FBG says: Great matchup. The Dallas Cowboys' rushing attack is centered entirely around running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott has recorded 4 consecutive 20-carry games, playing over 80-percent of the Cowboys' offensive snaps in each game. Running behind one of the NFL's strongest offensive lines, Elliott's efficiency numbers have been strong for most of the season, eclipsing 100-yards on the ground in 3 out of the last 4. A Sunday night matchup with the Minnesota Vikings last weekend bottled-up Ezekiel Elliott for just 47 rushing yards, but a softer matchup against the Detroit Lions this weekend should foster a more friendly rushing environment. Elliott is one of the few true bell-cow running backs in the NFL that rarely leaves the field and commands a significant workload on the ground each week. Expect the Cowboys' to feed Elliott early and often against the Lions this week in a favorable matchup against the Lions' struggling defensive-front.
Last year, under head coach Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions prided themselves on their strong run defense. This season, however, the Lions field one of the league's weakest run defenses. The Lions are facing high-volume rushing attacks on a weekly basis, and they're allowing 4.6 yards per carry on the year, the 23rd-best mark in the NFL. Detroit's struggles start in the trenches, where Damon Harrison and A'Shawn Robinson, two previously elite run-stoppers, have regressed from elite levels to merely league-average in 2019. The Lions desperately need these two to return to their 2018 levels this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys' elite offensive line. Then, at the second level, Detroit's linebackers have struggled mightily in run-support this season, with all three of Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, and Jahlani Tavani struggling to fill the gaps and finish tackles this season. So far in 2019, the Lions have allowed 4 different backfields to eclipse 100-yards on the ground. Expect Ezekiel Elliott to approach that mark this weekend in a high-volume game on the ground, escorted by the second-best offensive line in the NFL, according to FootballGuys' Matt Bitonti.