Gut Feeling

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Gut Feeling: Staff Predictions For Cowboys-Lions

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Most games usually have a ton of storylines attached to it. But there's really only one for this game: the return of Dak Prescott.

Sure, the Lions will bring in a former Cowboys player in Dan Campbell as their coach. They've got a high-powered offense for a team that is only 1-4, but at the end of the day, it's all about how Dak plays in his return.

The DallasCowboys.com staff gives their 'gut feeling' for Sunday's matchup at AT&T Stadium.

Patrik Walker: You can call it a trap game if you like, but I fail to see how it would be one. This isn't like the 2021 season when the Cowboys were on a six-game win streak before losing to a visiting Broncos club that had a solid defense. It's a team in Dallas that is only days removed from dropping a gut-wrencher to the hated Eagles in Philadelphia and on prime time, and they've had an angry energy every single day since.

And, in comparing them to the Broncos, this Lions team has a defense that is far worse by every measurable standard and that gives Dak Prescott a better chance at hitting the ground running in his return from injury, along with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard literally doing that very thing: hit the ground running against a porous run defense from Detroit. Follow that formula and task the defense with cleaning up the errors from a week ago and a potentially high-scoring Lions offense can be shut down for a second consecutive game; leaving Prescott to pick the remaining meat from their bones. 27-10, Cowboys

Nick Eatman: All week long, I've predicted this game to be a little closer than most people think. The official line is around 7 points, with the Cowboys favored. But I'm still seeing a little closer game than that. But this game is going to come down to how the first quarter is played. If the Cowboys can avoid any rust from Dak Prescott and get off to a good start, the Lions might be in trouble. They won't be able to stick to the run like they'll want to. The last thing they want is Micah Parsons teeing off on Jared Goff. I see the Lions coming in with Dan Campbell and playing good football for a while. Eventually, the Cowboys will pull away. I've got two new players scoring touchdowns this week – maybe Dalton Schultz and hmm.. why not KaVontae Turpin? This seems like a game in which Turpin finally gets one to the house, one way or another. I've got it being close, but the Cowboys are the better team and they'll win it, 28-23.

Hailey Sutton: I think Sunday's matchup has the recipe for a trap game – starting quarterback coming back from injury after a loss to a divisional rival, while playing host to a team that has struggled to keep opposing offenses from scoring this season and as of late, not been considered a threat in the NFL. BUT, I also think the bigger opportunity here is for the Cowboys to show what they're made of. Cooper Rush laid the foundation, and now it's up to Dak to come back and command the offense like we know he can. He's got the tools – Michael Gallup is back in action, CeeDee Lamb finding his stride at WR1 plus a veteran running game that's also found ways to be impactful this season. His last time out, Prescott threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns, and has never lost the Lions in his career. I'm expecting a big game for Dak in his return, and I think this will be a big win for Dallas, both on the scoreboard and for morale. Give me Dallas 35-10.

Mickey Spagnola: Not going to let Detroit's 1-4 record influence my thoughts on this game, since this team very well could be 4-1. Nor allowing the Lions' 29-0 loss to New England in their most recent game cloud my opinion, since head coach Dan Campbell turned into Dan Gamble in that game, going for it on six fourth down attempts – all failures – with four of those in definite field-goal range when might have totaled 12 points, and one of those failures turning into a sack/fumble/TD return. Having said that, and knowing Detroit's penchant for running the ball, something the Cowboys defense has struggled with, let's go Cowboys 26, Lions 19 in Dak's first game back.

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