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Lions at Cowboys Recap

Well that was ugly. The Detroit Lions (9-6) fell to the Dallas Cowboys (13-2) by a score of 42-21 in Dallas. Detroit kept pace offensively in the first half but were destroyed in the second half with turnovers, bogus penalties from the refs and poor protection.

First Half Battle

The first half was a shootout. The Cowboys drove down the field on their first possession and scored a TD. The big play was a 21-yard TD pass by Dak Prescott to Brice Butler on 3rd and 14 in the Lions red zone. Dallas led 7-0 quickly.

The Lions responded led by Zach Zenner. Zenner ran for 20 yards and caught a pass for 12 yards for two quick Lions first downs. Zenner ran for 11 yards on the next 2nd down for another Lions first down. Finally, on 2nd and goal from the 7, Zenner ran untouched into the end zone for the tying TD. The Lions started hot too.

The Cowboys responded with a running back of their own. Maybe you have heard of Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott ran 55 yards for a touchdown to give the Cowboys the lead back. The Lions defense was having major issues in this game.

The Lions offense had no such issues and drove 58 yards after a nice 42 yard kick return by Andre Roberts. Stafford hit Ebron for 21 yards for a first down and Zenner ran for another first down on 2nd down. Stafford converted a 3rd down for 16 yards to Marvin Jones. Finally, on 4th and goal Stafford sneaked the ball over the goal line for the tying TD.

Detroit’s defense woke up and forced a 3 and out. Ziggy Ansah beat Tyron Smith and sacked Dak Prescott on 2nd down. The Lions forced a punt and got the ball at their own 47 yard line after a 37 yard punt by Dallas.

Detroit took advantage of good field position. Stafford converted another 3rd down hitting Ebron for 12 yards. Stafford found Tate for 14 yards and another first down on 2nd down. Stafford connected with Ebron again for a first a goal. Zenner sniffed and found the end zone again for a 5 yard TD run. Detroit led 21-14 and were in control.

Detroit forced another 3 and out. However, this time punter Chris Jones boomed a 57 yard punt and Detroit started at their own 10 yard line. Detroit’s offense finally cooled down and a sacked on 3rd down doomed the drive. Detroit punted by Dallas got to start at their own 49 yard line.

The Cowboys offense woke up again with an 8 yard strike to Bryant for a first down. Detroit seemed to stop Dallas short of the stick on a 3rd down later in the drive. The Cowboys held on the play but the Lions were called for a bogus defensive hold. The Cowboys went deep to Dez Bryant who facemasked Johnson Bademosi on the replay of 3rd down. Bryant made a miracle catch and somehow Bademosi was called for DPI. The Cowboys tied the game at 21.

The Lions got 9 yards to start the two-minute drive but couldn’t convert on 2nd and 3rd and 1. Detroit punted and the half ended in a shootout knotted at 21.

Second Half Shit Storm

The Lions got one first down to start the second half but a holding by Zach Zenner cost them 10 yards. Maliek Collins sacked Stafford to force a 2nd and 31. Stafford forced ball deep down field to TJ Jones and was intercepted by JJ Wilcox. This would be a sign of bad things to come.

The Cowboys got the ball at Detroit’s 38 yard line. Dallas went deep to Bryant again and another bogus DPI penalty set up a first and goal for the Cowboys. Dallas converted with a 1 yard TD by Ezekiel Elliot. Dallas took the lead for good at 28-21.

Detroit got one first down again but Stafford followed that with three incomplete passes. Detroit punted again. Sam Martin had a great punt and pinned the Cowboys to their own 5 yard line. Detroit’s defense did not take advantage.

Dak Prescott torched the Cowboys with a 11 yarder and 14 yarder to Terrence Williams. Dak kept with the hot WR and hit Terrence Williams for 30 yards. Ezekiel Elliott was stuffed for no gain but another bogus personal foul penalty was called on A’Shawn Robinson. That makes three bogus penalties. Prescott scrambled for 15 yards for a first down. Finally, a reverse to Dez Bryant ended with a left handed pass to Jason Witten for the 10 yard TD. Dallas took a commanding 35-21 lead. Not only did Dallas sit nobody, they pulled out all of their bags of tricks.

Detroit’s offense woke up and drove 45 yards on 9 plays. The drive stalled at the Cowboys 29. Jim Caldwell did not go for it on 4th and 5 and instead settled for a field goal try. Prater missed after Gruden talked him up. Shut up Gruden.

Dallas started at their own 37 and drove 63 yards in 7 plays. McFadden ran 18 yards for a first down. Cole Beasley caught a 4 yard first down and followed with a 12 yard first down catch. Finally, Prescott hit Bryant for 19 yards and the back breaking TD. Dallas led 42-21. Terrible defense by Detroit due to refs and injuries. Darius Slay was missed in this game.

The Lions and Cowboys traded punts. Detroit made one last attempt and drove all the way to the Cowboys red zone. However, Stafford was sacked and fumbled and the Cowboys recovered. Detroit’s miracle comeback was thwarted.

Dallas got a first down but then punted after Detroit stopped the run. Detroit ran the ball and ended the miserable game. Detroit lost their chance at a wild card berth in Week 16.

What’s Next

The Lions need to wake up and pound the Packers. The Lions can still win the division. If the Redskins lose to the Giants, the Lions automatically get a wildcard berth as well. The Lions can get a bye if they win and the Falcons and Seahawks lose. Detroit must win this home game and stop the hot Packers. Darius Slay must get healthy as well as Travis Swanson and Theo Riddick. Detroit deserves to win the next game.