The Cowboys gutted out a tough win in their home opener on Monday behind Dan Bailey’s 6 field goals. The Cowboys have gained momentum and a sense of toughness over their last 2 games. The axiom being Tony Romo’s play through a rib injury. Other players have followed suit like Felix Jones playing through a separated shoulder, Mike Jenkins playing through a shoulder injury, and Dez Bryant, though probably to a lesser extend, playing through his bruised quad. With that they were able to edge out the Redskins by 2 points.
This won’t likely be the case when the roaring Lions come to town, I said it, lots of pun intended. The Lions boast an offense that is on fire with a healthy Matthew Stafford, a top flight receiver in Calvin Johnson, and of course Jim Schwartz.
Here are some things the Cowboys will need to look for:
Slow down Matthew Stafford. Try to get Stafford out of his rhythm. The Vikings showed that it could be done last week, sacking him twice and holding him to 5 yards passing. DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer need to get pressure on the Lions QB early and often.
Clock control. The Vikings controlled the clock and kept the ball out of the hands of Lions offense during a good deal of the first half.
Somebody cover Calvin Johnson. Anybody? This will probably be the primary focus for Dallas is to TRY to cover Johnson. He has been lights out so far this season, and with Terence Newman being questionable along with Mike Jenkins, who is also being banged up, things could get ugly for the Cowboys.
Remember there’s two sides to every Schwartz. The Lions also have Jahvid Best who will be a threat in every game where he can gash defenses for big chunks of yardage. He’ll be more of a threat on screens than he will on the ground though.
Don’t get Suh-ed. Second year man Phil Costa will need to make amends for last week with a tall order, keeping Ndamukong Suh away from Romo and his ailing ribs. The line should not forget about the Lion’s first round pick Nick Fairley, who should be making his first NFL appearance Sunday.
Find Dez early. Getting Bryant involved, if he plays, will be paramount for a successful game plan. If he gets involved it will soften the Lions defense from smothering Jason Witten.
Got to run Felix. Jones came up with some big plays on Monday, and the Cowboys will need Felix to play through the pain again this week to help keep the ball away from the Lions offense.
Get the ball to Tony. I’m talking to you Phil Costa. The Cowboys were very fortunate to come away with a win after Costa botched multiple snaps and neither becoming a turnover.
The Cowboys excel against the run on defense, and the Lions excel at passing on offense. The Cowboys are a pass heavy offense and the Lions are strong versus the pass. It’s a disproportionate game in terms of match ups for the Boys, but they’ve built up some momentum over the past few weeks. The hill looks much steeper for Dallas this week. Edge to the Lions, but the Cowboys are playing with grit, don’t count them out.
Thanks for reading. Please post any comments or questions here or you can follow me on Twitter @dwillPSB.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.