Cowboys’ offensive and defensive X-factors vs Lions
Offensive X-factor: Tony Pollard
If this offense wants to stay on the field and eat up the clock in this game, then Tony Pollard needs to be more effective in the running game. Right now, it just feels like he’s running into the backs of players and falling for gains of three and four yards a carry at times. He needs to see the field a lot better, in the past I’ve called for Rico Dowdle to get more carries but in this game, they need the more explosive and better pass-protecting Pollard in the game.
If he can’t get the run going, then the Cowboys can use Pollard in the screen game to combat the Lions' aggressive pass rushers. We’ve seen how effective he can be when he can get the football in the open field. Let’s hope he can get those opportunities this weekend.
Defensive X-factor: Osa Odighizuwa
Odighizuwa is a monster in the middle of the Cowboys defensive line specifically on passing downs, but the Cowboys need him to be a monster in the running game this week. Using his quickness to get around the Lions' offensive linemen to get in the face of the running backs to slow their momentum and give the rest of the defensive line time to make plays. If Odighizuwa can do that then the Cowboys have a very good chance of slowing the running game and forcing the football into Goff’s hands.
The Cowboys have a better chance of winning this football game if the ball is in Goff’s hands instead of them being able to use their running game to march down the field.