It Isn’t Dez Bryant vs. Calvin Johnson

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Jason Garrett is 1-1 against the Lions, having faced them in his interim season and also in 2011. The Cowboys won the 2010 matchup 35-19 while the Lions won the last meeting 34-30. Both games were played in Dallas where 5 of the last 6 matchups between these teams have occurred.

The Cowboys have been one of the fastest starting teams in the NFL this season. In 7 games they have scored 4 TDs and 1 Field Goal on their opening drives. The other 2 drives resulted in Punts, including last week in Philadelphia. The Lions are the exact opposite so far this season. They have received the opening kickoff in each game they have played so far this year. In the first game they fumbled a FG attempt. In the six games ever since they have punted on their first series.

The game will be played on the anniversary of a special day in Cowboys History. On that calendar date in 2002 Emmitt Smith surpassed Walter Payton as the all time leading rusher in NFL History in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. That was the last time the Cowboys have played on this calendar date. They are 4-3 all time on that date, just as they are on this season.

One of the keys to the football game might hinge on the two starting Running Backs. If DeMarco Murray is back and Reggie Bush starts well they represent the 12th and 13th leading rushers in the NFL this year. Murray holds a 2 yard advantage over Bush with 428 yards so far on this season. For each to achieve a potential 1000 yard season this year they will look to have good games here are the exact midway point of the season. The Cowboys have not had a RB achieve that mark since Julius Jones did it in 2006. The Lions have not had a 1000 yard rusher since Kevin Jones in 2004. Sunday could be big for both teams and their futures this season beyond just the game itself.