Game Prediction: Cowboys-Lions

Game Prediction: Cowboys-Lions

Motor City Daily

Game Prediction: Cowboys-Lions

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The Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have both struggled of late.

Detroit (3-5-1) has lost five of their last six after a promising 2-0-1 start to their season and sit in last place in the NFC North.

Dallas (5-4) is coming off a home loss to the Minnesota Vikings and have lost four of their last six. The Cowboys are currently tied with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC East standings.

Despite both teams being in a slump in the win-loss column, both have some of the most prolific offenses in the NFL.

The Cowboys currently lead the league in yards per game (437.4), are fourth in passing yards per game (299.2), fifth in rushing yards per game (138.2) and sixth in scoring offense while averaging 27.9 points per game.

While the days of Aikman, Smith and Irvin are a thing of the past, these Cowboys are led by their new-age triplets of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper.

Prescott, who has taken some criticism over the years, is having the best season of his young career. He is second in the league in passing yards (2,777), behind only Phillip Rivers, and is tied for third in the league in passing touchdowns with 18.

Elliott, while not having his best season, is still a force to be reckoned with. He’s eighth in the NFL in rushing yards with 788 and is among the league leaders with six rushing touchdowns.

Cooper is showing why the Cowboys gave up a first round pick to acquire him in the middle of last season. He is third in the league in receiving yards (848) and is tied with Mike Evans for second with seven receiving touchdowns.

All of these numbers could increase greatly as they come into the Motor City playing one of the worst defenses, at least statistically, in the NFL.

Detroit is 30th in yards allowed per game (402.1), 28th in passing yards allowed per game (272.4), 27th in rushing yards allowed per game (129.7) and 24th in scoring defense (26.3). They have also not forced a turnover in two straight games and only one in their last four games.

As for the Lions offense, they are fifth in the league in total yards (387.4), fourth in passing yards per game (291.2) and 14th in points per game (24.1).

But they will have to try to keep up those numbers with a backup quarterback for the second straight game. Starter Matthew Stafford has been ruled out due to a back injury that could sideline him for an unknown period of time.

Jeff Driskel, a fourth-year pro out of Louisiana Tech, filled in admirably last week against the Chicago Bears. Although the Lions lost 20-13, Driskel went 27-46 for 269 yards and threw one touchdown and one interception. He also showed some athleticism as he rushed for 37 yards.

While he has some big shoes to fill as Stafford is still second in the league with 19 passing TDs after missing a game, Driskel has good weapons at his disposal.

Kenny Golladay leads the league with eight receiving touchdowns and Marvin Jones is tied for fourth with six. They are the best duo in the NFL with 14 combined receiving scores.

They will be going against one of the best defenses in the league. Dallas is giving up the seventh fewest yards per game (323.3) and are allowing the sixth fewest points per game (18.9).

While injuries are a part of the game, Detroit seems extra banged up coming into this one.

Along with Stafford, tackle Rick Wagner (concussion) and defensive end Da’Shawn Hand (ankle) have already been ruled out of this game. Fullback Nick Bawden (foot) and punter Sam Martin (abdomen) are questionable heading into this contest.

The Cowboys are rather healthy heading into Detroit, but tackle La’el Collins (knee/back) and safety Jeff Heath (shoulder) are questionable.

Now time for the prediction.

This is a game that the Cowboys need to stay in the divisional race and overall playoff race. As for the Lions, a win would keep their slim, and I mean slim, playoff hopes alive. A loss would end their season and have fans looking forward to the 2020 draft in April.

I think if Stafford was healthy, this game had the chance to be a shootout. But without the former Pro Bowl QB under center, Detroit will struggle once again on offense while a good Dallas offense will exploit a weak Detroit defense.

Prescott and Cooper should connect a few times as both will have big games and Elliott, after struggling last week against Minnesota, will find his footing and go for over 100 yards and at least a score.

The Cowboys will leave the Motor City victorious and improve to 6-4 while the Lions will have no roar and fall to 3-6-1.

Cowboys 34, Lions 16.

All stats are courtesy of ESPN.com.

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