The Latest: Strange penalty stalls Cowboys and puzzles refs

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The Latest on the NFL's divisional playoffs Sunday. (all times Eastern):

5:05 p.m.

That was a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty you don't see very often.

The Dallas Cowboys had a first down wiped out by the penalty against receiver Brice Butler, who wasn't even part of the play. And that was actually the issue.

Referee Tony Corrente threw the flag immediately after the snap. After Terrance Williams made a catch the referee announced that Butler was penalized for going into the offensive huddle and then leaving the field.

There was even more confusion when the penalty was initially marked off only 5 yards.

After Packers coach Mike McCarthy pointed it out, Corrente announced the correction and the ball was moved back another 10 yards.

The Cowboys punted soon after that.

- Stephen Hawkins reported from Arlington, Texas


4:55 p.m.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got a free play when the Dallas Cowboys jumped offside, and he made it count.

With flags on the field, Rodgers threw deep - and a 34-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Rodgers . That ended the Packers opening drive, putting them up 7-3 and quieting momentarily the raucous sellout crowd attending the first NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium.

Dallas had the ball first and went ahead 3-0 on Dan Bailey's 50-yard field goal.

- Stephen Hawkins reported from Arlington, Texas


4:35 p.m.

The Dallas Cowboys have long had the moniker of ''America's Team'' - and their legion of fans includes plenty of famous folks.

Several celebrities provided ''Go Cowboys!'' messages as part of a video that was shown on the large video screen that hangs over the field at AT&T Stadium during pregame activities.

Among those in the clip were Kanye West with the Kardashians, actress Kate Bosworth, All-Star guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and Dallas-area native Clayton Kershaw and WWE wrestler Sting.

The final person was Papa John - yes, the man who makes pizzas and is a huge Cowboys fan. He turned to show the Cowboys star on the back of his shirt and said ''Finish this Fight!'' - a hashtag that has become prominent for the team heading into the playoffs.

- Stephen Hawkins reported from Arlington, Texas


4:20 p.m.

The severe ice storm projected for the Kansas City area turned out relatively tame.

By the time the NFC game kicked off in Dallas, about when the AFC matchup of the Steelers at the Chiefs would have been ending, it was 33 degrees at Arrowhead Stadium. The rain was coming down, though not by any means torrentially, and ice was not an issue.

The game was moved from 1:05 p.m. Eastern to 7:20 p.m. so fans could avoid the worst of the expected ice.

Indeed, the parking lots were rapidly filling up and tailgating was in full swing.

A gray tarp covered the field inside the stadium, with hot air being pumped under the tarp to keep the turf warm. The Chiefs resodded the field earlier this week.

- Barry Wilner reported from Kansas City


3:55 p.m.

There should be good vibes at AT&T Stadium for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott of Dallas.

The divisional playoff game between the Packers and Cowboys is Rodgers' first game in the $1.2 billion retractable roof stadium since winning the title as Super Bowl MVP in a 31-25 victory over Pittsburgh to conclude the 2010 season.

Rodgers, who has thrown 19 touchdown passes without an interception during a seven-game winning streak, had 304 yards passing with three TDs and no picks against the Steelers.

Elliott became a national name when he rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns at his future home, leading Ohio State to the first College Football Playoff championship in a 42-20 victory over Oregon two years ago.

The Cowboys drafted Elliott fourth overall a year later, and he led the NFL with 1,631 yards rushing despite sitting the regular-season finale with the Cowboys already assured of the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

It's the first divisional game at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys last hosted this round in 2007 at Texas Stadium, two years before owner Jerry Jones' showplace opened.

- Schuyler Dixon reported from Arlington, Texas


3:25 p.m.

Old playoff foes are set to meet again with the Green Bay Packers visiting the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys in an NFC divisional game.

It's the eighth meeting - tied for the most against any opponent for both franchises. The Cowboys faced the Los Angeles Rams eight times in a span of 13 seasons from 1973-85. Green Bay just had its eighth playoff game against the New York Giants, a 38-13 win last weekend.

The Packers won the most recent meeting, 26-21 in the divisional round two years ago in a game made famous by Dallas receiver Dez Bryant's catch that wasn't .

Dallas coach Jason Garrett was quarterback Troy Aikman's backup when the Cowboys beat the Packers three straight years in the playoffs while winning two Super Bowls from 1993-95.

The Cowboys have a 4-3 series lead in the playoffs. The overall series is tied at 17-all.

- Schuyler Dixon reported from Arlington, Texas


3:15 p.m.

NFL's Sunday divisional playoffs are about to get started, just a few hours later than expected.

With the Steelers game at Kansas City moved to a night start - 8:20 p.m. Eastern instead of 1:05 p.m. - because of an ice storm, the Packers game at the Dallas Cowboys became the opening act.

This is just the latest chapter in a great rivalry that includes the famous 1967 Ice Bowl, when the temperature at Lambeau Field was 15 below zero.

The weather will be much better in Arlington, Texas, where it is about 52 degrees.


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