Lions vs. Cowboys: 3 Dallas players Detroit must stop
The Detroit Lions will have to face the talented Dallas Cowboys without Matthew Stafford under center. Here are three players the Pride must stop.
The Detroit Lions will once again attempt to win a game without longtime franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford under center. The 31-year old passer will miss his second consecutive game with a back injury.
With backup quarterback Jeff Driskel starting in Stafford’s place, the Lions will take on the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys. If Detroit is going to pull off a victory at home against Dallas, here are three Cowboys players they must find a way to stop.
Dak Prescott, QB
With former Lions’ backup quarterback and first-time offensive coordinator Kellen Moore calling the plays in Dallas, fourth-year quarterback Dak Prescott is posting impressive numbers. That’s also due in part to former Lions’ passer Jon Kitna being Prescott’s new quarterbacks coach.
Through nine games, Prescott has thrown for 2,777 yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He has a career-high 68.3 completion percentage going into Sunday’s matchup. Dak’s also rushed for three scores.
The Lions must find a way to disrupt Prescott. Unfortunately, Detroit’s defense has struggled all season long when it comes to putting pressure on opposing passers. And with Dallas’ talented offensive line, doing so against the Cowboys will be a tall task.
DeMarcus Lawrence, DE
Signing a massive five-year, $105 million contract extension this offseason, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has now established himself as one of the league’s premier defenders. Despite his relatively low sack numbers this season (only 4.5 sacks so far), Lawrence is a top-level disruptor.
With right tackle Rick Wagner officially ruled out for this matchup due to a concussion, backup swing tackle Tyrell Crosby will have his hands full trying to contain Lawrence. But the second-year offensive lineman has to find a way to get the job done.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB
Last weekend, the Minnesota Vikings were able to limit Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott to just 2.4 yards per carry, his second-lowest game average of the season. When Elliott has averaged less than four yards per rushing attempt, the Cowboys have lost.
The Detroit Lions rushing defense will need to step up against the Cowboys as the Vikings have provided a perfect blueprint on how to beat Dallas. The Lions defense must find a way to stall the Cowboys rushing attack and keep the game close, as their offense needs every opportunity it can get to find success without Matthew Stafford on the field.