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Stafford not feeling heat of playing in Dallas

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has a unique chance Sunday to win a playoff game in his hometown of Dallas, but he said that's not giving him any extra juice this week.

"I don't need much motivation; it's a playoff game," he said Wednesday. "Win or go home gives you enough motivation. Obviously, it'll be fun playing in front of a bunch of my friends and family but other than that, just trying to win a football game."

On Saturday night, he doesn't plan to visit any of his favorite haunts, hang out with friends or head to his parents' house for a home-cooked meal. Instead, he said he'll stay at the team hotel and maybe his parents will come to visit.

Stafford also doesn't expect a big section of family and friends to support him in his second playoff appearance since the Lions drafted him in 2009.

"I'll probably buy a row or so for my family and let them divvy them out themselves," he said.

And even though this will be a homecoming for Stafford and just the second time he'll play the Cowboys in Dallas, he hasn't had an inordinate number of ticket requests.

"I guess I don't have any friends," he said with a smile.

For Stafford, the focus is solely on the game at hand, but before he could discuss the Cowboys, there was one bit of housekeeping. On Tuesday, his fiancée Kelly Hall posted a photo of him on Instagram showing a ripped sock and scraped leg and saying, effectively, Stafford didn't receive the same treatment as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.

"I honestly have no idea when and how that happened to be truthful with you," said Stafford, adding he didn't see any dirty plays by Green Bay. "I had no idea that was going on, obviously, but she has a right to her own opinion."

As for the upcoming game, Stafford and the Lions will face a Cowboys team that ranks 19th, but the Lions offense has struggled this year and was just 19th in total yardage.

Meanwhile, the Lions have some historical hurdles to overcome. Their last playoff win was in 1991, and though it was against the Cowboys, it was at home. The last time they won on the road in the postseason was in 1957, the year they last won an NFL championship.

And, of course, Stafford's 0-17 road record against teams that finished with a winning record is on the line, too, which has led to criticism this year after the Lions lost three such games.

"I'm not too worried about what other people think," Stafford said. "I was getting criticized when I was throwing for 5,000 yards or 4,000 yards and not winning games. If you try and make everybody happy it's going to be a long day for you.

"I don't worry too much about that. I just try and help my team win. We've got 11 wins this year, and I'm pretty fired up about that."

Stafford and the Lions did win the last time they played in Dallas, a 34-30 comeback win in which they scored the final 17 points.

"It's always fun to back there and play," he said. "I've done it once in my career so why not do it again? It'll be fun."