DETROIT – The Dallas Cowboys beat the Detroit Lions 35-27 Sunday as the Lions could not stop Dallas’ offense. Dallas came into this game with the NFL’s top-ranked offense while the Lions were ranked as one of the league’s worst defenses.
Those trends continued with Dallas racking up over 500 yards of offense. The Lions made it look easy for Dallas all day.
Let’s take a closer look at 4 big plays by the Dallas offense and see what went wrong for the Lions defense.
Tony Pollard TD
The Lions defense had done a pretty good job to this point in the game. They forced a turnover and then held Dallas to 3 points. Here, Dallas scores on 3rd and 5 from just outside the red zone.
Dallas has five receivers spread out with Dak Prescott alone in the shotgun. Tony Pollard lines up at the bottom of the screen behind Jason Witten.
At the snap, Witten and the other receivers run deep with the Lions in man coverage while Pollard runs a short crossing route.
The two defenders lined up over Witten and Pollard (Jahlani Tavai and Rashaan Melvin) seem to have a miscommunication on who’s going with Pollard because he ends up being wide open.
Also opening space for Pollard is Justin Coleman rushing the QB off the edge.
The Lions don’t get pressure, Dak Prescott makes an easy throw for the first down and Pollard does the rest, making Tracy Walker miss a tackle on his way to the endzone.
Michael Gallup catch
This is another big play by Dallas on 3rd down.
Dallas again comes out with a spread look, this time with 4 wideouts and Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield. The Lions play man coverage with two safeties.
Mike Ford is guarding Michael Gallup 1-on-1 up top. Prescott is probably looking to this matchup pre-snap.
The Lions rush their four defensive lineman and Prescott has time. He first looks to his left, where Amari Cooper is running a crossing route. That brings one of the two deep safeties down, leaving space up top for Gallup.
Dak throws it deep and Gallup makes an impressive catch, even while being interfered with.
It ends up as a 41-yard gain and pushes the Cowboys towards another touchdown.
Randall Cobb TD
Another spread look for the Cowboys here. They have three receivers, including Cobb in the slot, at the top.
The Lions are in man coverage per usual. Justin Coleman is lined up over Cobb with Will Harris as the lone safety shaded towards Amari Cooper at the bottom of the screen.
Cobb runs a post route beating Coleman to the inside. Harris drifts away from the middle of the field leaving Dak Prescott room to find Cobb, who gets into the endzone.
Zeke screen TD
Dallas has three receivers to the bottom of the screen with tight end Jason Witten split out up top.
Dak is in the shotgun with Zeke Elliott to his right.
The Lions blitz, with Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin coming off the corners.
It’s a great throw by Dak and a better catch by Zeke who turns up field to see only one defender with blockers in front of him.
He makes one move with a little help from Witten and scores, putting the Cowboys up 35-27 after a two-point conversion.