ALLEN PARK – How bout them Cowboys?
For some reason, there is a distinct contrast between the Dallas Cowboys and most other NFL organizations.
Supporters of the squad nick named "America's Team" are scattered throughout the football-watching world and proudly display their Cowboys lone star symbol, whereas the majority of remaining fans have an inherent disdain for the highly-publicized organization.
All the love and hate make for a lot of interest.
When the Cowboys are the upcoming opponent, the media attention increases and the spotlight shines a little brighter.
With the Detroit Lions preparing to travel to Texas for a Week Four matchup with the Cowboys, there are many fans hoping – just a little more than usual – for a Lions victory.
A victory against the Cowboys would count the same in the standings as any other regular season win. The coaches and players will quickly point out that there isn't a tie breaker for winning in Cowboy Stadium.
Still, as the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas.
"We try to show the world what we can do every week," said Cliff Avril. "Obviously, it's a little bit of a bigger stage when you're in Dallas."
The stage is set for two prominent Lions, who view this game as more than just another contest.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford grew up in Texas. The 23 year old was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Lions fell to the Cowboys last season but is healthy now.
"Obviously its fun going home and playing for anybody," said Stafford. "I'm excited about it. They are playing really good, they are a great opponent. So it should be a fun game."
Stafford has given roughly 25 family members tickets for the contest and is sure to have many other supporters in the stands but the homecoming won't be a distraction.
"Once the balls snapped I'm not thinking about that, it's football again," said Stafford. "It's just a fun game playing against a great team."
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh also has this game circled on his calendar – but for a much different reason.
During his last collegiate season, Suh had a dominant performance in Cowboy Stadium. Playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big 12 Championship, Suh registered 12 tackles (seven for loss) and 4.5 sacks against the Texas Longhorns, en route to being named game MVP.
Suh's performance, as impressive as it was, wasn't enough as the Cornhuskers lost 13-12 after a last-second, controversial field goal. Suh also had an outstanding performance in Cowboy stadium last season. As a rookie, he registered eight tackles and 0.5 sacks in a losing effort.
So, in two games in Cowboys stadium, Suh has 20 tackles, five sacks and two losses.
"I don't really like that stadium," said Suh. "I'm 0-2 in that stadium. So I plan on going down there this week with my own extra oomph for getting up for this game… I want to come out a winner at least once in that stadium. I don't know how many times I'll be able to play in that stadium."
"For me, I have a lot more energy going into this game."
The added enthusiasm from two of the team's star players only helps the Lions as they attempt to improve their record.
If the Lions beat the Cowboys, they move to 4-0.
That alone makes this contest as big as the state it is played in.
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