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Week 11 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 35, Detroit Lions 27


What you need to know

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas exploited a prime matchup to the tune of 35 points, which included missed early opportunities in what could have been a historic performance by the offense. Amari Cooper was held in check by the Lions lone defender of note, Darius Slay, with shadow duty, but Randall Cobb and Michael Gallup carved the Detroit secondary for more than 100 yards each. Amari Cooper limped off the field multiple times as he has played dinged up through much of the season. Ezekiel Elliott was held in check as a runner for the second consecutive week but did find the end zone twice, once as a receiver, for the first time since Week 7. Tony Pollard continues to flash with any expanded opportunity as a simmering talent if needed for starter touches in the future.

Detroit Lions

Jeff Driskel started in place of an injured Matthew Stafford in a loss to the Cowboys on Sunday. Driskel is a more mobile and less polished passer in the offense than Stafford, which allows the offense to continue to move, but the production to translate into more running stats for Driskel at the expense of passing yards. Marvin Jones scored two touchdowns and continues to be the best passing game weapon at the receiver position while Bo Scarbrough was the clear lead running back on the ground, including a touchdown and a second near-miss.

Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 46 - 444 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 18 - 0
Prescott enjoyed a third game this season over 400 passing yards against the exploitable Detroit defense. Prescott had a clean performance with no turnovers, posting 35 points on offense, but did have two mistakes with a red zone sack and a near-interception on an early third down. While they dominated the game at times on offense, the Lions were within reach due to empty drives. Prescott targeted Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb with ease throughout the game as Amari Cooper was dinged up and shadowed by Detroit’s lone defender of note, Darius Slay. Prescott found Gallup on a perfect deep ball for a long gain and a post touchdown to Cobb during an impressive close to the first half, including 322 total yards for Dallas. Prescott enjoyed great protection overall by the offensive line and a rare pressure in the second half resulted in Prescott shedding a tackle attempt for a dump-off completion. Prescott’s rushing stat line was muted against the Lions but did add a notable third-down run to convert and a red zone scramble down to the goal line.

RB Ezekiel Elliott, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 45 - 1, Rec: 2 - 28 - 1 (3 targets)
Elliott had an ominous start against the Lions with an opening carry lost fumble, his second of the season. Elliott was held in check as a runner but excelled as a receiver in his limited opportunities as Dallas were nearly unstoppable through the air. Elliott’s most notable sequence on the ground included nearly scoring on a red zone carry, down at the goal line, before churning in for the point-blank score on the following play. Through the air, Elliott picking up a target from his cleat tops and Dallas’ well-blocked screen pass beat the blitz to rumble for the red zone touchdown, Elliott’s first of the season as a receiver.

RB Tony Pollard, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 12 - 0, Rec: 4 - 44 - 1 (4 targets)
Pollard flashed with big plays for the first time since his Week 3 explosion for 128 yards. Pollard showed his speed for more than 10 yards on a jet sweep and a nice cutback on another run. Pollard came wide open on a reception, breaking a tackle on his way for a chunk touchdown. Pollard also added a two-point conversion and quality kickoff return against the Lions to round out his contributions. Pollard has massive upside if pressed into the starting role in Ezekiel Elliott should miss time.

WR Michael Gallup, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 148 - 0 (13 targets)
Gallup led Dallas in targets and yards in their impressive offensive showing and win over the Lions. With Amari Cooper absorbing Darius Slay’s coverage, Gallup feasted with three receptions in the first 10 minutes of the game and more than 100 yards in the first half alone. Gallup’s highlights included a 40+ yard deep sideline grab in a 50-50 situation, corralling a low slant target, and consistently winning on intermediate routes throughout the game.

WR Randall Cobb, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 115 - 1 (7 targets)
Cobb surpassed 100 yards for a second consecutive week, notching a touchdown as well against the Lions. Cobb came wide open on a deep post and absorbed a big hit at the goal line for his touchdown foray. Cobb added nearly 50 yards on another wide-open reception over the middle the field as Darius Slay was occupied by Amari Cooper in the game and the Lions secondary is suspect-at-best otherwise. Cobb had two drops to prevent his big game from being even more pronounced and pushing 150 yards.

