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Quick Take: Lions at Cowboys

12/29/2014



GREEN BAY, Wis. – Three things to know about Sunday's Detroit Lions-Dallas Cowboys wild-card playoff game at AT&T Stadium:

1. Familiar faces: Although the Lions and Cowboys didn’t play this season, there will be a lot of familiar coaching ties for Detroit on the sideline. Former Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan spent 2009-2013 with Detroit, including mentoring Matthew Stafford through the first five years of his career. He led Dallas to the No. 8 offense this season. The Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, Rod Marinelli, was Detroit’s head coach from 2006-2008 and has coordinated the NFL’s No. 20 defense this season.

2. Calvin vs. Carr could be interesting: When these teams played last season at Ford Field, Dallas chose to single-cover Calvin Johnson with Brandon Carr for most of the game, and it resulted in a 14-catch, 329-yard performance from Johnson in a 31-30 Lions victory. How Dallas chooses to cover Johnson and Golden Tate could be one of the more intriguing matchups.

3. Dallas is hot right now: The Cowboys have scored 31 or more points in six of the past seven games, including more than 40 points in three of the past four. The Lions will also have to contend with the NFL’s leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, who finished the regular season with 1,845 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. To put Murray’s season in context, the Lions gained 1,422 yards rushing as a team this season. Of course, Murray will also have to face the NFL’s top run defense.