Next season marks the 10th anniversary of Highland Park’s last state football championship, when Matthew Stafford led the Scots to an undefeated year that is perhaps the best in the decorated history of the HP program.
On Sunday, Stafford will look to reach another milestone when he returns to the area as the quarterback of the Detroit Lions, trying to earn his first NFL playoff victory against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in Arlington.
Stafford led the Lions (11-5) to a wild-card berth this season and to their first postseason appearance since 2011, when Detroit lost to New Orleans in the wild-card round.
It will be Stafford’s first game in Arlington since 2011, when the Lions topped the Cowboys 34-30. He has a 2-0 career mark against the Cowboys.
Stafford, in his sixth season with the Lions, has thrown for 4,257 yards this season, with 22 touchdowns, and has more than 21,000 passing yards in his career.
The Cowboys added their own HPHS connection this week, when they practiced at the indoor facility across from Highlander Stadium on Thursday and Friday, displaced because of a combination of the Cotton Bowl and inclement weather.
At any rate, if the rooting interests of local fans are somewhat split on Sunday, we understand.