WR Amari Cooper, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 0 (8 targets)
Cooper was second on the team in targets with eight against the Lions but was the notable offensive piece left out of the impressive showing overall. Cooper limped off the field multiple times during the game, always to return, and was also shadowed by Darius Slay. Cooper had a single reception entering the fourth quarter, adding a deep out and impressive high point catch later in the game. The Patriots offer another tough test for Cooper next week.

TE Jason Witten, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 33 - 0 (7 targets)
Witten saw a hearty seven targets against the Lions but did little with them. His lone reception downfield was a third-down crosser route which he converted. Otherwise, Witten was relegated near the line of scrimmage as depth chart mate Blake Jarwin produced two big plays in the game. Witten is averaging a paltry nine yards per reception on the season.

TE Blake Jarwin, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 38 - 0 (2 targets)
Jarwin saw only two targets against Detroit but turned both into quality plays. He turned upfield on a crossing route for 15 yards after the catch and added additional yardage again on a well-designed play-action reception in the closing minutes of Dallas’ road win.


Detroit Lions

QB Jeff Driskel, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 26 - 209 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 51 - 1
Jeff Driskel started in place of Matthew Stafford for the second consecutive game on Sunday. Driskel struggles with his progressions as a passer and is quick to pull the ball down and run. Driskel was an effective runner on Sunday, including a keeper on a zone read for a touchdown, which creates a strong weekly fantasy floor. Driskel was effective as a passer, throwing for two touchdowns, both to Marvin Jones. The first was a well-executed scramble drill where Driskel threw to Marvin Jones along the backline of the end zone. The second was a deep dig route where Jones was able to break tackles for a touchdown. Driskel will get a good matchup next week against Washington if Stafford misses another game. His passing is a liability to the offense, but he is tough and a good runner with plenty of fantasy viability in any week Stafford misses.

RB Bo Scarbrough, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 55 - 1
Bo Scarbrough drew the start for the Detroit Lions at running back against the Cowboys on Sunday. Scarbrough ran physically on the interior throughout the game, including a short touchdown on his second red zone opportunity of the first drive of the game. Scarbrough nearly had another touchdown on an interior run but was dragged down just short of the end zone. Scarbrough had no passing game involvement as J.D McKissic continued to operate as the passing game back. He will face Washington next week which could create a favorable game script.

RB J.D. McKissic, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0, Rec: 3 - 40 - 0 (4 targets)
J.D. McKissic continued to have a strong role in the passing game on Sunday against Dallas. McKissic was able to make multiple defenders miss after the catch and ran elusively in limited touches in the running game. Bo Scarbrough has a limited passing-game resume, so McKissic should continue to have a role on third down and in negative game script. He will face Washington next week.

WR Marvin Jones, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -4 - 0, Rec: 4 - 43 - 2 (5 targets)
Marvin Jones had a strong game, propelled by two touchdowns against Dallas on Sunday despite Matthew Stafford missing his second consecutive game with an injury. Jones worked a scramble drill with Jeff Driskel in the back of the end zone for the first touchdown and made a terrific run after the catch on a dig for the second touchdown. Without Stafford, the offense is more limited in the passing game, but Jones continues to make plays to help Jeff Driskel. He has a favorable matchup next week against Washington.

WR Danny Amendola, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 47 - 0 (5 targets)
Danny Amendola continued his role in the short passing game, despite Matthew Stafford missing his second consecutive game with an injury. Amendola’s work in the short passing game included multiple third down conversions, before a deep catch down the middle of the field on a scramble drill. Amendola is a lower upside player without Stafford in the lineup and will hope for his return in a good matchup next week against Washington.

WR Kenny Golladay, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 34 - 0 (5 targets)
Kenny Golladay had a quiet game against the Cowboys on Sunday, reeling in his only catch late in the fourth quarter. Golladay made his catch count as he hauled in a highlight jump ball down the field while also drawing a facemask penalty on the play. The remainder of his game was forgettable as he failed to catch two contested balls down the field and was undercut on a slant route. He will look for a strong matchup next week against Washington if Matthew Stafford returns from injury.

TE T.J. Hockenson, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)
T.J. Hockenson had a quiet game against the Cowboys with his lone catch a short pass over the middle. His only other target was an out route that was undercut by a Dallas defender. Hockenson has a good matchup against Washington in week 12.