Week 17 Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys

Lions Week 17 Preview

The Detroit Lions are coming off a division-clinching win over the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday, while the Cowboys are coming off a loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday.

Detroit Lions 11-4 (1st Place in NFC North) vs. Dallas Cowboys 10-5 (2nd Place in NFC East)

Date: Saturday, December 30
Time:  8:15 p.m. EST
TV Channel: ABC/ESPN
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Line: Cowboys -6.0 / O/U: 53.5

2023 Season Stats


2023 Offense P/G (League Rank) 
Total Yards: 394.1 (3)
Passing Yards: 253.0 (5)
Rushing Yards: 141.1 (3)
2023 Defense (League Rank) 
Total Yards Allowed: 320.9 (15)
Passing Yards Allowed: 234.9 (23)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 90.6 (4)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 27.5 (5)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 23.7 (24)


2023 Offense (per game averages) 
Total Yards: 366.2 (6)
Passing Yards: 251.0 (6)
Rushing Yards: 115.2 (12)
2023 Defense (per game averages) 
Total Yards Allowed: 299.7 (7)
Passing Yards Allowed: 184.0 (5)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 115.7 (19)
2023 Cumulative Points Scored: 30.1 (2)
2023 Cumulative Points Allowed: 19.1 (5)

Series History/All-Time Records

All-time head-to-head record: Dallas Leads 18-12-0
Current streak: Dallas has won five straight
Last Detroit win: 10/27/2013 (31-30)
Last Dallas win: 10/23/2022 (24-6)

2023 Top Players

Detroit Lions

Passing: Jared Goff – 365-539, 3984 yards, 27-10 (TD-INT)
Rushing: David Montgomery – 195 ATT, 910 YDS, 11 TD
Receiving: Amon-Ra St. Brown – 106 REC, 1281 YDS, 8 TD
Tackles: Alex Anzalone – 112 (72-40)
Sacks: Aidan Hutchinson – 6.5
Interceptions: Kerby Joseph – 4


Passing: Dak Prescott – 353-516, 3892 YDS, 30-7 (TD-INT)
Rushing: Tony Pollard – 219 ATT, 886 YDS, 5 TD
Receiving: CeeDee Lamb – 109 REC, 1424 YDS, 9 TD
Tackles: Damone Clark – 101 (64-37)
Sacks: Micah Parsons – 13
Interceptions: DaRon Bland – 8

Lions Players To Watch:

Offense: Running Back – Jahmyr Gibbs

Gibbs was the player to watch this week and will be again this week as the Lions will need him in this matchup as they are going up against the 19th-ranked rush defense in the league. The passing game may be tough to solve, as the Cowboys rank fifth in the league in that category. Gibbs is now averaging 76.5 yards a game over the last four and 6.8 yards a carry over those four games; they will need his explosive play-making abilities if they want to come out on top over the Cowboys.

Defense: Defensive Back – Ifeatu Melifonwu

Melifonwu, over the last two games, has been all over the field and been a vital part of this defense in those wins over Denver and Minnesota. In those two games combined, he has 14 total tackles and three sacks with an interception. He will need to keep that same intensity against the Cowboys offense, which ranks sixth in all of football.

Bottom Line: Detroit Lions Looking at the Second Seed

The Detroit Lions have won their first division title since 1993 and will be, at worst, a three-seed in the playoffs, so they’ll host a playoff game at Ford Field in the first round. There is more at stake with the one seed still in play, but the Lions have a chance against Dallas with a win to control the two seed and potentially have a second home playoff game if they advance past the first round. This game will not be easy, as Dallas has been a great team all season, but the Lions have turned things around in recent weeks and will look to spoil this one for the Cowboys.


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