Dallas Cowboys vs Detroit Lions: Key matchups and X-factors in NFC showdown

Oct 23, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) catches a pass
Oct 23, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) catches a pass / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

3 key Cowboys defensive matchups vs Lions

Micah Parsons vs Jonah Jackson

The Lions have a stout offensive line but if there is one weak link specifically in their pass blocking it would be their left guard Jonah Jackson who’s allowed 19 pressures and two sacks this season. This works out well for the Cowboys as they can now put pressure on Jared Goff on both sides of the line with Parsons lining up against Jackson and DeMarcus Lawrence against Penel Sewell. Parsons should be able to use his quickness off the snap to be effective in both the running game and passing game against Jackson this week.

Jackson has had problems against quicker defenders this season and Parsons is one of the fastest off the snap in the league if he can get around Jackson quickly it will be an easy sack against the pocket passing Jared Goff. Look for a big play or two from Parsons when lined up against Jackson in this game.

Malik Hooker vs Jared Goff

The play-action passing game for the Lions has been one of the biggest parts of their success on offense after their running game. To stop their play actions passing game the Cowboys are going to need to get a big game from Malik Hooker who’s normally the last line of defense in the secondary. The Lions love taking deep shots downfield and Hooker is going to need to make sure no one gets behind him or it could spell disaster for the Cowboys this week.

Hooker is going to need to be ready to see the tight end Sam LaPorta running across the field and at the same time, Jameson Williams running a fade or go-route to get behind him. If Hooker can effectively read the eyes of Goff, then he can keep everything in front of him and help shut down the big plays from this Lions offense.

Cowboys Defensive Tackles vs Lions Interior Offensive Line

The main goal for this Cowboys defense will be to slow down this Lions rushing attack, a hard ask but it can be done but it will take the defensive tackles to get the job done. Montgomery likes to run between the A and B gaps while Gibbs likes to hit the B and C gaps more often. The Cowboys are going to need their defensive tackles to play big-boy football and not get pushed around like they did against the Bills, or they risk replaying that scenario all over again.

If they can get Johnathan Hankins back that would be a huge boost to this Cowboys defensive front, if not then they are going to need to rely more on Carl Davis over Neville Gallimore who is too often easily blocked out of a play. They also need to hope that Osa Odighizuwa can use his quickness to get into the backfield fast enough to slow the running back's momentum and allow other defenders to swarm the ball carrier.