FRISCO, Texas -- The Week 2 matchup between the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys was one of the few games most of the football world had circled on the calendar because it was going to be future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a new member of the New York Jets, once again doing battle with "America's Team," its top-five defense, quarterback Dak Prescott and former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
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Rodgers has an 8-2 lifetime record against the Dallas Cowboys, including a 3-0 mark on the road against Dallas. That's something only he and Tom Brady can claim, a road record of 3-0 or better against the Cowboys. However, almost every Packers and Cowboys battle with Rodgers involved felt like a rivalry thanks to the many close finishes over the years. That and the missed opportunity for revenge is why the Dallas players will miss seeing him on Sunday. Prescott has been involved in three one-possession defeats against Rodgers, including the 2016 NFC Divisional Round playoffs when the four-time NFL MVP threw a seemingly impossible pass down the left sideline to tight end Jared Cook to put kicker Mason Crosby in position to connect for the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Like Rodgers, Prescott suffered a catastrophic, season-ending leg injury when he went down with a fractured ankle in Week 5 of the 2020 season against the New York Giants. That allows him to empathize with Rodgers' 2023 season being cut short.
"Obviously I saw that, my heart broke for him," Prescott said Thursday. "Honestly, in the moment I could tell by the way he went down that it was more serious than, I guess an ankle. I know he's got a lot of support, and I just say leaning on that man, just keep faith, understand that everything happens for a reason. We don't see it. We don't understand why, but you just keep faith, take these small victories a lot of good and some way or another is going to come out of this."
The Cowboys have since soared to being nine-point home favorites against thein Week 2, but Prescott isn't downplaying the game or the matchup opposite Wilson. Yet he, like most of the football world, still would have preferred to square off against the Jets future Hall of Fame quarterback.
"I obviously wanted to play against the guy," Prescott said. "I've had a lot of great battles with him over the years. Hell of a player. It sucks that he's not going to be out there, but to say it diminishes an NFL game would be wild of me, especially understanding. Watch the way that they won that game the other night. Yeah, I mean, we've got, they've got our respect and haven't lost any bit of that. But yeah, just tough not playing a guy that I've enjoyed competing against for the entirety of my career."