Aaron Rodgers likes this team.

Happy quarterback. Happy returns.

He could list the reasons, and he made a nice start after the Green Bay Packers’ three-and-a-half-hour marathon 34-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

“I think the first difference is our defense,” Rodgers said.

Yes, the same defense that allowed 563 yards, including 463 passing yards to Dak Prescott with 226 of those to Amari Cooper.

Forget the stats.

OK, not the three interceptions.

Rodgers gave the requisite praise to running back Aaron JonesEzekiel Elliott at his own game. Jones doubled Elliott’s total yardage (182 to 91) and outscored him four touchdowns to one. And credit was also due to all the players who picked up the slack while Davante AdamsDetroit Lions.

Rodgers went deeper.

“Is that what it was?” Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga asked as if he tried to erase it from his memory.

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When a reporter asks about a Packers tight end from the 1920s, Rodgers can’t help but laugh.

The obvious change is first-year coach Matt LaFleur.

Most think he was hired for his offensive philosophies and schemes, but perhaps his command of a team and room went underrated. Of course, former coach surely would have benefited from what the Smiths brought to the team had the Packers been more willing to play the free-agency game to help prolong his tenure.

Rodgers took that moment to single out players who gutted it out through injuries during the Cowboys game: Za’Darius Smith (who was in and out with knee issues), cornerback Kevin King (who was a last-minute upgrade) and Montravius Adams (who had missed the past two games) among them. And then there were injury replacements like center Lucas Patrick, who took over after Corey Linsley’s concussion.

smiled as much or more during his postgame press conference than at any in recent years. He even laughed off a question

Having fun and on the road, however, just might.

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