Before the Cowboys and Lions square off, here are three bold predictions for Sunday’s matchup.
1) Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combine for over 175 yards rushing and score two touchdowns
The Detroit Lions just might have the worst run defense in the entire NFL. Five games in, Detroit has allowed the most total rushing yards in football, surrendering an astonishing 838 yards on the ground and giving up 5.5 Y/A.
So far three teams, the Eagles, Seahawks, and Patriots have eclipsed the 175-yard mark on the ground against the Lions. On Sunday, the Cowboys will become the fourth.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard both come into Sunday’s matchup on a roll. Elliott is coming off by far his best performance of the season against the Eagles in which he ran the ball 13 times for 81 yards and scored his second touchdown of the year.
Despite limited opportunities, Pollard is also playing well and making the most of every touch he gets. The 25-year-old is averaging 6.0 Y/A and 60 Y/G over Dallas’ last four games.
With Dak Prescott likely to be somewhat limited in his return, the Cowboys are going to lean on the run game against the Lions. Dallas’ rushing attack is of a similar caliber to the Eagles, who gashed the Lions for a season-high 216 yards on the ground back in Week 1.
The Cowboys run the ball 25+ times and the Lions simply can not stop them. Elliott and Pollard combine for over 175 yards rushing as a duo as they have their best tandem performance of the season.
2) Cowboys register three takeaways on defense, one being a Trevon Diggs pick six
Five games into the season the Lions have been surprisingly good about taking care of the football. Detroit’s six giveaways on offense have them and five other teams tired for the third-fewest in the NFL.
While protecting the football hasn’t become a huge problem yet, it’s going to become one on Sunday.
The Lions simply have not faced a defense that can put pressure on the quarterback like Dallas’ defensive unit can. The overall speed of the Cowboys’ defense and ability to get consistent pressure will make it a long day for Detroit’s offense.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff has thrown just four interceptions on the season but could have many more. Goff is top five in football in interceptable passes (14) and danger plays (15), according to Player Profiler. Much like what we saw from Cooper Rush, Goff’s luck finally runs out on Sunday.
Micah Parsons records a sack-fumble and the Cowboys intercept Goff twice, one coming via a pick six by All-Pro cornerback, Trevon Diggs.
3) Cowboys put together their most dominant performance of the season, winning by 20 points
This game is not going to be close. The Cowboys are just so much better than the Lions in virtually every facet of the game, they are going to dominate them from the opening kickoff.
This game should play out a lot like the Falcons game did last year back in Week 10. Dallas’ offense comes out the gate firing on all cylinders, forcing the Lions to play from behind which leads them into turning over the football.
While it won’t be quite as much of a blowout as the Falcons game was, the Cowboys own this game from start to finish. Behind a dominating run game and great effort from the defense, Dallas wins in a laugher 30-10 to improve to 5-2 on the year.