Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Thursday, September 29, 2011
Five-star answer: 325? Stafford might get 400 yards

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

Five-star question: Will the Cowboys hold Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford under his average of 325.6 yards passing per game?

I don’t see it happening.

No way.

The Lions try to run, but they’re not really committed to it, so the Cowboys’ ability to make them one-dimensional won’t be that big a deal this week.

More important, Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman can’t cover Megatron, also known as Calvin Johnson. Jason Garrett calls him arguably the best player - not just receiver - in the game.

Then there’s tight end Brandon Pettigrew, a constant reminder of the Roy Williams trade, who caught 11 passes last week.

But the biggest reason the Cowboys won’t hold Stafford under his average is that he’s playing great football right now. He can make any throw you want, and he’s averaging 8.28 yards per attempt.

That’s an indication the line is giving him an opportunity to make throws downfield. Minnesota sacked him five times, and he still threw for 378 yards.

The Cowboys’ pass rush was inconsistent against the Redskins, though it was strong in the fourth quarter. Struggle to rush the passer this week, and Stafford might pass for 400 yards.