Lions-Cowboys PFF Key Stats: Detroit’s Defense Shows Signs of Life

One step forward, two steps back.

This was the case for Detroit Lions After losing 24-6 to Cowboys in Dallas Sunday afternoon. With the defense showing some encouraging signs of improvement coming from the farewell, the attack, which was understaffed and exacerbated by bragging Cowboys passes, seemed unable to get out of its own way. A fumble on the 1-yard line and two unwarranted interceptions put the proverbial nail in the coffin even though the defense may have had their best performance of the season.

Like we do every week for this Detroit Lions Our team, we have some data provided by Pro Football Focus that can help us better understand the football the Lions have played so far – and how they will continue to play from now on. Let’s take a closer look at the Lions by the numbers after their loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7.

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Detroit managed to get in better health during farewell week, but it wasn’t all good news heading into the game with Dallas. DJ Shark was put into injured reserve on Saturday, sidelined for at least four weeks as he deals with an ankle injury. D’Andre Swift, a suspect in this game, has been unable to return to the field after having some limited work in practice last week as he recovers from ankle and shoulder injuries.

However, they made it to the top after receiving Amon Ra Saint Brown’s threat back in the hole after recovering from an ankle injury he sustained against New England… 10 snaps. And Saint Brown’s era ended in the blink of an eye after he sustained a head injury in the first quarter and was forced out of the match.

Saint Brown’s loss put Black in a place that was hard to beat. Josh Reynolds was playing through an injury as well, but behind him on the depth chart were Calif Raymond, Tom Kennedy and Maurice Alexander – a situation eerily reminiscent of the state Detroit faced during its first eight games in 2021.

Injuries to skill positions and offensive line made things difficult for the Lions’ attack to find points, as he scored only 6 points in the past two games. Given the speed at which they were scoring in the first four weeks, it was inevitable that the Lions would slow down, but things stalled dramatically. If Detroit can’t recover and put players around Jared Goff, the Lions’ attack will be based on points without playmakers.


It’s not often that you see a cornerback make such an impact in a race defense, but Jeff Okudah had the best game of his career against the Cowboys – and it all started with his physicality against a great game on Dallas ground.

Earlier in the season, we saw Okudah form a defensive force through Detroit, scoring nine tackles and scoring one stop against Philadelphia Eagles. Okudah took his game to another level in Week 7 by scoring a career high of 15 tackles and Seven stations against cowboys.

For reference, Okudah stopped six times during the first five games of the season, which is Seven stations Against the Cowboys tied for the highest total of the week with Green Bay Packers quarterback walker. In seven weeks, Okudah ranked fourth among players with 13 total stops—despite having already spent the Lions’ farewell week.


Heading into this game, the Lions’ biggest challenge was slowing down the cowboy rush. The standout rivalry was Benny Sewell against Micah Parsons, a 2021 first-round picks fight that Lions fans had hotly debated in the weeks leading up to that draft.

Sewell most withstood perhaps the best passing rusher in the NFL on Sunday. Pro Football Focus has been attributed to Sewell with a 98.4 Pass-Back Efficiency Rating, the seventh best mark in his young career. Only one press allowed 33 passes blocking snaps per PFF.


It wasn’t Jared Goff’s best performance, and it certainly wasn’t what helped people forget his playing against the Patriots before farewell. Lions’ offense—and any good insult for that matter—must be varied to keep their defense on its toes. The Lions did a fair job creating the race, more so when D’Andre Swift was healthy and tearing up huge runs, but Jamal Williams did a good job steering the ship during Swift’s absence.

The scrolling game issue has been blamed on a number of things and they are all valid. It’s impossible not to see Goff’s lack of confidence deep inside the Lions widely, and it’s hard to blame him when, for the second year in a row, the team loses both #1 and #2 options right after the start of the season. What also can’t be ignored are the twists and plays that are well worth the spin. Against the Cowboys, Goff had three plays worth spinning Although there are four turns – two interceptions and two sensory losses. During week seven, Goff has the highest average play turnover value for middle players (2.2) according to the PFF.

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