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Lions’ Pass Catchers Will Provide Big Test for Cowboys’ Defense

The Dallas week 11 opponent is reeling a bit after a 2-0-1 start with wins over the and the , the Detroit Lions have lost five of their last six and now sit in last place in the North at 2-5-1. It’s been a weird season for the Lions and now may play the Dallas Cowboys this week without who’s been playing some of the best football of his career in 2019.

Though Stafford may not be available, the Lions have a plethora of targets for backup Jeff Driskell to throw to.

Wide Receivers Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, T.J. Hockenson, and J.D. McKissic provide Detroit with a bounty of players who will challenge the Cowboys in the .

Rushing & Receiving Table
Game Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece
No. Player Pos G Tgt
Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">19 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Kenny Golladay #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">71 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">38 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">697 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">18.3 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">66 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">4.2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">77.4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">53.5% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9.8
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">11 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Marvin Jones #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">63 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">47 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">612 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">13.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">47 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">5.2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">68.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">74.6% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9.7
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">80 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Danny Amendola #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">wr #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">52 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">35 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">405 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">11.6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">1 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">47 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">4.4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">50.6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">67.3% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">7.8
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">88 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">T.J. Hockenson #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">TE #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">44 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">25 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">343 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">13.7 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">39 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">2.8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">38.1 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">56.8% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">7.8
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">41 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">J.D. McKissic #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">rb #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">24 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">19 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">134 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">7.1 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">1 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">26 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">2.1 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">14.9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">79.2% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">5.6
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row"> #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Team Total #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;"> #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">327 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">214 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">2768 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">12.9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">20 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">66 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">23.8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">307.6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">65.4% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row"> #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Opp Total #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;"> #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;"> #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">205 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">2452 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">12.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">19 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;"> #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">22.8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">272.4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;"> #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/14/2019.

Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are one of the more underrated receiving tandems in the NFL. The Lions are just one of four teams that have two players with at least 600 receiving yards on the season.

Receiving Table
Rk Player Tm Age Pos G GS Tgt Rec Ctch% Yds
Y/R TD R/G Y/G Fmb
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Mike Evans #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">TAM #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">26 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">89 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">54 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">60.7% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">924 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">17.1 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">7 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">6.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">102.7 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">0
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Chris Godwin #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">TAM #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">23 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">84 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">60 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">71.4% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">840 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">14.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">6.7 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">93.3 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">0
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">7 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Julio Jones #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">ATL #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">30 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">83 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">53 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">63.9% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">791 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">14.9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">5.9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">87.9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">1
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">11 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Kenny Golladay #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">DET #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">26 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">71 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">38 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">53.5% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">697 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">18.3 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">4.2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">77.4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">1
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">18 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Jarvis Landry #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">CLE #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">27 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">77 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">45 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">58.4% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">652 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">14.5 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">5.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">72.4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">0
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">19 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Odell Beckham #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">CLE #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">27 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">79 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">44 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">55.7% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">632 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">14.4 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">1 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">4.9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">70.2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">1
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">21 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Marvin Jones #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">DET #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">29 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">WR #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">63 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">47 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">74.6% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">612 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">13.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">5.2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">68.0 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">0
#ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;" scope="row">22 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">Austin Hooper #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">ATL #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">25 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">TE #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">8 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">67 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">56 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">83.6% #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">608 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">10.9 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">6.2 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">67.6 #ccc; padding: 2px 3px 2px 2px; white-space: nowrap;">0
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/14/2019.

Golladay and Jones have been excellent this season. Both have made big plays in the passing game and if you along with Hockenson, Amendola, and McKissic, the Lions have a deep group of pass catchers that could give the Cowboys fits this Sunday.

The Cowboys has been up and down this season in both the run and pass game. They’ve been hit for big plays on both sides of the field and by a variety of positional players through the first nine games of the season. The linebackers have struggled with play-action and in the screen game. has had difficulty finding the ball and giving up big plays. , who is generally one of the better cover corners in the NFL, but had difficulty with Stefon Diggs last week.

The fact that the Lions have so many good players to throw to means they can avoid throwing to Byron Jones’ side of the field and target Awuzie, the Cowboys’ biggest weakness in pass defense. The Lions will be able to mix and match their receiver alignments to put the Cowboys in difficult positions with their scheme. From front to back, everyone will have to stay disciplined in their man and zone coverages to not get beat for any big plays.

The Cowboys may want to scheme some extra help to Chidobe Awuize’s side of the field as he’s struggled to find the ball in 50-50 situations, where Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones excel. The other key will be for , who will likely end up in coverage against Amendola most of the time. He and the linebackers will need to Amendola and McKissic better than they did in the open field as Driskell will likely be forced to dump it off quickly to avoid being affected by the .

11 of Driskel’s 27 completions against the were at or behind the line of scrimmage and 48% of his passing yardage came after the catch. For comparison, in week 10 against the Cowboys, completed eight of his 23 passes at or behind the line of scrimmage and an insane 65% of his yards came after the catch.

The Lions record hasn’t been able to run the ball very effectively this year, even before Kerryon Johnson. They rank 20th in the NFL in total rushing, but fifth in the NFL in passing, so the Cowboys will have to be more disciplined in coverage and have to team tackle to get off the field.

It’s a huge game for the Dallas Cowboys if they want to improve their chances of making the . They don’t have the luxury of dropping a game like this to a team they should absolutely beat. In a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the and with only seven games left of the season, pretty much every game from here on out is a must-win game.

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Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

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