After another horrid performance last weekend against Seattle, the Cowboys move on and look ahead to their next game. They will host the Detroit Lions who are also 1-2 after defeating the Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
The winner of the game this weekend gets back to .500 and the loser is most likely buried from serious playoff contention. So, a big game for both teams.
When most people think of the Lions, they think of quarterback Matthew Stafford. In his career, he’s had a lot of weapons in terms of receivers, but not too much help when it comes to the ground game. That has changed this year with an electrifying rookie out of Auburn University.
Kerryon Johnson wasn’t the first running back taken in the 2018 NFL draft, but the second-round pick has proven himself to be one of the best first-year runners, racking up 161 rushing yards which are good for third on the rookie list.
Johnson’s numbers don’t exactly jump off of the page like some players that are usually featured on these enemy profile pieces, but that’s because Johnson has been splitting snaps with veterans LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick.
However, he is beginning to distance himself from that committee.
Currently, Johnson leads Blount by only one carry (29 to 28) but the big difference is in yards. Johnson has gained nearly 80 more yards than Blount on the ground so far this season. Last weekend against New England the two each had 16 carries apiece. Blount gaining 48 yards, and Johnson picking up 101 yards. He was the first Lion to rush for over 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush in 2013.
Yes, Reggie Bush.
Now, if the Lions are smart, they’ll look at these numbers and look to give Johnson more of an opportunity to be the featured back, our hope is that it doesn’t happen against the Cowboys.
The emergence of a Detroit running game could prove to be very dangerous for the Dallas defense, a team that allowed Chris Carson to get 102 yards just last weekend (albeit on 32 carries).
For a team that will be missing Sean Lee for the foreseeable future, you wouldn’t expect that number to be any better against Detroit.
The best advice available to the Cowboys on how to stop Johnson and the newfound Lion rushing attack would be to jump out to an early lead (as tough as that may seem in 2018). Forcing the Lions to play from behind could potentially force them to abandon the run and allow the skilled pass-rushers on the Dallas defense to pin their ears back and rush Stafford who has only been sacked three times this season.
The Dallas offense has done absolutely nothing to prove that they deserve the faith of fans, they’ll most likely fall behind early against the Lions and dig themselves a hole that they won’t be able to escape from, Lions win 27-13.
MIN vs. LAR (Rams)
HOU vs. IND (Colts)
BUF vs. GB (Packers)
TB vs. CHI (Bears)
MIA vs. NE (Patriots)
DET vs. DAL (Lions)
CIN vs. ATL (Falcons)
NYJ vs. JAX (Jaguars)
PHI vs. TEN (Titans)
CLE vs. OAK (Raiders)
SEA vs. ARZ (Seahawks)
NO vs. NYG (Saints)
SF vs. LAC (Chargers)
BAL vs. PIT (Ravens)
KC vs. DEN (Chiefs)
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