Lions at Cowboys: Preview, Predictions, and More
Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have clinched the NFC East and home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs, so their Monday Night Football matchup against the Detroit Lions is somewhat inconsequential. Still, it is important for the fact they need to stay healthy and not get complacent in the final two games of the regular season.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the Packers won on Saturday, so they too can do nothing for their playoff chances on Monday Night Football in Dallas. Instead, they are only looking to get things clicking and garner momentum heading into their Week 17 matchup with Green Bay. That’s where their playoff fate and the NFC North will be decided.
One player to watch this game is Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who enters the game with 1,551 yards with 13 touchdowns. He leads the NFL in rushing entering Week 16. The Lions are opposite with their rushing game, as Theo Riddick leads the team with 357 yards and one touchdown on the year.
Keys To Victory
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The Dallas Cowboys need to keep doing what they’ve done all season to earn the NFC’s No. 1 seed. They must control the pace of the game with their offense, have their defense make big plays when needed and get the lead early. On the other hand, the Lions need to take advantage of their passing game and Matt Stafford. Having one of the top quarterbacks on their side must be taken advantage of for the Lions.
Detroit allows fewer than 100 yards per game rushing (98.9),and the Cowboys average 154.5 rushing yards per game. If the Lions stop the Dallas’ rushing attack, they will win the game. However, that may be a bit misleading as the Lions run defense isn’t as good as that number would indicate. Moreover, they haven’t faced an attack as potent as the one they’ll be up against on Monday night in Big D.
Point Spread: Dallas -6
Moneyline: Dallas -250, Detroit +210
This game has the potential to be entertaining if both teams play their starters for the duration, but with Dallas having everything sealed up and the Lions not being able to clinch anything on Monday, this game could go a variety of directions. It just depends on how each head coach maneuvers the lineups for the complete four quarters. Ultimately, though, the Cowboys have the advantage on both sides of the ball, thus getting the advantage in this game.
Pick: Detroit Lions: 21, Dallas Cowboys: 27