Monday’s game means a lot for the Cowboys – even more for the Lions
Photo Credit: Ian Halperin / UPI
Two strong teams meet for Monday Night Football this week: the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions.
Statistically, the Cowboys are a stronger team this season. They have the best record in the NFC (12-2) and rank in the top five in scoring offense (26.1) and scoring defense (18.4). With rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas averages more than 150 yards per game. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has also been outstanding; he’s thrown for 3,418 yards with 20 touchdowns and only four interceptions this season. Defense is really the only area in which Dallas is lacking, giving up some plays in the passing game – but even then, they’re keeping teams to less than 20 points on average against them.
The Lions are 9-4 on the season and are fighting to clinch the NFC North division title. They’re only one game ahead of the Green Bay Packers, who could win the division if Detroit loses this week and Green Bay beats Detroit in the season finale. The Lions are also trying to clinch a wild-card playoff berth; if they lose, their season finale next week will be a do-or-die game.
Not to mention, the Lions have had a rough few weeks. They’ve produced 20 points or fewer. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is playing with ligament damage to his finger. And top running back Theo Riddick has missed the last two games – and is questionable for Monday’s matchup.
So, the Cowboys are definitely in a better position here. They’ll know tonight what exactly is on the line in this game. If the New York Giants lose to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys will have the NFC East division title and home-field advantage in the conference playoffs ensured. Plus, Dallas is the favorite against Detroit – and why not? They’re knocking down all their opponents (except the Giants) this season with their rookie power duo of Prescott and Elliott.