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Lions vs. Cowboys preview: How will Dak Prescott’s return impact Dallas?

The Dallas Cowboys defense has been rolling, but the offense has struggled. Will that immediately change with Dak Prescott back?

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The bye week is over and it’s time to get back to football for the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately there are no layups in the NFL and this week is proof of that. The Lions will go up against Micah Parsons and a very tough Dallas Cowboys defense this weekend.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Cowboys will be getting back quarterback Dak Prescott in this game. Speaking of Prescott, you just had to know it would be the lock of the century that he would return for this game. It’s the kind of thing that I wish I would have bet my life savings on.

Are the Cowboys for real? This is a question that’s asked every single year? The answer, as it is every year, is I don’t know. So I went to our pal David Halprin of Blogging the Boys to learn a little more about this team. Here’s what he had to say:

1. The Cowboys are getting back Dak Prescott this week, but Cooper Rush looked good in recent weeks. Is there a QB controversy in Dallas?

“No, there is no QB controversy in Dallas. When Dak Prescott is healthy and ready to go he is playing, and there is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t. Cooper Rush helped this team to a 4-1 record in Prescott’s absence. but Rush wasn’t really the driving catalyst for the win streak. Most of that credit goes to the Cowboys defense. All Cowboys fans have a lot of respect for what Rush did, he came in, didn’t turn the ball over until the Eagles game, he kept the Cowboys out of negative plays and was able to get some timely throws completed. He was great as a game manager, but he’s not going to go out and win you games. Prescott can do that. Both with his arm and his mobility to extend plays and sometimes run. There really is no comparison of talent level between Prescott and Rush. Prescott is QB1. But thank goodness we had Rush, he kept us in the conversation.”

2. What is this team’s strength?

“Defense. And more specifically, the pass rush. The Cowboys defense has been fantastic all season long and their pass rush with Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong leading the way has been elite. The Cowboys are very deep on the defensive line and they just rotate guys in and get after quarterbacks. They also have a very competent cornerback trio led by Trevon Diggs, and their safeties are playing excellent football. The Eagles game was their worst game scoring wise, allowing 26 points but the turnovers put them in difficult spots.”

3. What can the Lions do to beat the Cowboys?

“Run the ball effectively. For all the praise I just heaped on the Cowboys defense, the one area they struggle with is rush defense. This also helps negate the pass rush. So run the ball effectively and stay out of long down and distances which the Cowboys feast on. On defense, it’s kind of hard to say because Dak Prescott is likely to start but we don’t know how he will look, how he will throw, etc. I think there will be a feeling out period for how Prescott is playing, and the Cowboys used the run in his absence, and claim they will do the same with Prescott back. We’ll just have to see how they play it.”

4. The Cowboys are 7-point favorites per DraftKings Sportsbook. Are you taking that bet?

“I would take that bet. The Cowboys are looking for some redemption after losing against the Eagles. They will be at home and if Prescott starts like everyone is thinking he will, there will be a lot of energy in that building. With Prescott back, the Cowboys offense has a chance to be dangerous again, and that paired with the elite defense should have the Cowboys playing good football. Of course, Prescott may be rusty, so there’s no guarantee the offense comes together quickly, but by the end of the game I think they will have covered the spread.”

5. Who wins this thing?

“Well, kind of gave that away in the previous question. I’ll take the Cowboys 30-17.”

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