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Lions-Cowboys ‘Monday Night Football’ first half open thread

Join us for this highly anticipated “Monday Night Football” showdown.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoff-Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally Monday night, and the Detroit Lions are in Dallas hoping to punch their playoff ticket against the Dallas Cowboys. Detroit gets into the postseason with a win, while the Cowboys already have everything wrapped up as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

All week leading up to this game, the question has been whether the Cowboys will play their starters. Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett were adamant that they would treat this game like a normal game for them. The inactives list from the Cowboys seems to corroborate this stance, but we’ll have to wait and see whether Dallas is true to their word throughout the entire game.

For the Lions, they limp into the game having lost a big opportunity against the Giants last week. They are also without three key players tonight: Darius Slay (hamstring), Travis Swanson (concussion) and Theo Riddick (wrist). But Detroit certainly has motivation on their side, as a win would ease worries that the team would fall off the map and miss the playoffs entirely after a 9-4 start.

No matter what happens tonight, the Lions will ultimately control their own destiny in the NFC North next week. The now Sunday Night Football game between the Lions and Packers is guaranteed to decide the division, so if things go poorly for Detroit tonight, they can make up for it against Green Bay in front of a jacked up Lions crowd.

Here’s some pregame information to get you ready for tonight’s game:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.