When Nick Fairley fell to Detroit in April's draft, their selection of the Auburn defensive tackle served notice to teams across the NFC that the Lions' interior line could be something to fear.
With Fairley, one of the most disruptive players in college football last year, teamed up next to the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Ndamukong Suh, the Lions have the potential for the best tandem of defensive tackles in the league in years to come. However, the recovery from foot surgery during training camp has been slow-going for Fairley, and NFL.com reports the Lions are not expecting him to play against the Cowboys on Sunday.
The Lions have a pretty formidable tackle playing alongside Suh, anyway, in veteran Corey Williams, formerly of the Browns. Kyle Vanden Bosch is the team's sacks leader on the outside, with 3.0 on the year, one ahead of Sug.
Even without Fairley, the Lions are doing something very right on defense.
Along with the Cowboys, they're one of only three teams ranking in the top 10 both offensively and defensively, and currently have allowed the third-fewest points per game in the league, 15.3.