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Big Picture: 10 Storylines for Cowboys & Lions  


The Cowboys are experiencing a two-game losing streak for the first time in two seasons after a tough loss to the Dolphins. But returning home might be the cure, considering they're a perfect 7-0 this year. With Jimmy Johnston going into the Ring of Honor at halftime, it should be quite a scene at AT&T Stadium on Saturday night. The Lions are one of the best teams in the NFC at 11-4 and are eyeing a potential No. 1 seed in the conference.

Here are the 10 big storylines for the week, with five for the Lions and five for the Cowboys.


  • The Lions have clinched the NFC North with an 11-4 record and currently sit in a three-way tie for the best record in the NFC, along with the 49ers and Eagles. Detroit obviously still has plenty to play for this week with a chance at the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye on the table. The Lions have won two straight games, including a 30-24 win over the Vikings on the road last Sunday to clinch their first division title in 30 years.
  • The Cowboys should recognize a few members of the Lions' coaching staff, headlined by their head coach Dan Campbell, who played tight end for the team from 2003-05. Campbell was a veteran on Bill Parcells' first three teams and helped groom Jason Witten to begin his career. Campbell has surrounded himself with several former NFL players on the staff, including defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who played in Dallas from 2005-06. Glenn is leading a Lions defense that features Aiden Hutchinson, the former No. 2 overall pick in 2022. Hutchinson leads the Lions with 6.5 sacks.
  • Jared Goff has engineered a Lions offense that ranked third in the NFL with year, averaging 394.1 yards per game. In his first two years in Detroit, Goff totaled just 12 wins for the Lions but already has 11 this year.
  • The Lions have a 1-2 punch at running back as the only team in the NFL with two runners with at least 850 rushing yards. David Montgomery leads with team with 910 rushing yards, ranked seventh in the NFL but not far behind is rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, who has 872 rushing yards to lead all rookies this season.
  • One of the players the Cowboys targeted coming out of the draft last April was Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta, who went to the Lions in the second round. LaPorta is having an outstanding rookie year, with 74 catches, the most by any rookie in the NFL this year. He also has 776 yards and nine touchdowns, becoming much more than just a security blanket for Jared Goff and the Lions offense.


  • For the first time since 2021, the Cowboys have lost two straight games, dropping to 10-5, and a game behind the Eagles for the NFC East race. The Cowboys are going back to AT&T Stadium, where they have a shot to finish 8-0 at home as the only undefeated home team in the NFL this year. The Cowboys need a win over the Lions to keep pace with the Eagles. A win on Saturday would give them a chance to catch the Eagles in Week 18, although Philly would have to lose at the Giants, coupled with a Cowboys win over the Commanders. That scenario would put both the Cowboys and Eagles at 12-5, giving Dallas the tiebreaker edge based off of division record.
  • Not that this matters to the actual game, but perhaps to the atmosphere and the crowd, but Jimmy Johnson being inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime should create quite a buzz at AT&T Stadium. Johnson, who led the Cowboys to two Super Bowls in 1992-93, will be the second head coach in team history inducted into the Ring, along with Tom Landry. Johnson and Jerry Jones have had a very tumultuous relationship over the years since they mutually parted ways after the 1993 season, with many wondering if this day would ever happen. For many fans, they view Johnson not being in the Ring of Honor as a form of "curse" for the team not being in the Super Bowl since 1995.
  • The Cowboys had a noticeable absence on the left side of the line last week with Tyron Smith out with a back injury. Chuma Edoga struggled at times, especially in communication, failing to block Dolphins' edge rusher Bradley Chubb on two occasions in the second half. Smith "has a chance" to play this week, according to head coach Mike McCarthy, who put defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (ankle) in the same category.
  • Micah Parsons has been rather vocal about the fact has hasn't picked up a holding call since Week 6 of the regular season. Parsons had several plays against the Dolphins where it appeared he was getting held but with no call. Parsons has 13.0 sacks this year, needing one more to set a career-high and surpass last year's total of 13.5. McCarthy said on Tuesday that he doesn't sense Parsons' frustration as affecting his preparation for the game.
  • Currently third on the Cowboys' all-time list, CeeDee Lamb is expected to break the team's single-season record for catches this week. He's sitting at 109 receptions, one behind Jason Witten (110 in 2012) and Michael Irvin (111 in 1995). Lamb is also third in team history in receiving yards in a season with 1,424, behind two from Irvin, who had 1,523 yards and 1,603 yards, the single-season record.

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