clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Looking ahead to Lions' next opponent: Dallas Cowboys

New, comments

A look at the Dallas Cowboys, which will play host to the Detroit Lions in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Next up for the Detroit Lions is a road playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. Here's an early look at the Cowboys:

Dallas Cowboys (12-4)

Schedule so far

Week 1 - vs. 49ers - lost, 28-17
Week 2 - at Titans - won, 26-10
Week 3 - at Rams - won, 34-31
Week 4 - vs. Saints - won, 38-17
Week 5 - vs. Texans - won, 20-17 (OT)
Week 6 - at Seahawks - won, 30-23
Week 7 - vs. Giants - won, 31-21
Week 8 - vs. Redskins - lost, 20-17 (OT)
Week 9 - vs. Cardinals - lost, 28-17
Week 10 - at Jaguars (in London) - won, 31-17
Week 12 - at Giants - won, 31-28
Week 13 - vs. Eagles - lost, 33-10
Week 14 - at Bears - won, 41-28
Week 15 - at Eagles - won, 38-27
Week 16 - vs. Colts - won, 42-7
Week 17 - at Redskins - won, 44-17

Reasons for optimism

Sunday's game certainly looks daunting given how the Cowboys have been playing as of late, but keep in mind that they're only 4-4 at home this season. What's more, keep in mind that the Cowboys' biggest strength, their running game, feeds right into the Lions' biggest strength, their run defense. If the Lions can contain DeMarco Murray and not let Dez Bryant go wild, they could certainly win this game. That's obviously a huge "if" with Ndamukong Suh being suspended and when you consider that the Packers had a lot of success on the ground and through the air in Week 17, but the Lions still have one of the top defenses in the NFL, and Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have fared quite well against the Cowboys in the past.

Reasons for pessimism

You may want to avert your eyes from the following stat:

Still with us? Things aren't about to get more promising:

Yeah, the Cowboys are good. They are clicking at the right time, and they have really been rolling lately. Their offense features the NFL's top running back and really the best offensive line, and Tony Romo is playing like an MVP candidate. And even the defense is still making a ton of plays after being embarrassingly bad a year ago. Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli have really helped turn this Cowboys team around, and they could very well help end the Lions' season on Sunday.

Storyline to watch

We've already covered several of the storylines that are worth watching in this game, but the main one is the simple fact that this is the playoffs we're talking about. Whatever did or did not happen in the regular season is in the past, and the Lions now have an opportunity to make a postseason run. They may not be able to even get out of the starting blocks come Sunday, but anything can happen in the playoffs.

Additional info

For more on the Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys.