Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers into the NFC title game with two near-flawless drives.
As for Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys? Their season is over after a replay reversal near the end of the game took away a Dez Bryant catch at the goal line.
Rodgers completed 11 of 14 passes for 173 yards on two touchdown drives in the third and fourth quarter and Green Bay scored 13 unanswered points for a 26-21 win over the Cowboys in a divisional playoff game on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay took its first lead since 7-0 when Rodgers zipped a pass through two defenders and hit tight end Richard Rodgers for a 13-yard touchdown with 9:10 remaining.
Then, on 4th-and-2, Bryant went up for Romo's deep pass down the left sideline and was ruled to have made a 31-yard catch at the Green Bay 1 after snatching the ball out of the air above cornerback Sam Shields.
The Packers challenged the call and officials eventually said Bryant, who was cupping the ball against his left forearm as it hit the field and popped up into the air, didn't complete the catch.
"Clearly they didn't see it the way I saw it," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "It looked to me like he had three feet down and (in) what they describe to us all the time as a 'move common to the game' Dez reached out for the goal line like he's done so many times. It's a signature play for him and he maintained possession throughout in my opinion."
The ruling came a week after officials picked up a pass interference flag on a controversial non-call that helped Dallas beat Detroit in the wild-card round.
"All I know is I had possession," Bryant said.
Garret said the game "wasn't about officiating."
"We had 60 minutes with an opportunity to come up here and win a ballgame and we didn't get the job done," he said. "That play was big in the game but there were plenty of other plays."
The Packers will play in the NFC championship game for the first time since beating Chicago after the 2010 season on the way to their fourth Super Bowl title.
They will travel to Seattle to play the reigning Super Bowl-champion Seahawks next Sunday in a meeting of the top two seeds in the conference.
Playing on an injured left calf, Rodgers passed for 316 yards and three scores and Eddie Lacy rushed 19 times for 101 yards for the NFC North champs.
Romo threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns for the NFC East-champion Cowboys and NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray had 25 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown.
It was the first postseason game between the teams at Lambeau Field since the Packers won the 1966 NFL championship game, known as the "Ice Bowl" because it was played in sub-zero temperatures.
Rodgers' go-ahead throw was a frozen rope to the tight end Rodgers, who made the catch in the back of the end zone between defensive backs Sterling Moore and J.J. Wilcox.
"Once we opened things up and he was able to get into a rhythm and move around, he played like Aaron Rodgers," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "Just an incredible game for Aaron, especially after what he's been through the last two weeks."
Bryant, who has three inches on the 5-foot-11 Shields, used every bit of his height advantage to make a sensational leaping grab that appeared -- if only for several minutes -- to have potentially saved the Cowboys' season.
Bryant was stunned when the call was reversed, putting his hands on the side of his head.
It mirrored a call that negated a winning touchdown catch for Detroit's Calvin Johnson in the 2010 season opener against Chicago. Both players were ruled to not have maintained possession through the end of the play.
"We know the feeling," the Lions tweeted after the game, linking to a video of the Johnson play.
"Everyone knows the 'Calvin Johnson rule,'" Rodgers, the Packers quarterback, said. "I remember sitting at home wondering how the heck that isn't a catch. But it's been a few years now."
According to Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 of the NFL rulebook, "If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone.
"If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete."
Referee Gene Steratore said it was the judgement of the officials -- both at the game and in New York -- that Bryant "maintained possession but continued to fall and never had another act common to the game."
Bryant re-secured the football as he slid on his back into the end zone, but Steratore said it didn't matter because it was already an incompletion.
"There were a couple of angles that show the ball actually hitting the ground and then the receiver losing possession of it," Steratore said.
Green Bay picked up two first downs on the ensuing drive to kill the rest of the clock, including a diving 12-yard grab by Randall Cobb on 3rd-and-11 on a pass that was tipped at the line.
McCarthy said he thought officials made the right call on the Bryant play.
"I thought it was an incredible -- I don't want to say catch -- but an incredible play by Dez Bryant on Sam Shields," the Packers coach said.
Rodgers also completed touchdown passes to Andrew Quarless for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and to Davante Adams, who slipped past Moore and Wilcox for a 46-yard catch-and-run near the end of the third quarter to get Green Bay within 21-20.
The Packers are 8-1 in their last nine games and finished 9-0 at home this season.
The third-seeded Cowboys, who made the playoffs for the first time since 2009, lost for the first time in nine road games this season. They were trying to make the NFC title game for the first time since beating the Packers 38-27 in January 1996 on the way to winning the last of their five Super Bowl titles.
Bryant, the NFL's leader in touchdown receptions during the regular season, was quiet for much of the game and ended with three receptions for 38 yards.
Of the controversial reversal, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, "In my view, we made the play."
"We've had a lot of re-looks at things around the league," said Jones. "Sometimes they go for you, and sometimes they don't."
Romo had touchdown throws to fullback Tyler Clutts and Terrance Williams in the first half, helping Dallas take a 14-10 lead into intermission.
Clutts scored his first career touchdown after a pass interference penalty took the Cowboys to the 1-yard line, and Williams scored for the third time in the playoffs on a 38-yard reception that came after Rodgers fumbled on a hit by defensive end Jeremy Mincey.
Packers linebacker Julius Peppers might have saved a Dallas touchdown when he reached out to strip Murray near midfield early in the third quarter, giving Green Bay the ball near midfield.
But the Packers settled for Mason Crosby's 30-yard field goal after lineman T.J. Lang was penalized for unnecessary roughness for shoving Nick Hayden at the end of a play, which sparked a scuffle between the teams.
Romo came up limping after a hit by Packers safety Micah Hyde in the third quarter and appeared to be favoring his left knee. Dallas scored on the drive, with Murray's 26-yard run setting up his 1-yard touchdown to make it 21-13.
Green Bay snapped a four-game losing streak to Dallas in the postseason ... The Cowboys appeared in their 60th postseason game, extending their NFL record. They have a league-record 34 wins ... The Packers improved to 31-19 in the postseason ... Clutts has just 10 career receptions in 56 career regular season games ... Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain left the game in the first half and didn't return because of concussion-like symptoms ... It was the first playoff game in NFL history with a team that went 8-0 at home hosting a team that went 8-0 on the road.