Gil LeBreton

Cowboys make their return to the (un)frozen tundra

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not enjoying the unusually warm weather in Green Bay.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not enjoying the unusually warm weather in Green Bay. AP

Here on the shores of Lake Michigan, a warm moist air mass moved over the region Saturday night, shrouding the entire area in a vapory, cheddar-like fog.

The gang at StormCenter2, specifically TV meteorologist Jenny Curtiss, predicted a bad day on the frozen tundra.

Not snow, however — but rain. Chances of precipitation during Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game are 95 percent.

And not frozen, either. Curtiss forecast a high at Lambeau Field of 56 degrees, which would all but microwave the day’s record temperature of 52 set in 1920.

I’m not sure what this means for the Cowboys, who last visited Lambeau 11 months and 36 degrees ago. But it can’t be all bad.

Any time the NFL schedule makers send you to Green Bay in December and sled dogs don’t have to greet the team bus, it’s like already being ahead by a touchdown.

“We’re playing, potentially — and a little unfortunately — probably four straight decent weather games,” Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers lamented to reporters last week.

“Sunday they’re calling for a lot warmer than we’d like — those of us who enjoy the cold this time of year.”

A wet football would aid neither team, one would think, though the smart money would be on Rodgers rather than Matt Cassel (five interceptions, two fumbles in five starts). Plus, of course, Rodgers has that Discount Double Check thing.

Both teams have underperformed offensively, but the Packers have carved an 8-4 record in the more formidable NFC North division.

“We’ve got to push through this tough time and find a way to be consistent,” Rodgers said. “If you look at the last six or seven games for us, we’ve had a lot of really good halves and not really any consistent full games. So we’ve got to put that together for all four quarters.”

The Cowboys, on the other hand, playing without injured quarterback Tony Romo, have been inconsistent in all manner of climates, time zones and game situations. Their 4-8 record accurately reflects the corner they’ve backed themselves into.

So, rain Sunday? Why not?

In their 56 NFL seasons, the Cowboys have never played a regular season game in Green Bay in December. The legendary Ice Bowl, then the NFL championship game, was staged at Lambeau on Dec. 31, 1967, in a wind chill factor of 23-below. Last January’s divisional playoff between the two teams was 24 degrees at kickoff.

It wasn’t the freezing conditions, though, that thwarted Romo and the Cowboys in January. It was the NFL’s arbitrary interpretation of Dez Bryant’s goal-line catch in the final five minutes of the Packers’ 26-21 victory.

Some 11 months later, we still can’t tell a legal NFL pass reception from a Dean Blandino-overruled one.

Whatever. Cowboys fans do seem to forget that Rodgers and the Packers got the football back with 4:06 still to play and drove to the Dallas 28 before taking a knee three straight times. That game was far from over after the Dez catch was disallowed.

Nonetheless, they meet again Sunday up the road in Green Bay. Same place, but not nearly the same tundra-like conditions. As Jenny Curtiss of StormCenter2 suggested, it’s going to be a bad day for tailgating, let alone quarterbacking.

Aaron Rodgers versus Matt Cassel? In the rain?

Is this is a trick question?

Gil LeBreton: 817-390-7697, glebreton, @gilebreton

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