Green Bay Packers

NFL Playoffs: Wicklow punter Daniel Whelan makes history as Green Bay Packers shock Dallas Cowboys

The Green Bay Packers were far too good for the Dallas Cowboys.

Irish punter Daniel Whelan played his part at the Green Bay Packers upset the Dallas Cowboys in the opening round of the NFL playoffs.

Running back Aaron Jones and quarterback Jordan Love starred as the Packers upset the Cowboys 48-32 in their wildcard matchup.

Whelan, who was born in Enniskerry, Wicklow, moved to America when he was 13 and earned a spot with the historic NFL franchise for the 2023/24 season.

The 24-year-old punted the ball three times for a total of 113 yards for an average of 37.7 yards per kick.

Whelan became the first Irishman to play in the NFL playoffs since Dublin place-kicker Neil O’Donoghue lined out for the St Louis Cardinals in 1983.

Quarterback Love threw for three touchdowns and 272 yards in his playoff debut, while running back Jones scored three touchdowns as he ran for 118 yards.

The Packers jumped out to a 27-point lead to silence the Dallas crowd as Jones grabbed a first quarter touchdown and they added three more in the second quarter, including a 64-yard intercept from Darnell Savage.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott was intercepted twice as he passed for three touchdowns and 403 yards, but three more touchdowns in the second half sealed the game for Green Bay.

The Cowboys made a late surge with two touchdowns to tight end Jake Ferguson but the Packers’ lead was insurmountable.

They will head to face the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional round.

The Detroit Lions won their first playoff game in 32 years after they beat the Los Angeles Rams at home in a thrilling 24-23 win.

Detroit got off to a strong start with two touchdowns in the first quarter as they went ahead 14-3, but the Rams hit back with two of their own in the second quarter.

Michael Badgley’s 54-yard field goal in the third quarter proved decisive as the Rams could only respond with two three-pointers from Brett Maher.

Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw for 277 yards with one touchdown, while Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 367 yards with two touchdowns.

The Lions will play the winner of Monday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles.

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