NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions Week 8 Fantasy Recap 

There were only two games on the Week Seven NFL slate pitting a pair of teams with records over .500, and one of those had the 4-3 Dallas Cowboys going to Detroit to take on the 4-3 Lions. The game didn’t disappoint, and may have had the wildest finish to a game we’ve seen all year long, with Matthew Stafford sneakily lunging across the goal line with just seconds remaining to give the Lions the 31-30 victory.

What were the noteworthy fantasy performances from this one? Let’s take a look, ‘Merica.


Matthew Stafford’s fantastic rebound season continued in a big way, as the Dallas native threw for a whopping 488 yards. He did only have one touchdown pass to go with a pair of interceptions, but he did contribute the aforementioned rushing touchdown. You’ll take the 25-30 points he gave you in this game any day of the week. Tony Romo completed fewer than half of his pass attempts, but he still topped 200 yards and threw three TD passes and didn’t turn the ball over. Solid.

The performance of Reggie Bush was a bit lost in the rest of the headlines from this one, but he put up another Bushian fantasy day. He combined to rack up 122 total yards and scored a rushing touchdown. He caught eight passes, as well, which was second to only Calvin Johnson on the team on the day.

Calvin Johnson is the headliner here, of course, as he had the best statistical day of his career, catching a whopping 14 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown. He 329 yards were the second-most receiving yards by a player in a game in league history. It’s kind of a shame, though, as he was tackled another four times inside the five-yard-line. This could’ve been an even more gargantuan fantasy day for him than it already was. For the Cowboys, Dez Bryant caught three passes for 72 yards and a pair of phenomenal touchdowns, while Terrance Williams’ strong rookie season continued as he scored a touchdown in his fourth-straight game.

Dan Bailey owners also enjoyed his performance, as he was 3/3 on field goals, including a pair of 53-yarders.


The Cowboys’ run game without DeMarco Murray struggled mightily, as the team rushed for just 62 yards on 2.4 yards-per-carry. Neither Joseph Randle nor Lance Dunbar did anything at all. Fortunately, Murray will almost certainly be back in Week Nine when the Cowboys host the Vikings.

Since the shootout against Denver in which he caught seven balls for 121 yards and a score, Jason Witten has been MIA in the Cowboys’ passing offense. He’s caught a total of nine passes for 90 yards and hasn’t found the end zone in his last three games combined, and caught just two Romo passes for 15 yards on Sunday. This hasn’t been his finest season by any means, but with the dearth of consistently-productive fantasy tight ends, it’s tough to really bench him.

Did You Know?

The Dallas D/ST has been a top-10 unit this season in terms of fantasy points, but they’ve been giving up yardage by the boatload in the process. They’ve already forced more turnovers this season (19) than they did all of last season (16). However, they’ve also allowed four of the eight QBs they’ve faced on the season to pass for over 400 yards. The NFL record for most times allowing an individual to pass for 400 yards on the season is four, and they’ve managed to tie the mark in exactly half of a season. This doesn’t bode particularly well for a unit that still has to face Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers before the year is over.

Injury Ward

Cowboys guard Brian Waters left the game with a trio of injuries, and his status going forward is uncertain at this point. He’s been a stabilizing force on what’s been a revamped Dallas O-line this season, so it’ll be interesting to see how it performs if he’s forced to miss time. If he’s out, that doesn’t bode well for the fantasy stock of Murray, most of all.

Miles Austin missed this game for Dallas with a hamstring injury, but it’s not like it matters. Austin’s fantasy relevance has been shot to hell with the emergence of Terrance Williams, so it’s not like Austin is worth rostering at this point, anyway.


About the author: Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been with NFL Soup since its inception, and is a jack of all trades, helping with breaking news, fantasy football advice and NFL Draft coverage. Smith also heads NFL Soup’s live chats and radio shows. Taylor also contributes content to our sister sites, MLB Soup, NBA Soup and NBA Water Cooler. He lives in San Diego, where he also is a writer for the L.A. Clippers. Follow him on Twitter @NFLSoupTaylor.

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