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Cowboys won't be afraid of Ndamukong Suh

IRVING, Texas -- There was a reason why Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett did not get carried away on Monday when news of Ndamukong Suh's suspension broke.

Perhaps he knew the possibility the suspension could be overturned on appeal and the Detroit Lions defensive tackle would be eligible to play in Sunday’s wild-card playoff game at AT&T Stadium, which is what happened on Tuesday.

But that’s not likely either. He firmly believes the Cowboys need to focus solely on the Cowboys. It’s part of the nameless, faceless approach he has instilled each week.

There is no doubt the Suh is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All Pro. There is no doubt he makes the Lions defense better.

But the Cowboys won’t fear his appearance in the lineup on Sunday.

The Cowboys have faced Suh three times in his career. According to the press box stats from those games, he has 12 tackles, two quarterback hurries, one tackle for loss and a half sack. The Cowboys have scored at least 30 points in all three games, although they have lost two of the meetings.

Suh has gone against different guards in all three meetings. He saw Brian Waters last year until Waters suffered a triceps injury and was replaced by Mackenzy Bernadeau. In 2011, he went against Bill Nagy, a seventh-round pick. In 2010, he had his best game against Leonard Davis -- eight tackles and a half sack.

In two of the three games the Cowboys ran for 113 and 134 yards as a team. They had just 62 yards on 26 carries in last year’s 31-30 loss, but DeMarco Murray did not play because of a knee injury. Tony Romo threw for 206 yards with 110 yards coming on touchdown throws to Terrance Williams (60) and Dez Bryant (50).

In the 2011 meeting the Cowboys blew a 27-3 lead. Romo was intercepted three times, but the Cowboys put up 434 yards and Romo had 331 yards through the air with three touchdowns. In 2010, Jon Kitna threw for only 147 yards but he threw three touchdown passes. He even had a 29-yard bootleg to seal the 35-19 win.

This Lions defense is not like those Lions defenses, but this Cowboys offense is not like those Cowboys offenses.

Two of the Cowboys’ three interior linemen, center Travis Frederick and guard Zack Martin, were named to the Pro Bowl, like Suh.

The Cowboys surely respect Suh and all that he can do and all that he means to the rest of their unit. But they will not be scared of him. They weren't afraid of J.J. Watt. They weren't afraid of the Seattle Seahawks.

In fact, they might enjoy the fact that he is playing.