Looking Ahead

Bryan McCann turned the game around with this surprising TD in the Cowboys' 35-19 win last year.

WHAT: Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys *
WHEN: *Sunday, Oct. 2, Noon (CST), FOX *
WHERE: *Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

SERIES: Cowboys lead series 13-10

Matchup Worth Watching:
Other than the Cowboys' trying to block the two defensive tackles, someone will have to hold his own against Lions superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson. While Andre Johnson in Houston is considered the No. 1 wideout in football, Calvin can't be too far behind. He's a terrible matchup for single coverage because there aren't many 6-4 corners with speed. The Cowboys certainly don't have any. Whether it's Terence Newman or Mike Jenkins, or possibly a free agent addition, they will have their hands full with trying to stop, or even contain Johnson.

Lions' Draft Review:
The Lions likely received a ton of high grades for their last draft, which often happens when a team picks high-profile players, especially from well-known schools. So drafting Fairley at No. 13, despite his fall from once being a projected first-overall pick, is considered a "value" selection. The same goes with players such as Boise State wide receiver Titus Young and Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure - both second-round picks. To do all of that, the Lions only had two more draft picks from rounds 3-7. Obviously it's a top-heavy draft for Detroit, but the Lions at least came away with skill players with projected talent.

Last Meeting:
In a game between the 2-7 Cowboys and 3-6 Lions, it was a struggle for nearly three quarters until cornerback Bryan McCann, who provided a game-changing interception return just a week earlier to beat the Giants, turned in another unbelievable play when he alertly scooped up a punt that had been touched by a Lions player trying to down the ball inside the Cowboys' 5. Knowing the rules and that the Cowboys would retain possession regardless of whether he kept control of the ball or not, McCann got the ball, turned up the sideline and went 97 yards for a touchdown, giving the Cowboys a comfortable lead they wouldn't relinquish. Kitna torched his former team with 18-of-24 passing and three touchdowns, along with a 29-yard rushing score, the longest of his career in the 35-19 win.

One To Remember:
En route to the team's first Super Bowl appearance, the 1970 Cowboys advanced past the Lions in the NFC East Divisional round at a cold afternoon at the Cotton Bowl. Dallas would outlast a gritty Lions team in a defensive struggle, advancing to the NFC Championship Game with a 5-0 victory. The Lions managed just 156 total yards of offense and had three turnovers, while Duane Thomas ran for 135 yards for the Cowboys, who would then beat San Francisco the following week, to advance to Super Bowl V against the Baltimore Colts.

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