GREEN BAY, Wis. — What a rush on Sunday for the Green Bay Packers.
Eddie Lacy ran for 124 yards and a touchdown and fellow running back James Starks added two scores in Green Bay’s 28-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Packers (9-4) have a one-game lead in the NFC North over Minnesota after their second straight victory.
With 435 yards and 29 first downs, Green Bay got better production out of its inconsistent offense with coach Mike McCarthy assuming play-calling duties again.
The Packers were still hampered at times by penalties and problems in short-yardage situations.
But the defense and running game came up with big plays in the fourth quarter. Dallas’ touchdown came on Robert Turbin’s 7-yard run midway through the third quarter to make it 14-7.
The Cowboys (4-9) suffered a setback to their chances of winning the mediocre NFC East.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 218 yards and two scores.
But all the Packers really needed from their star quarterback late in the game was to hand off the ball.
Lacy and Starks each had touchdown runs in the fourth quarter during the rainy evening.
Darren McFadden had 111 yards on nine carries. Dallas ran for 171 yards, with 80 coming on four plays that led to Turbin’s score.
But the Cowboys’ passing game struggled.
Matt Cassel, starting his sixth game for the injured Tony Romo, was 13 of 29 for 114 yards. A pass that deflected off star receiver Dez Bryant’s hands was intercepted in the end zone by Sam Shields in the first quarter.
Bryant was held to one catch for 9 yards. He had a long reception in the second quarter overturned on replay — the same thing happened to him last season during the Cowboys’ loss to the Packers in an NFC divisional round playoff game.
Dallas was forced to punt. Green Bay scored on its next possession on Rodgers’ 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Rodgers to make it 14-0 with 2:40 left in the second quarter.
That was it for Green Bay’s offense until a 12-play drive in the fourth.
A drive that started at the 16 with 11:18 left ended more than six minutes later with a 30-yard run by Starks up the middle on second-and-25 to make it a two-score game. The Packers gained 78 yards on nine carries on the series.
Dallas’ last-ditch drive on fourth-and-4 from the 38 with 3:11 left ended harmlessly after a short pass over the middle deflected off McFadden’s left hand.
The Packers ran out the clock from there. The Packers finished with 230 rushing yards on 44 carries, led by Lacy’s 24 attempts.
A week after getting disciplined for missing curfew before the win over Detroit, Lacy was serenaded to chants of “Eddie! Eddie” by rain-soaked Packers fans.
Starks, the second part of Green Bay’s one-two backfield punch, had 71 yards rushing on 11 carries, and 32 yards receiving on four catches.