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Cowboys aim to stop Lions defensive front

12/31/2014

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys starting center Travis Frederick had no reaction to the NFL's decision to overturn a one-game suspension on Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The only thing the Pro Bowl center cared about was stopping Suh, whom the Cowboys will face in a NFC wild-card playoff game on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

"It didn’t matter either way; they have a lot of great players on their defense and would have been fine without him, but are also that much better with him on that team," Frederick said after Wednesday's practice. "He's obviously a great player and we had a chance to play him last year a little bit and we’ll go and watch [the film] and watch the film of what he did this year as well."

This season, Suh has 53 tackles with 8 1/2 sacks, four coming in the fourth quarter along with 13 tackles for loss. Suh isn't alone. He's got defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (7 1/2 sacks) helping a defensive line that has 32 of the team's 42 sacks this season.

Nine defensive linemen have recorded at least half a sack this season and the Lions are tied for third in the NFL in tackles for loss on running plays with 26.

The Cowboys are tied for fifth in the league with the most negative runs in the league at 48, despite having the NFL's leading rushing attack.

Stopping the run is a strength of the Lions, as evident by their No. 1 ranking against the run this season.

"It's really hard to specifically double one person because they’re so talented across the board," Frederick said. "You put two people on Suh and there’s Ansah coming of the edge, and you put two people on him and maybe you [Jason] Jones on the other edge. You really need to trust in the protection and trust in the system and hope everything works out."