Dallas Cowboys: The Four Quarters (Week 8 Edition)

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Last week completed the Dallas Cowboys first lap through the division and no one can argue how successful the trip was.  After dispatching of the Giants and Redskins at home, Dallas went on the road to Philadelphia and kept the Eagles flightless.  Dominating Philadelphia’s high-powered offense, the defense were the stars of the day helping Dallas beat the Eagles 17-3 and move into first place all by themselves going into Week 8.

This week the Cowboys doppelganger shows up on the schedule as the Cowboys travel to Detroit to face the Lions.  Detroit is coming off of a last second loss at home to the Bengals which dropped them out of first place in the NFC North.  The Lions will surely be looking to avoid two straight home losses and should bring a very familiar set of challenges to Dallas as we will discuss below.  Here are the Four Quarters for Week 8 that will break down the keys to keeping the Dallas winning streak in tact.

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Oct 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) along the sidelines during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As I referenced earlier, I don’t think two teams could be more alike.  Both teams are 4-3.  Both teams have statistically dominant quarterbacks as Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo are each in the top 10 in passer rating, yards passing and touchdowns .  Both teams can boast having one of the top three receivers in the game today as Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant have nearly identical numbers in yards per game and touchdown receptions.  Both teams have defenses that struggle, especially against the pass as the Lions are 31st in overall yards allowed per game and 28th against the pass, while Dallas is 29th and 30th in those categories respectively.  Heck, they even both were silver and blue and play indoors.

The winner of this game will be the team that is best able to utilize their similarities against the other most effectively.  For Dallas, that means taking advantage of the Lions poor pass rush (last in the league in sacks) and lack of play-making abilities (tied for second to last in interceptions).  Exploiting Detroit in the passing game to put up the type of points likely needed to win this game may be the only chance Dallas has on Sunday.

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