The Dallas Cowboys square off against the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon. There have been a handful of side stories to go along with this matchup of 4-3 teams that seem to take more of the spotlight than what really matters. Arguing if Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is better than Lions receiver Calvin Johnson doesn’t determine the outcome of the game. Neither does talking about how Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was a Cowboys fan growing up and now he wants to beat his old team. What matters is what happens on the field.
The Cowboys and Lions are very similar when you look at the numbers. Each team is 4-3. Dallas ranks 8th in the league in passing yards per game with 269 per contest and the Lions rank 5th with 294 per contest. The Lions rank 28th in pass defense with 282 yards surrendered per game and the Cowboys rank 30th with 291 yards surrendered per game. Each team is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball that makes all this possible. That’s a big concern for Dallas come Sunday as this could turn into a shootout real fast.
Stafford is a top-flight quarterback with no reservations slinging the ball around. He weapons all over the place; the biggest and fastest of which is being compared to Dez Bryant and vice-versa. Running back Reggie Bush gives the Lions a home-run threat that can take a two-yard reception and turn it into six. Detroit’s front four is lethal. Rookie Ezekiel Ansah is the newest addition to a defensive line that contains some disruptive forces in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. These guys are really going to test Dallas’ revamped offensive line.
Dallas has weapons of their own, and they have momentum in their favor. Coming off a physical domination of division rival Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys are riding high atop the NFC East. Their secondary is playing better than they have all season, and the no-name defensive line is causing problems no one saw coming.
Detroit on the other hand is coming off a heart-breaking loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on a game-winning field goal. That kind of loss can spin a team out of control. I don’t think that’ll be the case with Detroit, but it’s harder to create momentum than it is to ride it.
These two teams are pretty evenly matched and the game will most likely come down to who turns the ball over the least. Detroit has all kinds of weapon on both sides of the ball that can really cause problems for opponents. But then again so does Dallas. Sit back and get ready for a show.