This Sunday, AT&T Stadium will host the first round of the NFC Wild Card Playoffs. The contest will feature the carnivorous Detroit Lions coming to town with all intentions focused on moving-on to the next round of the 2014/2015 NFC playoffs. The game is scheduled to begin at 3:40 p.m. Central Time/1:40 p.m. Pacific Time and will be broadcast live on Fox.
Detroit was second overall in team defense this year and first overall against the run, averaging just under 70 yards allowed per game. The Lions were 13th overall in pass defense. This combination of toughness will be a challenge for the Cowboys. Look for offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to have a few tricks up his sleeve designed to conquer his old team.
Detroit’s defense is ranked second in the league overall, 12th against the pass and they are the best team against the run in the entire NFL. This will put DeMarco Murray and the Dallas offensive line to the test, the best rushing offense against the league’s best rushing defense. Even with a team that has Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, the defense is Detroit’s main strength.
The Cowboys’ defense has started to come to life as of December. While the defense ranks 19th overall in the NFL, they have been very successful against the run ranking 8th overall. Detroit ranks 28th in the league in rushing so the game will likely fall into the capable hands of Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. The Cowboys have the 26th ranked passing defense. Dallas’ front four will have to put plenty of pressure on Stafford and the league’s 12th ranked passing offense. This season Stafford has thrown 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Stafford has been exceptional against the Cowboys in his career and Dallas must buck this trend on Sunday.
Look for Dallas to use Green Bay’s blueprint for success against Detroit. The Lions will try to stuff the running game, opening up the middle of the field for Jason Witten and Cole Beasley. Dallas will try to match power for power in this game. Dallas’s offensive line, one of the best in the league, will have play their best game against the league’s second best defense.
Tony Romo is having a stellar season. Romo was first in the entire NFL quarterback group this year with a 113.2 rating. That is right, Romo was first, ahead of Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady, Payton Manning and everyone else. Romo must continue to lead this offense and play mistake-free football. The key for a Cowboys’ win will be putting points on the board early and keeping their foot on the gas pedal until the final 60 minutes of the game has expired.
This is the NFC Playoffs. Excitement will fill the atmosphere around Arlington’s AT&T Stadium. The last three times these two teams have met, Dallas had the lead only to lose the game in the second half, each time.
This game marks the first time since 2009 that the Cowboys have made it into the next level and now is NOT the time to relax. Dallas must remain focused on the game at hand and this means caging the Detroit Lions.
Dallas is hoping their fans will get more involved in this post-season shootout and make enough crowd noise to put the Lions off their game. The Lions have a reputation as a nasty, beyond the limits of the rules type of team. The Cowboys will attempt to dominate and frighten the Lions back to their jungle in Detroit.
The Cowboys will be seeking retribution this time around. Gather around the game with your best friends and family, gather your gear and represent for America’s team, your Dallas Cowboys.
Whitebear560.com – Sports-Kings.com/Down and Distance contributor Whitebear560 – Whitebear560 Facebook – @Whitebear560 Twitter