Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys Week 16 Preview

Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys Week 16 Preview

FUNDAMENTALS: 

Opponent: Dallas Cowboys

When: Monday, Dec. 26, 8:15 p.m.

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Television: ESPN

Radio: WJR-AM 760

WHAT’S ON THE LINE:

Setting up a better position for the Green Bay game. Defeating the Cowboys on Monday Night Football would give this team a gigantic boost of confidence heading back to Ford Field to take on Green Bay. This is also a team that Detroit hasn’t played since the 2014 Wild Card game…and we all remember what happened in that game. Regardless, the Lions would set themselves up nicely in Week 17 if they are able to go down to Jerry World and take down the NFC juggernaut Cowboys.

WATCH FOR…

  1. Von Lozon: How the secondary responds to a horrible game at New York. Asa Jackson played the worst game of football by any Lions’ player I have seen this season last weekend in New York. He gave up huge play after huge play, including an athletic touchdown catch by ODB (or OBJ, whichever you prefer to call Beckham). With Slay likely out, and Quandre Diggs also injured, the depth of the secondary is slim. They will need to step up in a big way and cover Dez Bryant and Jason Witten with a certain physicality that we haven’t seen this year. It’s a tough assignment, but it can be done.
  1. Kyle Mallett: Handling the spotlight. The Lions play their first primetime game of the season against the NFL’s darling Dallas Cowboys. Playing in the national spotlight hasn’t fared well for the Lions throughout their history, at least for the most part. Playing against the best team in the NFC doesn’t make getting over that hump any easier. With an extra day of rest and the chance to get to double digit wins for just the fourth time since 1995, look how the team handles their composure playing in a nationally televised contest and in another hostile road environment.
  1. Kent Platte: Linebackers and interior defensive line. Ezekiel Elliott is no joke, neither is that offensive line, so seeing if the Lions’ defensive front seven can hold up is going to be the most important piece of this contest.
  1. Nick Kostora: Can Detroit stop the run? Stopping Ezekiel Elliott is no easy task. Many teams have tried and failed this season, but perhaps Detroit’s most recent opponents have provided the blueprint to success. Watch to see if Detroit loads the box and dare Dak Prescott to throw deep down the field, as the Giants have done in two meeting with Dallas. An injured Darius Slay may make this sound enticing for the Cowboys, but the Lions’ top priority must be doing whatever it takes to contain Zeke.
  1. Kevin Remenap: The performance of the offense. Having been a near-disaster on that side of the ball the past two weeks, and facing an awesome running game this week, the offense is going to have to get some points in multiples of something greater than three. If they can’t? Yuck.
  1. Michael Berson: The defensive line. The fact that the Giants were able to run all over the Lions doesn’t bode very well with me. Especially since the Cowboys have the best offensive line in the NFL. If the Lions’ defensive line isn’t able to great some sort of pressure on Dak Prescott and stop Ezekiel Elliott every so often, they will be in some deep trouble.

Predictions:

Von Lozon (7-7): Look, I think this is going to be a closer game than some think (oddly enough) but the Cowboys are a straight up better team this year. The Lions have had some nice wins, most of them in comeback mode, but I’d be lying if I thought Detroit would win this game. Ezekiel Elliott is going to run all over the Lions’ defense and will have a BIG game. That means the NFC North will, likely, be up for grabs on New Year’s Day. Cowboys 31, Lions 21

Kyle Mallett (8-6): Don’t count on either team resting starters Monday night. Although they are amongst the head of the pack in the NFC, the Cowboys have a much better team than the Lions. Elliott and Prescott are on top of the world right now and the Lions banged up defense will have no answer for either of the two star rookies. The Cowboys will win this game with relative ease in a game that won’t be close. Cowboys 27, Lions 13

Kent Platte (7-7): With nothing to play for, the Cowboys are likely to play conservative football. That’s Jim Caldwell’s home field, so the Lions chances of bearing the Cowboys has never been better. Injury uncertainty with Swanson, Slay and Riddick put a lot of things in the air, but I feel the Lions continue to milk time of possession and play error free. Lions 17, Cowboys 14

Nick Kostora (6-8): Dallas is still playing to win the NFC East and earn the top seed in the conference. The Cowboys will show up to play in this one and are simply a better team than Detroit at this point, especially with Slay, Swanson, Riddick and others still battling nagging injuries. If this game was played at Ford Field, perhaps the Lions would have a better shot, but until the running game becomes a legitimate threat, this team won’t be able to go on the road and beat a team as well-rounded as Dallas. Cowboys 24, Lions 17

Kevin Remenap (7-7): Dallas saw how to gash the Lions’ defense the past two weeks, and the Cowboys have the best offensive line in the league to pull those plays off. Looks like it’s coming down to Week 17. Cowboys 24, Lions 6

Michael Berson (8-6): If everyone that is injured is able to play on Monday, the Lions can easily compete with Dallas, especially when they’re playing to guarantee a playoff spot and possibly the division. Along with Stafford being snubbed from the Pro Bowl, you have to believe Stafford and the defense are going to come out strong. Lions 21, Cowboys 14

[graphiq id=”3zCa2G0eHI1″ title=”Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys – Game Coverage” width=”600″ height=”1000″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/3zCa2G0eHI1″ link=”http://nfl-games.pointafter.com/l/20529/Detroit-Lions-at-Dallas-Cowboys-on-December-26th-2016″ link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

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