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5 things to watch: Lions at Cowboys

The Detroit Lions are in Dallas today to take on the Cowboys in a crucial game for the Lions to try and jump start their season after a 1-4 start before last week's bye. What did head coach Dan Campbell and his staff come up with over the bye week to get this football team playing better ball, especially defensively?

Here's a look at five things I'll have my eye on later today at AT&T Stadium:


In just their second seasons, Sewell and Parsons have become two of the top players at their respective positions, and could see quite a bit of each other later today in pass-rush situations.

Parsons' 6.0 sacks leads a Cowboys defense that's tops in the NFL with 24.0 sacks coming into today. Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said Parsons might be the best defensive player in the league right now.

Sewell has become one of the best right tackles in football. He's given up just a half sack all season.

Parsons moves around quite a bit in Dallas' defense, but he'll no-doubt find himself across from Sewell often Sunday and the winner of the matchup will go a long way in determining the winning team.


It's expected that rookie second-round pick Josh Paschal will make his NFL debut later today after missing the first five games after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia injury. Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn mentioned Paschal this week as one of the players he's looking at to make a difference for the defense coming out of the bye.

Paschal is a versatile defender that's expected to give the Lions some pass rush from the interior. It's unclear how much he'll play today, but second-round picks are expected to be impact players and we get our first look at Paschal today.


It was an offensive clunker for the Lions Week 5 in New England. The offense, which came into that contest averaging 35.0 points per game, was shut out against the Patriots. They turned the ball over twice and just looked a bit out of sorts. Every offensive player views the performance as an anomaly.

They've had to sit on that performance for two weeks because of the bye week and are anxious to get back on the field and prove Week 5 isn't them. Detroit's offense comes into today ranked third in points scored (28.0), second in total offense (411.8), eighth in rushing (151.4) and seventh in passing offense (260.4).

The Cowboys have the NFL's third best defense in points allowed (16.3) and they are eighth in total defense (304.2). Can the offense get back on track against a really good Dallas front seven?


Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is expected to make his first start since injuring the thumb in his throwing hand Week 1. The injury required surgery and he's been out the last five weeks. Credit backup Cooper Rush for holding down the fort while Prescott was on the mend and helping Dallas to a 4-2 record, but with Prescott back under center the Cowboys' offense is a little more explosive.

Dallas can push the ball down the field more with Prescott, and he also gives them some playmaking ability with his legs, but will there be any rust having been out more than a month?

View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Friday, October 21, 2022.


Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn says he feels really good about some of the scheme and personnel changes the Lions came up with on defense over the bye. Glenn said it was also a good time to reflect on his performance, and he's better for that reflection.

The defense played much better against New England Week 5 before the bye – 22 points allowed – and they'll have to continue that upward trend if this football team is going to climb out of the hole they created for themselves with the 1-4 start. This is a potent Cowboys' offense, particularly running the football, and if the Lions are going to come out of Dallas with a win today they have to be better stopping the run.

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