Jason Garrett will make his home head coaching debut this Sunday as the Dallas Cowboys host the Detroit Lions in a battle of 2-7 teams. Garrett, who replaced Wade Phillips last week as head coach in Dallas, won his head coaching debut last week when the Cowboys upset the New York Giants 33-20.
The Cowboys might have an opportunity to improve their rushing attack on Sunday. Dallas ranks 31st in the league in rushing yards per game, but the Lions are 26th in the league in rush defense. Garrett may look to utilize Felix Jones more this week as a result. Jones rushed 14 times for 51 yards against the Giants but also added three receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. Tashard Choice may finally see his workload increase as well.
Detroit has been fairly weak against the passing game this year as well, ranking 17th in opponents passing yards per game. Even despite Tony Romo's injury, the Cowboys rank fourth in the league in passing yards per game with 288. Jon Kitna will look to post his third 300 yard game of the season and continue to develop his rapport with young standout wide out Dez Bryant.
The Lions are coming off two straight close losses to AFC East teams. Detroit lost to the Jets 23-20 in overtime in Week 9, blowing a 4th quarter lead in the process. The Lions also were the victim of the Bills first win of the year last week in Week 10, falling in Buffalo 14-12.
Detroit will likely test the Dallas secondary. Despite being without first string quarterback Matt Stafford for the majority of the season, the Lions have had the seventh-best passing attack in the league, averaging 255 yards per game through the air behind Shaun Hill, who will start again this weekend for the injured Stafford. Dallas' secondary has been weak this year, ranking 21st in the league in passing yards per game so far this year.
While this game has no bearing on the NFC playoff race, it will have an impact on the 2011 draft. The Lions and Cowboys are two of the three 2-7 teams in the league, with the Bengals being the other 2-7 team. Both Carolina and Buffalo are currently 1-8. The loser of the game will still hold one of the five worst records in the league while the winner of the game could find themselves among a slew of 3-7 teams. Minnesota, Arizona, Cleveland, San Francisco and Denver are all 3-6 teams.
Televised coverage can be found on FOX. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM EST, 12:00 PM CST.