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Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys Picks and Predictions NFL Week 17

Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys NFL Week 17 Game Picks and Predictions for Saturday, December 30, 2023 at 8:15pm et.

Lions vs Cowboys:

When: 8:15 PM ET, Saturday, December 30, 2023
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Unbeatable at home this season, the Dallas Cowboys are leaning on that positive with the newly crowned NFC North champion Detroit Lions coming to town Saturday night.

“We’ve been talking about getting to the 11th win and we’re still not there,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think this will be our biggest challenge of the year. Just based on what we’ve seen on video. I think this is gonna be a heck of a game.”

The Cowboys (10-5) were thumped at Buffalo 31-10 on Dec. 17, then lost on a game-ending field goal at Miami, 22-20, on Sunday. They’ve already clinched a playoff berth but trail Philadelphia by a game in the NFC East with two games remaining and are now off the pace of the top teams in the conference — including the Lions — vying for home-field advantage.

Detroit (11-4) locked up the NFC North by defeating the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Lions are tied with San Francisco and the Eagles for the conference’s best record. The 49ers hold the tiebreaker, but if they stumble, Detroit could grab the top seed and a first-round bye.

“We look at it as two teams potentially fighting for the No. 2 seed,” McCarthy said of Saturday’s showdown. “We can’t control what goes on in Philadelphia or these other places. We just want to be better than we were last week.”

The Cowboys loss at Miami was the team’s fifth on the road this season. But they have been dominant in home games, scoring 30 or more points in all seven.

“We’ve been able to get into a rhythm early and be able to just keep your foot on the gas. The crowds have been great,” McCarthy said.

The Lions have road wins against Kansas City, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans and last week at Minnesota.

Dallas’ offense has stalled the past two games. Dak Prescott was limited to 134 passing yards by the Bills.

The Cowboys scored only 10 points in the first three quarters against the Dolphins, and Prescott was sacked four times as the health of Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith (back) and right guard Zack Martin (knee) create challenges for the Cowboys. Smith was limited in practice on Thursday and listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.

In the team’s home games, Prescott has completed 74 percent of his passing attempts with 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

“I tell you what, they’re a very explosive team,” Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said. “They have been on a tear at home, especially starting the game. That’s one of the keys for their team in general. That allows that defense to get going, which is something you don’t want to do.”

Detroit quarterback Jared Goff has thrown for six touchdowns without an interception the past two weeks.

Dallas has returned five interceptions for touchdowns, and Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson believes that avoiding 3rd-and-long situations will be a key element.

Micah Parsons, who has 13 sacks but only 1 1/2 the past four games, leads the Dallas pass rush.

“You turn on their third-down tape and it’s just a party at the quarterback for 3rd-and-5 plus,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty special what they can accomplish with their pass rush. Micah is a huge part of the issues that we are encountering here this week.”

The Cowboys ruled out defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (knee, ankle) and running back Rico Dowdle (ankle) on Thursday.

The Lions, in turn, ruled out safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (pectoral), linebacker James Houston (ankle), tight end Brock Wright (hip) and listed cornerback Cam Sutton (toe) as questionable.

–Field Level Media

Free NFL Picks and Predictions:

For this Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys Saturday Night Football game, I’m rolling with the Cowboys First Half -3 (-125)

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