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Dallas Cowboys vs Detroit Lions Preview

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

As of Wednesday, Dak Prescott was medically cleared and is set to play this Sunday when the Detroit Lions are in Arlington, Texas. Prescott had been out since Week 1 with a fractured thumb and he will be a full participant at this week's practice. Prescott was expected to miss four to six weeks due to the injury although the initial time frame was six to eight weeks.

Dallas is coming off a frustrating loss to Philadelphia. The team's four-game winning streak was snapped and they're third in the NFC East. Sitting at a 4-2 record, the Cowboys are looking to win this Sunday and next week against Chicago to go into their bye week with a 6-2 record. After the bye week, the Cowboys will travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers.

The Cowboys are squaring off against a Detroit team with a terrible defense. Detroit leads the league in most points allowed per game (34) as well as the most total offensive yards allowed per game (428.6). In addition, Detroit's rushing defense is the worst in the league as they allow an average of 168 yards per game.

However, on a positive note, Detroit's offense averages 412 total yards per game, which makes them second in the league. In addition, Detroit scores an average of 28 points per game which makes them third in the league. Furthermore, Jared Goff is having a good season and so far he's at 11 touchdowns and four interceptions with an average of 271 passing yards per game.

Goff has respectable weapons that can be heavily reliable from T.J. Hockenson, Josh Reynolds, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. On defense, Aidan Hutchinson is a player reliable for Detroit. The point is that even though Detroit is 1-4 and bottom of the NFC North, they've got talent on that team on both sides of the ball. And Dallas needs to be ready for anything.

The Cowboys defense has been the center of attention all season. Eighth in the league in total yards allowed per game (304.2) and third in points allowed per game (16.3). In addition, the Dallas defense leads the league in sacks (24) and they're second in the league in QB hits.

Against Philadelphia, the defense suffered a bit of a setback. Overall, the defense still managed to be okay, but the mishaps from blown coverages, penalties, and tackling inabilities can't go unnoticed. This week, the defense needs to redeem itself, which brings up the key to victory number one; defense, defense, DEFENSE. In a nutshell, they need to inflict heavy pressure on Goff and sack him at every opportunity as well as force turnovers and deny Detroit any scoring opportunities. In addition, AVOID PENALTIES AT ALL COSTS.

Speaking of redemption, it's the offense that needs it badly. Once again, there are too many concerns about the play-calling, the ability to successfully execute, the avoiding penalties and committing of turnovers, and the ability to effectively run the ball. Not to mention if Prescott's rust will take a toll. The offense is so badly unpredictable. Furthermore, will the questionable play-calling even make a difference with Prescott under center? That remains to be seen but there are too many unanswered questions.

Considering Detroit's horrible rushing defense, Dallas needs to take advantage. That's key to victory number two; RUN THE BALL AND KEEP DOING IT. Number three is to FIND THE ENDZONE and not waste any scoring opportunities. The passing game needs to be functional. Therefore, it's clear that the offense needs to be well-balanced.

Key to victory number four is a fully well-balanced team. That means that Dallas needs to be effective and offense and defense. In other words, both the offense and defense have to do their part. The Cowboys need to strongly utilize teamwork and it's the only effective and convincing way they can win.

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