active for only two games this season and played in only one.
“If I’m inactive, of course, I’m going to root him on to play extremely well but for us to win,” Hamilton said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Goodson was asked if he would feel bad for his brother if the Packers win.
“You don’t know until you get there,” he said. “I know when we win, I don’t feel like he’ll be too sad about it. He’s happy for me, just like I am happy for him. It’s a blessing to play in this game, so it’s going to be cool.”
Linebacker Rolando McClain (knee/concussion) and defensive end Jeremy Mincey (concussion) returned to practice Friday but still are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Mincey vows to play.
“I got some rest, and I feel fine,” Mincey said. “I was just a little rattled. It’s one of those things that happened. We got over it. We made it and I’m here now.
“I will be me.”
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens (high right ankle) and defensive tackle Terrell McClain (ankle) did not practice all week. Both are listed as questionable, though Hitchens played last week despite missing practice.
Right tackle Doug Free is expected to miss his fifth consecutive game with a left ankle injury. The Cowboys list him as doubtful, and Jermey Parnell is expected to start in his place.
The other seven players on the Cowboys’ injury report all are probable.
▪ Dez Bryant was fined $8,268 for taunting. He drew a flag for it in the third quarter.
▪ Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead was fined $22,500 for his hit on Cole Beasley.