The Cowboys have one more home game left on the schedule this season and, barring a miracle, it will likely be their last home game until the 2024 season begins. They’ll be aiming for perfection at home on the year, but more important the Cowboys are trying to snap a two-game losing streak.
Dallas hasn’t lost three consecutive games since November of 2020 when they lost their first four games after Dak Prescott suffered his season-ending injury. They’ll have to beat a really tough Lions team in order to avoid dropping their third straight. Do our writers have faith in the Cowboys bouncing back at home?
When Detroit has the ball
Make Jared Goff uncomfortable
Jared Goff is playing some of his best football this year, as the Lions have resurrected his career in the same way they’ve resurrected their own franchise. But Goff’s biggest weakness still remains, and that’s a tendency to wilt under pressure. For the season, Goff ranks fifth in completion rate, sixth in passer rating, and fifth in turnover worthy play rate (meaning it’s fifth-lowest).
However, looking at quarterbacks when they’re under pressure, Goff is fourth in completion rate but 15th in passer rating and 16th in turnover worthy play rate. Now, those numbers aren’t terrible, but it’s clear that Goff still gets rattled when under pressure. It’s a good thing for him that Detroit is one of the best in the league in pass protection, but the Cowboys are also one of the best in generating pressure. If the pass rush can beat this stout offensive line, they can disrupt the facilitator behind Detroit’s highly explosive offense.
When Dallas has the ball
Let ‘er rip
For how good the Lions have been this year, their defense has been pretty suspect. Most of their struggles have come through the air, and this secondary has been hamstrung by injuries and poor play all season long. They rank 24th in EPA/dropback allowed, and have given up the second most air yards on the year.
That’s great news for the Cowboys, who rank third in the league in completed air yards even after struggling downfield in their last two games. Detroit’s scheme offers plenty of avenues to attack the middle of the field, where CeeDee Lamb and Jake Ferguson have thrived all year. If the Cowboys can exploit the soft parts of this secondary, they should have a very good day.
Now onto the predictions from your BTB writers...
Tom Ryle (10-5):
With the Cowboys guaranteed no worse than the fifth seed, and little to no chance of overtaking the Eagles for the NFCE, this is a need to win, not a must win game.
But I think they are going to cut out a lot of mistakes in their last home game and handle the Lions, probably by around 13 points or so. I just hope it isn’t wistful thinking.
Tony Catalina (11-4):
I’ve been wrong about the Cowboys for the past two weeks, but even while I picked them the previous two times, the confidence wasn’t there. This week it feels different. It feels need, and it’s at home which adds to the confidence. The Cowboys lose this game and a lot of chatter will be had about the legitimacy of this team, and I think they stop that from happening.
Give me the Cowboys 31-24.
Matt Holleran (13-2):
The Cowboys return home on their first two-game losing streak since Week 11 and 12 of the 2021 season. Dallas is a completely different team at home than they are on the road, and we are going to see a bounce back from the home team on Saturday night.
Jared Goff’s lack of mobility will play into the hands of Dallas’ defense and they should be able to force him into some mistakes. We see the Cowboys’ defense record two takeaways and the offense put up 27 points. Dallas gets back to their winning ways with their 11th victory of the season.
Give me the Cowboys, 27-23.
Brandon Lore (9-4):
The Cowboys were asked to go on the road two weeks in a row and play against tough teams. Unfortunately, they lost them both in a worst-case scenario. It feels like the team knows the challenge ahead and understands the physicality. Detroit wants to play on both sides of the ball. If Dallas wins the coin toss, they should receive the kickoff and score 1st to make Jared Goff play on his heels.
If Tony Pollard goes over 100 yards, as I expect, the Cowboys should win 30-21.
Matthew Lenix (10-5):
The Dallas Cowboys back at home, where they haven’t lost in two years after consecutive road losses. However, they face a talented Detroit Lions team with a top-3 offense and a dynamic running back tandem with David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs.
I think the Cowboys can take advantage of the Lions’ 23rd ranked pass defense and keep a lead, which plays into the strength of their defense which is being able to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback.
Cowboys win 31-20.
Mike Poland (10-5):
The Cowboys are 8-2 this year when the offense allows three or fewer sacks. The Lions defense is averaging 2.3 sacks per game, that’s sixth-worse in the NFL. Additionally, Dak Prescott has thrown 30 passing touchdowns this year, the most in the NFL. The Lions defense has allowed 24 passing touchdowns this season, sixth-most in the NFL.
The Cowboys win and get off the losing streak, 28-21.
Brian Martin (11-4):
After back-to-back losses on the road, the Dallas Cowboys finally get to return back home where they are a much better team than they are away. With the home-field advantage this week against the Detroit Lions, I fully expect the Cowboys to extend their undefeated streak at AT&T Stadium this season.
Cowboys win 27-23.
RJ Ochoa (11-4):
Obviously the Cowboys are coming off of back to back losses and some fans are a bit shook. I can’t see a way in which Dallas falters in this game and would not be stunned if they acted like the more desperate team.
Give me the Cowboys over the Lions in a fun game that ends somewhere around 33-24.
David Howman (10-5):
I feel really confident about the Cowboys’ chances to win this game, but I feel less confident about how it’ll happen. They showed last week that they’ve still got the pep in their step, so I’m not worried about the team’s confidence. With this being at home, the hype over Jimmy Johnson’s Ring of Honor induction, and wanting to get the bad taste of two straight losses out of their mouths, I could see this being a blowout win.
Then again, the Lions are a very tough team. They’ve only lost two games by multiple scores this year, though both came on the road. This is a resilient team that cherishes the physicality of the sport, which is usually something the Cowboys struggle with. Then again, the Lions defense is a major liability and Dan Quinn is exactly the type of defensive coordinator who can fluster a quarterback like Jared Goff. Oh, what the heck.
Cowboys win 43-24.