GREEN BAY -

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters at a press conference Friday afternoon that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will not play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

McCarthy said Rodgers wants to play and feels he can do enough physically to play. However, McCarthy said he hasn't been cleared to play by doctors.

Rodgers had hoped to be back under center for the first time since breaking his collarbone Nov. 4 against Chicago.

Asked after Thursday's practice if he is holding out hope of playing Sunday, Rodgers paused before replying, "Yes."

With Rodgers sidelined, the Packers have gone 1-4-1 and enter the final three weeks of the season at 6-6-1, a half-game back of the NFC North leading Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, both of whom are 7-6.

McCarthy has said that his team needs to win out to make the playoffs, and the Packers got the first of those victories last week over the Atlanta Falcons with Matt Flynn at quarterback.

 In 2008, after dislocating his shoulder the previous week, Rodgers was listed as doubtful going into a game against the Falcons at Lambeau Field but worked out before the game and started, despite taking only about 10 snaps in 11-on-11 drills in practice - all handoffs - all week.

Rodgers completed 25 of 37 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns and one interception (109.4 rating) in a 27-24 loss.

On Tuesday, Rodgers revealed on his weekly radio show on that he experienced unexpected pain in practice last week when trying to hand off with his left hand or take snaps from center. That pain told him that he wasn't going to be ready for the Falcons.

This week, after taking snaps with the No. 1 offense both Wednesday and Thursday, Rodgers did not experience the same amount of pain.

"I feel a little better than last week," Rodgers said. "It was good to be out there with those guys, but I'm still just trying to get better every day and it's nice to be able to go through a couple practices."

Rodgers said he "felt a little bit rusty yesterday, took a little bit more as far as reps today and felt better, felt like I was moving well. I feel rested, my legs do. (I've) been able to do more in the weight room, but I felt better out there throwing it well.

But there's a lot that goes into it from the ground up - legs, being in the right position, footwork and stuff. Today was a better day."