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It's too bad that last night's Packers-Cowboys game wasn't available in more homes because it was quite the melodrama.

If you didn't see the game, you still probably already know that Dallas won, 37-27, and that Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre was knocked out in the second quarter. And you may have also heard that Packers backup QB Aaron Rodgers (18-for-26, 201 yards, 1 TD) acquitted himself well in the relief role.

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But what you missed, in all likelihood, was a lot more. For instance, it was obvious throughout the game that the Packers missed their two injured defensive stars, CB Charles Woodson and DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, even more than Favre. And that penalties, Green Bay had 142 yards' worth, played a huge factor because a couple of long pass interference calls that went against Green Bay set up two Dallas TDs. And that Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens (7 catches, 156 yards, 1 TD) looked stupendous for two quarters and then allowed a sure touchdown bounce off his hands into the arms of Packers CB Al Harris. But that overall Harris had a dreadful game along with the rest of the Green Bay secondary. And Tony Romo (above with Owens) was the beneficiary of that shaky secondary and a lack of Green Bay pass pressure, throwing for four (should have been five) touchdown passes. And that a relatively unknown Cowboy, the speedy Miles Austin, had a huge impact with his kickoff returns and by drawing two long pass interference penalties. And that Packers coach Mike McCarthy essentially sealed his team's fate when he decided not to go for it on fourth-and-inches at the Dallas 35-yard line and kicked a long field goal instead with about five minutes left in the game.

If that all sounds a little breathless, well, it was that kind of game with one turning point after another, and subplots layered on top of subplots as Dallas moved to 11-1 and into position for home-field advantage through the playoffs, and the Packers dropped to 10-2 and fret over Favre's throwing arm.

But unless you had access to the NFL Network via satellite TV or upgraded cable or went to a sports bar (my choice) or you lived in Dallas-Fort Worth or Green Bay-Milwaukee, you were out of luck because the NFL and its network and the biggies in the cable industry can't share the same sandbox. And that's too bad.

* In the NBA, apparently there's a new rule. When the New York Knicks are on offense, they have to use 16-pound Brunswicks. That's the only way to explain their 30 percent shooting and 45-point loss against the Celtics last night. It took a 37-foot three-pointer by New York to avoid setting a franchise record for fewest points scored. But it may not be enough top save Knicks coach Isiah Thomas' job.  He described his team's play as "extremely selfish,"  according to news stories.

*  Louisville's football team was down by 18 points three times against Rutgers last night and still won, 41-38, on a late field goal. When I left the Rutgers game after the first period to catch the NFL game, the Cardinals looked dead, dead, dead.  But Louisville used a balanced attack to rally for 24 second-half points.

Photo credit: Chuck Burton/AP

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