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NFL Week 16 Preview: Lions Versus Cowboys

Cowboys look to capture home field with win over Lions PAUL MOSELEY VIA FLICKR


Cowboys Can Clinch Home Field With Win Over Lions

The Monday night match up in week 16 features the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are looking to seal the number one seed and home field advantage in the playoffs this week. Depending on what happens between the Eagles and Giants, the Cowboys will be hungry to get a big home win over the Lions. This would be the first time since 2007 that Dallas would hold the number one over seed in the NFC.

The Lions currently sit at 9-5 and have two very tough remaining games. They take on the Cowboys and will finish up against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. They basically need to win at least one game and so they will prepared for Dallas. Mathew Stafford has played at an MVP level for much of this season and has been clutch all season. He has led the lions to several 4th quarter comebacks. I highlight this because they are a team that cannot be counted out as long as there’s time on the clock.

Stafford’s completion percentage this season is 66.3 and his average yards per completion is 7.3. He seems to check the ball down and take what the defense gives him. That plays right into what Dallas wants. They play a lot of zone and change their scheme up to blitz packages. Stafford will have to get rid of the ball quick and take the short completions. Even If Dallas secures home field before this game, I expect all of the starters to remain in the game and battle with Detroit.

Dak Prescott is coming off one of his best games as he completed over 30 passes. He was able to find Jason Witten and Dez Bryant often, as Dallas was able to get their offense back on track. It seems at home, Prescott plays with much more confidence which does not bode well for the Lions. Once Dallas establishes the running game with Ezekiel Elliott, they become the most dangerous team in the NFL.

When Elliott can find some holes and burst through the line, it opens up the playbook for Dallas. Prescott is then more involved in some running plays and roll out plays. Once they get him out in open space he shows why he’s been able to lead the Cowboys to a 12-2 record. Prescott’s ability to extend plays with his legs while not committing any turnovers has been the story of his development. He plays with control and the Lions are going to have to find ways to contain the young rookie.

Regardless of what happens Thursday night between the Eagles and Giants, the Cowboys will likely play their starters this week. Obviously if it’s a must win game they will be in there as well. Dallas will be looking to keep their momentum going into the postseason. The Lions and Cowboys will play on Monday Night Football at 8:30 p.m. ET.