Cowboys’ playoff disaster vs Packers is about to get so much worse

Yes, Cowboys fans, it's possible.
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Dallas Cowboys fans may never wipe the 2023 playoff loss from their memory. Fresh off stealing the NFC East from the Eagles and clinching home field until a potential NFC title game showdown against the 49ers, the Cowboys were battered at home by the six-seed Packers.

They got down early and immediately entered panic mode. While Dak Prescott was off his game to start, Dallas' defense completely wet the bed. They got down 20-0 in the second quarter before a Prescott pick-six (on an admittedly awful route from Brandin Cooks) made the score 27-0.

The offense got going in the second half, but it was too little, too late. For the Cowboys to stand a chance at mounting a comeback, the defense needed to pitch a shutout. Alas, they allowed three touchdowns in the third quarter alone, two of which came on busted coverages.

It will take a lot for that loss to become a distant memory, but Cowboys fans shouldn't count on that happening anytime soon if this free agency prediction from ESPN writer Aaron Schatz (subscription required) comes to fruition.

NFL Rumors: Packers named landing spot for Cowboys free agent Stephon Gilmore

Schatz proposed one last move all 32 teams should make before training camp. He thinks the Packers should sign Stephon Gilmore.

"The Packers need a backup for Stokes with more experience than Corey Ballentine or Carrington Valentine," Schatz wrote. "Gilmore, 33, still has something left in the tank and would be valuable to the Packers even if he couldn't beat out Stokes for the starting spot in training camp."

The Packers are an ideal landing spot for the 33-year-old Gilmore. He would step in as the third cornerback alongside Jaire Alexander and Carrington Valentine, who started 12 games last season as a seventh-round draft pick.

While Green Bay has Eric Stokes and Corey Ballentine as depth options, they declined Stokes' fifth-year option this offseason. Not exactly a vote of confidence in the former first-rounder. Meanwhile, Ballentine has averaged just 182 defensive snaps per season in his six-year career.

Coming off another strong season, Gilmore would fortify the Packers' cornerback room. He posted the fifth-highest coverage grade in press coverage, per Pro Football Focus. He also broke up 13 passes and allowed the ninth-lowest completion rate (54.9%) when targeted.

Gilmore can still play at a high level. The only explanation for his prolonged free agency is his age coupled with his salary demands. He's well justified asking for $9 million and teams may be reluctant to honor that for a corner who's approaching his mid-30s.

Make no mistake, though: the healing wounds from the January loss will re-open and bleed once more if Gilmore ends up on the Packers after he was outspoken about wanting to return to Dallas.

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