2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions' Stafford wants to beat his hometown Cowboys

By LARRY LAGE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-23 16:53

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Matthew Stafford grew up rooting for his hometown Dallas Cowboys and looking up to quarterback Troy Aikman.

He had Cowboys trading cards and once dressed up as one of their players - sporting a plastic helmet - for Halloween.

''That's what everybody did. It was Dallas,'' Stafford recalled. ''They were winning Super Bowls.''

He will put his childhood memories aside Sunday, hoping the Detroit Lions (4-3) beat Dallas (4-3) to avoid dropping to a .500 record going into their bye.

Stafford's family members have been converted to Lions fans, but not all of his friends will be when he is playing against their beloved Cowboys.

''They want me to have a really good game and lose it in the end,'' he said.

John Stafford recalls taking his son to a couple of Cowboys games a year, starting at the age of 5 after it was clear the kid knew what he was looking at on a football field.

''Once when he was 4, he was sitting next to me at home while we were watching a game on TV,'' John Stafford said Wednesday in a telephone interview. ''There was a run to the left and Matthew said, `The left tackle didn't pull.' Seconds later, John Madden said the same thing on TV. It was incredible. He absolutely knew what was going on even when he was that young.''

John Stafford watched his son play against the Cowboys on Oct. 2, 2011, when he threw a winning touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson with 1:39 left in the road game. And he plans to be at Ford Field on Sunday.

''It's not surreal because Matthew belongs in the NFL,'' John Stafford said. ''I'm just so happy for him because he's doing what he loves to do and has always loved to do and he's getting to do it at the highest level.''

Stafford has done his part to help the Lions have success this season. He has an NFC-high 2,129 yards passing, is tied for second in the NFL with 15 touchdown passes and has thrown just four interceptions.

Sometimes, though, Stafford has thrown passes too high or wide this year when the Lions have really needed him to connect for first downs or scores. He was 28 of 51 in Sunday's loss to Cincinnati, completing a season-low 54.9 percent of his passes.

''Obviously, I missed a couple,'' he said. ''I missed a 70-yarder to CJ (Calvin Johnson) and that's like a long foul ball. You're not going to hit those all the time. Obviously every game, there are throws you want back. But I feel like I'm putting the ball in some good spots for guys to make plays.''

Lions receiver Kevin Ogletree, a former Cowboy, said Stafford hasn't missed him on any of the passes he has thrown his way in three games. Ogletree was on the receiving end of a perfect 43-yard pass that hit him in stride along the sideline against the Bengals.

''That was the most accurate pass I've ever caught,'' Ogletree said.

While Stafford's arm strength might hurt him when a soft touch is needed on short passes, it helped on that particular throw.

''That was a ball that I had to rip,'' he said.

Stafford said he has talked to and learned from Aikman over the years, learning that a strong arm isn't the only thing NFL quarterbacks need to win.

''His biggest deal was timing,'' Stafford said. ''He and Michael Irvin had unbelievable timing with (Jay) Novacek and all those guys. You watch him play, he was cutting loose at the out route early. He and Irvin just had that.''

NOTES: Lions DT Ndamukong Suh said he hasn't decided whether to accept the NFL's offer to discuss his discipline-filled season next week. ... Lions WR Calvin Johnson (right knee), S Louis Delmas (knee) OT Corey Hilliard (knee) and OT Riley Reiff (hamstring) didn't practice Wednesday, while OT Jason Fox (knee) and CB Rashean Mathis (groin) were limited.

---

Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt CasselMar 4 07:53p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel was traded to the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, March 4. The Bills swapped their 2015 fifth-round pick for the Vikings 2015 sixth-round draft pick. Minnesota [ More ]

Andre JohnsonMar 4 11:23a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has asked the team to release him this offseason.

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group