Who has the edge between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys? The SideLion Report staff shares their thoughts on Sunday’s big game.
Matt Pelc – Two things can happen after a loss as the clock hit zero as the Lions suffered last week. It could cause the season to begin a slow cascade (something we saw on numerous occasions during the eight-game season ending slide in 2012) or it can motivate a team. I think the make-up of this year’s Lions’ team will prevent that slow cascade and will avoid losing streaks.
The Cowboys, like the Bengals last week, are an unpredictable team. They haven’t really beaten anyone of note and have taken advantage of an insanely weak NFC East to roll to a 4-3 record based off three divisional wins. Yet they also went toe-to-toe with the mighty Peyton Manning and handled an undefeated Kansas City Chiefs team until the end of that game in two of their losses.
While it didn’t really seem that way a couple weeks ago, this is a huge game for the Lions heading into the bye. They can’t lose two straight road games, head to the week off at .500 with two straight road games looming and still expect to make the playoffs.
The Lions will be ready for the occasion and beat Dallas 30-26.
Zac Snyder – The Cowboys and Lions are relatively even teams, both with playmakers on offense and some problems on defense. With home field advantage and a Cowboys offense more prone to turning the ball over, I give a slight edge to the Lions. Final score: 27-21.
Dean Holden – This week, we get to watch the Lions and Cowboys square off in a matchup between two teams with no sense of consistency. Ultimately, the game will be decided by which versions of the two teams show up. Do the Cowboys get “four-interception” Tony Romo, or “500-yard, five-touchdown” Romo? Do the Lions get “pinpoint accuracy” Matthew Stafford, or “Josh Freeman overthrows” Stafford?
The Lions’ defense isn’t very good at preventing yardage, but they’re opportunistic. They force turnovers and get stops in third down/red zone situations. More specifically, when the Lions defense brings pressure, they win. They couldn’t force the Bengals offense into mistakes because the Bengals’ offensive line dominated the game. The Cowboys’ offensive line is not nearly as talented, which means the pass rush should be able to force Bad Romo onto the field.
I don’t see anybody taking control of this game. It should be hard-fought down to the wire, but I can’t see the Lions dropping a second straight home game. If they do, it’ll be a long bye week at 4-4. Cowboys 30, Lions 33.