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Yard Stick-Wk4: Cowboys D vs Lions O

Last edition of Yard Stick, we took a look at the Cowboys-Redskins' game and the outcome pretty much met the expectations. The stats didn't tell us how it will occur, just what to expect in terms of yardage.

Will we see the same results this week? No guarantees are made. Injury list still have to be announced and hopefully we get better referees that actually watch the OLine-DLine interactions.

In any case, in this edition of Yard Stick we'll be taking a look at the Cowboys-Lions' game. The undefeated Lions are coming to Dallas. What can we expect? First, let us take a look at the Cowboys' Defense taking on the Lions' Offense.

D-Ware chasing down Shaun Hill

COWBOYS RUN DEFENSE

Cowboys
net Rush Yards Allowed
net Avg/Play Allowed
Rush Plays Against
vs NYJ
45 2.8 16
vs SF
74 3.1 24
vs WAS
65 3.0 22
Total 184 3.0 62

The Cowboys are currently ranked #2 in yards per game allowed; 61.3. They're allowing an averaging of 3.0 rushing yards a play, which ranks them 3rd in the league. For a grand total of 184 rushing yards in 3 games, ranking them 2nd in the league. Outside of the Jets, its not like teams aren't trying. They just can't!

Ranked #1 in yards allowed and yards a game allowed are the Green Bay Packers. DT BJ Raji has been playing very well and is a big reason for their run-stopping success. However, the Packers seem to get into a lot of shootout games. Could this be the reason they are #1?

LIONS RUN OFFENSE

Lions
Rushing Yards
net Avg/Play
Rushing Plays
vs TB
126 3.6 35
vs KC
89 3.0 30
vs MIN
20 1.1 19
Total 235 2.8 84

Wow, is the first words that came to mind about the Vikings game. We thought we were bad. It may appear to the naked eye that against a good front-7, the Lions cannot run the ball. However, we must take into account that it was 20-0 at halftime and the Lions did not score one point in the first half.

COWBOYS RUN-D VS LIONS RUN-O

Teams Total net Rushing Yards
Total net Avg/Play
Total Rushing Plays
Cowboys D
184 3.0 62
Lions O
235 2.8 84
Expected 70 2.9 24

The stats are telling us that we should expect 70 rushing yards out of the Lions in 24 plays, averaging 2.9 yards a play. Normally I would agree but if the the Cowboys can stop the Lions running game like the Vikings did, then we can force them to pass more often. I'm sure the Cowboys have better Defensive Backs then the Vikings, right?

COWBOYS PASS DEFENSE

Cowboys
net Pass Yards Allowed
net Avg/Play Allowed
Pass Plays Against
vs NYJ
315 6.6 48
vs SF
132 4.4 30
vs WAS
233 5.8 40
Total 680 5.8 118

Currently ranked 12th under passing yards per game allowed, 226.7, the Cowboys' Defense is definitely one of the better ones this year. It leaves much to the imagination, to a Cowboys' fan, of what could be with a healthy secondary.

Averaging 5.8 passing yards allowed, the Cowboys stand at a grand total of 680 passing yards (ranked #12) in 3 games

LIONS PASS OFFENSE

Lions
Passing Yards
net Avg/Play
Passing Plays
vs TB
305 9.2 33
vs KC
322 8.0 40
vs MIN
338 6.6 51
Total 965 7.8 124

Detroit Lions are tied (with Carolina) for 4th place in yards per game, at 321.7, and total yards, at 965. Both places are one rank below the Cowboys, but we'll look at that in the next article. For now, we can see that the Lions are a very good passing team. We will need our secondary healthy to take on Calvin Johnson.

COWBOYS PASS-D VS LIONS PASS-O

Teams Total net Pass Yards
Total net Avg/Play
Total Pass Plays
Cowboys D
680 5.8 118
Lions O
965 7.8 124
Expected 274
6.9 40

Once again, the stats tell us the Cowboys' Defense should expect another 40 passing plays coming their way. This time, though, it's for a higher average and higher amount of total yards. The stats tell us that we should expect to give up a much higher average then normal, 6.9 to our regular 5.8.

Obviously, the Lions are a much better passing team then the Redskins and the Cowboys need to be on their toes if they hope to stop Calvin Johnson. He's been on the highlight reel every week with an amazing TD catch!

COWBOYS DEFENSE VS LIONS OFFENSE

Teams Total net Yards
Total net Avg/Play
Total  Plays
Cowboys D
864 4.8 180
Lions O
1200 5.8 208
Expected 344
5.3 64

The Lions are averaging 69 plays a game; however, because the Cowboys have been able to slightly dominate time of possession our opponents are averaging 60 plays against us. The stats expect the Lions to run 64 total plays and gain 344 total yards, averaging 5.3 yards a play. That's half-a-yard (0.5) more on average that we're looking to give up, but its also half-a-yard (0.5) less that the Lions are gaining.

In conclusion, we were expected to give up an average of 5.2 yards a play to the Redskins and we ended up giving up 4.8 yards a play. Could the same thing happen again? Possibly. We definitely know that the Lions passing game can be explosive and their running game can be stuffed. Does this play into our advantage? We would have to wait and see.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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