The Dallas Cowboys are heading into the NFL playoffs as the hottest team in the league. They finished the year 4-0 and have avergaed over 41 points per game over that span. The Detroit Lions do have a great defense but recently have given up 30+ points to the Patriots and Packers. Detroit is lucky enough to have Ndamukong Suh this weekend who was originally suspended but won his appeal.
We will see the number 2 run game in the NFL go up against the best run defense on Sunday. DeMarco Murray who ran for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns, will face the Lions defense who allowed just 69 yards per game on the ground. It should be an interesting matchup to watch, but I believe the Cowboys offense line will do enough to create holes for Murray to make plays. I do not see Murray running for 150 yards but 20 carries for 85 yards is very realistic. Also, although he might not see too many snaps, Joseph Randle is a talented backup to Murray. He only saw 51 carries on the season for 343 yards (6.7 avg) and scored 3 touchdowns.
As if containing Murray wasn't enough of a headache, Detriot will have to figure out how to stop Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Bryant finished the year with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a league leading 16 touchdowns. Bryant has scored 6 touchdowns in his last 3 games and 10 in his last 7. He's healthy and playing the best football of his career.
A healthy Dez Bryant means a successful Tony Romo. Romo has a terrific season, throwing for 3,705 yards with 34 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. In the final 4 games of the season, Romo threw 12 touchdowns and just 1 interception.
When Romo, Bryant and Murray are all playing at a high level, nobody can stop this Cowboys offense. Dallas also has other quality weapons like a guy named Jason Witten who will be in the hall of fame one day, and Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley are play makers as well.
Matthew Stafford in my opinion had a very disappointing season. With the additions of Golden Tate (99 receptions, 1,331 yards and 4 TDs) and Eric Ebron, I really thought Stafford would be a top 5 QB in the league this season. However he almost took a step back. Stafford threw for 4,257 yards but only 22 touchdowns and was picked off 12 times. Yes Calvin Johnson (71 receptions, 1,077 yards and 8 TDs) did battle some injuries throughout the season but even at 75% he's a top 10 WR in this league.
Stafford will need to be at his best on Sunday and find ways to get the ball into Johnson and Tate's hands. The Cowboys have one of the worst secondaries in the league, allowing 252 yards a game and Stafford needs to exploit that.
Detroit has a mediocre run game at best. Joique Bell and Reggie Bush are talented but neither one of them average 4 yards per carry. Bell will get the majority of the carries as Bush will be mainly used in the passing game but Bell has fumbled the ball 5 times so that is always a concern for Detroit.
The Lions have only averaged 19 points per game over their last 3 weeks and that simply will not get it done, with the Cowboys averaging over 40 in their last 4.
This could be the first time Romo is playing in a meaningful game and he's not the QB that people are questioning. Stafford has been known to make some really bad plays and turn it over in costly situations and for that reason I believe the Cowboys win this one easily.
Give me the Cowboys at -7 and the over of 48.