October 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee (50) during second half action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys vs. Lions: Key Matchups to Watch

After a crucial divisional win over the Eagles, the Cowboys will face the Detroit Lions. The Lions have a 4-3 record like the Cowboys and should prove to be a formidable opponent. While the Cowboys may be first in the NFC East so far, if they fall to second the Detroit Lions might be one of the teams we’ll be competing for a wildcard spot with. A win this Sunday will help us greatly in our quest to the playoffs.

The Lions offense revolves around Calvin Johnson. Injuries have plagued him a bit this season, but last weekend he had an impressive game with 9 receptions, 155 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He is the best wide receiver in the league, and I don’t think the Cowboys can shut him down. Brandon Carr has been excellent this year, but he is going to need a lot of help this week. I expect Calvin to have some catches, but I’m more worried about another player on that offense.

Reggie Bush will be the X-factor for the Lions. Bush completes the Lions offense and makes it multidimensional. Fortunately, we have the defensive player of the week on our side. Sean Lee had an excellent game and will lead the way to stopping Bush. Lee was excellent against the Eagles last week, and was a huge reason why the defense held Lesean McCoy to only 26 yards. We need to repeat that performance with Reggie Bush. However, Reggie is a more dangerous threat in the passing game. We should expect the Lions to pick on Bruce Carter if he covers Bush. Lately, teams have gotten their runningbacks to run wheel routes against Carter. Carter has gotten better in covering it, but it’ll still be something to watch this weekend.

The Detroit defense has not been very impressive this year. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous. Ndamakong Suh and Nick Fairley both play at a high level at the defensive tackle position. The worst kind of pressure to give up is from the interior. We need to neutralize Suh and Fairly if we want our offense to roll. Our interior line is going to have a huge test in front of them. Can Travis Frederick, Brian Waters, and Ronald Leary stop these big defensive tackle?

Lastly, Dez Bryant will need to have a game. The Detroit Lions have some decent corners in Chris Houston and Rashean Mathis, but they are no match for Dez Bryant. This is where the Cowboys will win the game. Romo should be able to connect to Dez all day. The Cowboys need to take advantage of the match up and beat the Lions this way.

Overall, I like the way this game looks. The Cowboys and Lions are very similar, and it should lead to an exciting game. I think the Cowboys have a slight edge in this match, but it all depends on how these matchups work out.

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Tags: Brian Waters Bruce Carter Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Ron Leary Sean Lee Travis Frederick

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