The Lions have won nine of the last 16 regular season meetings against the Cowboys but Dallas holds the series edge, 12-10.
The Lions overcame a 24-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Dallas 34-30 in 2011. The win was the second consecutive 20-plus-point comeback that season, becoming the first team in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
A LOOK AT THE STATS
|Points per game||26.6 (8)||28.6 (3)|
|Total yards per game||386.1 (7)||352.4 (13)|
|Rushing yards||91.7 (21)||83.3 (24)|
|Passing yards||294.7 (5)||269.1 (8)|
|Points allowed||23.9 (21)||22.1 (16)|
|Total yards allowed||397.1 (31)||393.9 (29)|
|Rushing yards allowed||115.1 (23)||102.0 (13)|
|Passing yards allowed||282.0 (28)||291.9 (30)|
|Turnover ratio||+5 (7t)||+5 (7t)|
BY THE NUMBERS
67.9: Passer rating for Dallas quarterback Tony Romo on third down, which ranks 23rd in the NFL.
29.9: Percent conversion rate on third down for opposing offenses against the Lions defense. The Lions are the No. 2 third-down defense in the NFL allowing a conversion on just 26 of 87 attempts.
1: Turnover forced by the Lions defense in their losses this season.
CB Chris Houston vs. WR Dez Bryant
Houston declined to talk to reporters this week, instead wanting his play today to do the talking.
The Lions need his play to talk loud and clear against one of the league's best in Bryant today.
Houston needs to get his confidence back. Facing the league's third-best offense is a good opportunity to do so.
The Cowboys did a good job against LeSean McCoy last week, holding the Eagles' running back to 55 yards on 18 carries.
The Lions rank 21st in the NFL in rushing at 91.7 yards per game, but that number plunges to 63.3 in their three losses.
The Lions are best on offense when they get some explosion plays from the run game to keep defenses honest.
The trench war
Dallas is down to mostly backups on the defensive line, as its top three pass rushers -- DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer and Tyrone Crawford -- are out with injuries.
Defensively, the Lions front has failed to significantly impact the game in their three losses. The Cowboys have allowed 16 sacks on the season, but the Lions defense has just 13 in seven games.
When two teams are as closely matched at the Lions and Cowboys, the difference between a win and a loss usually comes down to turnovers and quarterback play.
The Cowboys have allowed 400-plus-passing yard performances to Eli Manning (450 yards), Peyton Manning (414) and Philip Rivers (401) this season.
The Lions rank 28th vs. the pass and have given up five pass plays of 40-plus yards and two 80-plus-yard plays already this season.
Romo has thrown more interceptions (3) than touchdowns (2) the last two weeks, but the Cowboys have won both games vs. Washington and at Philadelphia.
Fauria leads all NFL rookies with five touchdowns, but had just one catch in an expanded role last week. Can he make more of an impact this week?
Suh leads the Lions with 3.5 sacks and needs to have a big impact today. Suh's pressures have lead to two interceptions this year. Even when he isn't recording sacks, his pressure is making an impact.
The Lions have to limit the big plays on defense. Quin and fellow safety
OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: COWBOYS
Jason Witten, TE:
His 841 catches rank second all-time by a tight end. Since 2007, he has 589 catches, most by an NFL tight end. He's Romo's security blanket.
Terrance Williams, WR:
He aims for his fourth game in a row with a touchdown. The rookie has emerged as a legitimate No. 2 option on the outside for Romo. Williams has 380 receiving yards, most by any NFC rookie.
Jason Hatcher, DT:
Has three sacks over his past two games and is second in the NFC with six sacks on the year.