Gameday Matchups: Cowboys vs Lions

Key matchups to watch for during Sunday's battle between Lions & Cowboys.

Joey Harrington vs. Cowboys defense  

A defense filled with great up-and-coming players as well as solid veterans versus a very very young quarterback without his star receiver. Sounds real fair, doesn't it? The advantage is definately in Dallas' corner. I don't see Joey having a whole lot of success here. Where Joey goes, this team goes from here on out, especially without Rogers in the lineup. That pretty much means this offense won't be going very far this week.  

Detroit Pass rush vs. Dallas Offensive line  

If Detroit has a shot in this game, it will be because they can keep Quincy Carter contained and sack him a few times. The Cowboys will key in on the weak defensive secondary of the Lions, and there is no way to hide a bad corner. They have to compensate for that somewhere else, and that's the pass rush. Robert Porcher, James Hall, and Kalimba Edwards all have to play well. Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson have both looked good and should once again give the ends some opportunities, they just have to cash in. If Detroit blitzes with the linebackers and don't use them to cover, Carter may escape the pocket and throw it long. That usually results in six points for the opposition.

Bill Parcells vs. Steve Mariucci  

A lot of Detroit fans see Bill Parcells having immediate success this year and wonder why he couldn't have landed in Detroit. Fans don't always use an objective scope when looking at things like that, so putting aside the fact that the two teams are vastly different, if Steve Mariucci makes a bad call and Parcells makes a great one, watch for Lions fans to key in on it. Nobody is more under the microscope than the Lions in Detroit right now, not until Dominic Hasek performs in the playoffs for the Red Wings. Harrington and Mariucci will be scrutinized until next year's kickoff, and this is just the game to add fuel to the fire.

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