Five things to watch in Cowboys-Lions matchup

Posted Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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1Walking the talk

Dez Bryant made headlines last week when he compared himself to Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, saying he could do the same things. Once they created a stir nationally, Bryant tried to back off his comments. But Bryant has the opportunity to live up to his words this weekend as he tries to prove he’s as good as the man known as Megatron.

2Turnover battle

The importance of winning the turnover battle goes without saying in the NFL, and the Cowboys have won it in three of their four wins and were even in their victory against St. Louis. Forcing fumbles and interceptions is something that has been preached by defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin from Day 1, and it will continue to be key to the Cowboys’ success. Through seven games, they have forced 15 turnovers compared with only 16 all of last season.

3Murray’s return?

Running back DeMarco Murray missed last week’s game with a sprained knee and is listed as questionable for this week. He went through three limited practices, and there is optimism that he will be healthy enough to play. Murray has averaged 15 carries and four catches per game when he’s played. If he is not deemed healthy enough to play, Joseph Randle will make his second consecutive start.

4Contain Bush

Just like last week against Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, the Cowboys’ defense has its hands full again this week against Reggie Bush, the Lions’ versatile back. They know Bush is an elusive back who can make things happen in open space, so closing on him quickly will be essential. That, of course, is easier said than done.

5Homecoming debut

Rookie free agent Jeff Heath is set to start at safety in place of J.J. Wilcox, who injured his knee in practice Thursday. It will be the first professional start for Heath, and it comes in his home state of Michigan. He grew up near Lake Orion and went to college at Saginaw Valley State, about 90 minutes northwest of Detroit. He’ll have 80 family and friends in attendance as he tries to slow down Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ passing game.

— Drew Davison

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