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Cowboys don't plan to be intimidated by Packers or Lambeau Field ghosts

Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys passes

Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys passes against the Detroit Lions during the first half of their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 4, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Getty Images / Tom Pennington

Traveling to Green Bay at this time of the year and trying to duck the waves of football nostalgia can be like going to the beach and trying to avoid the sand.

Everywhere you turn are streets named after icons of the sport, restaurants and bars that celebrate the team's greats, and, of course, in the middle of it all, Lambeau Field.

Throw in the Cowboys' first postseason visit to the NFL's most frigid and famous outpost since the 1967 championship game and the entire city has the feel of a living museum this weekend. It's Colonial Williamsburg, but for football.

The Cowboys are not interested in any of that, though. This trip is about the present and the future, not the past.

"We're not going for a history lesson," defensive end Jeremy Mincey said Friday. "We're going to play some football."

Still, the team seems to be taking some precautions to make sure there are no wide eyes when they show up for Sunday's NFC divisional game.

Breaking slightly from routine, the players and coaches planned to visit Lambeau Field Saturday night to get a feel for the historic stadium, remove some of the awe factor and become more comfortable with the venerable venue.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said that because it is an early game Sunday -- kickoff is at noon local time -- he wanted to get that done Saturday. If it were a later game, he said he probably wouldn't have.

"We just wanted to do it for whatever the reason," Garrett said Friday. "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 [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.' "

Obviously, no one on the Cowboys has ever played a postseason game at Lambeau with a star on his helmet, it being 47 years since the teams have collided in such a way in such a place. But there are enough who have experience in the regular season. Some, such as Wisconsin native Tony Romo, even grew up rooting for the Packers and their old ballpark.

Romo said he's focusing on taking the location out of play.

"More than anything, playing in these games is what you want to be doing as a player," he said. "I don't know that it matters where you play. I've played long enough, I've seen all the stadiums, done all those things. It's about winning, getting your team to play in a championship and winning that.

"It's a playoff game," he added. "You can play anywhere and it's going to be important."

Most of the current Cowboys players probably have seen "Frozen" more times than they have watched the Ice Bowl. To them, Bart Starr and Bob Lilly are names from history. They're more focused on Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews. They're more aware of recent history.

Here's some: This is the first time a team that was 8-0 at home in the regular season is hosting a team that was 8-0 on the road.

Still, Garrett wants to make sure there are no jitters from tramping on such hallowed ground. History pools up at Lambeau, and it can be easy to splash through the puddles if you aren't paying attention.

It's actually not a new idea.

"That's how we used to travel," Garrett said of his days when he played in the NFL and the visiting team would go to the stadium for a brief visit rather than go over last-minute details in a hotel banquet hall. "That was always the routine. We always did our walk-through at the stadium in our suits. Old school."

In Green Bay, that will fit right in.

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