The 1989 Green Bay Packers were known as the “Cardiac Pack” for their last-minute heroics but in Week 5 they overcame some early mistakes to defeat the winless Dallas Cowboys 31-13. Don Majkowski threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Green Bay offense. Brent Fullwood led the rushing attack with 119 yards on 28 carries as the Packers held the ball for 39:58 seconds while rolling up 502 yards of total offense, their highest total since 1985. It was the Cowboys first trip to Green Bay since the Ice Bowl in 1967.

“We scored the points and moved the ball,” Majkowski said. “We played consistently throughout the first four quarters. When I have protection, my guys will be open, and I’ll be able to get them the ball. We feel very confident in that fact. Every play we had called has a chance to be successful.”

The game did not start well for the Packers. James Dixon of the Cowboys returned the opening kickoff 90 yards to set up the Cowboys for the first points of the game. Rookie Steve Walsh, who was making his first NFL start in place of injured fellow rookie, Troy Aikman, found Michael Irvin on a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0 Cowboys. Dallas missed the extra point.

The Packers responded with a 63-yard drive. Green Bay thought they had tied the game, but wide receiver Jeff Query’s apparent touchdown was overturned on replay, and he was ruled down at the Dallas one. The Packers settled for a 26-yard field goal by Chris Jacke which cut the Dallas led to 6-3.

Query came up with a big play on the ensuing kickoff, recovering Darryl Clack’s fumble at the Dallas 18. Majkowski cashed in on the turnover with a seven-yard touchdown pass to running back Herman Fontenot to give the Packers a 10-6 lead.

The Packers offense made one more mistake in the second quarter that cost them points. Majkowski fumbled the snap from center Blair Bush and Dallas linebacker Eugene Lockhart scooped it up and ran it back 40 yards for a touchdown. Dallas led once again 13-10.

“We figured out a way to make it interesting early,” Packers head coach Lindy Infante said after the game. “If there’s anything at all, we just have to figure out how to quit making stupid errors from time to time.”

The Packers regained the lead in the final minute of the first half. Majkowski found receiver Sterling Sharpe on a 79-yard touchdown pass deep down the left side. He beat the corner and then cut back toward the middle of the field to beat the safety and barely outraced them both to the end zone.

“Don threw a perfect ball and all I had to do was catch it and take it in,” said Sharpe.

“I hit him in stride, and he did the rest,” Majkowski added.

The Packers led 17-13 at the half and had the momentum. It was also the first time all season the Packers held a lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Pack pulled away. Majkowski hit Fontenot on a 38-yard scoring pass in the final minute of the third quarter to make it 24-13 and then found wide receiver Perry Kemp from four-yards out to make the final score 31-13 Green Bay.

Safety Tiger Greene intercepted Walsh in the end zone to snuff out Dallas last drive of the game.

The Packers defense was strong, limiting the Cowboys to just 213 total yards for the game and just 45 yards rushing, 44 coming from Hershel Walker who was playing his last game with Dallas. A few days later, the Cowboys traded him to the Vikings for a boatload of draft picks that helped build the Cowboys championship teams of the early 90s. A week later, Walker would gain 148 yards on 18 carries against the Packers in his Vikings debut.

Tim Harris had two sacks for the Packers which gave him 7 ½ on the season and six in the last two games.

The win improved their record to 3-2 on the season while the Cowboys fell to 0-5. Infante saw progress. “We didn’t make a whole lot of big plays last year, and this year we’re breaking tackles and shaking loose,” he said. “We’re improving.”

The Packers would finish the season with a 10-6 record including another win over the Cowboys in the season finale but would miss the playoffs on a tie-breaker. Majkowski would finish the season with a league high 4,318 yards and a career-high 27 touchdowns. But the team wouldn’t start winning consistently until three years later when Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre came to Green Bay and built a championship team.



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