The Cowboys found a way to lose a game they had in their grasps. A holding penalty by Tyron Smith while Dallas was trying to run down the clock gave Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense over a minute remaining to overcome a six-point deficit. They did just that, marching 80 yards down the field to take a lead with just over 12 seconds left on a Stafford QB sneak.
Dallas had their entire season laid out in front of them, but instead gave up the final 80 of Stafford's 488 yard passing day. The fourth time they've allowed a quarterback to pass that total this season.
The Cowboys forced four turnovers, two of them interceptions by LB Sean Lee, but once the shootout started in the fourth quarter they were unable to stop the Lions. The two teams combined for 41 fourth quarter points after the Cowboys had a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Cowboys offense struggled until the fourth quarter started, but then wasted two separate 10-point leads. Those were gained by a 60 yard slant and run to rookie Terrance Williams and a 50 yard score to Dez Bryant. Tony Romo was pressured relentlessly in the first half, and was battered and bruised. It appeared to affect his accuracy, confidence, or both until the fourth quarter started.
The final score was Bryant's second of the game, but he and his team lost the much ballyhooed matchup with Detroit's Calvin Johnson.
Johnson ended up with 329 yards on 14 catches with one score. The yardage was the second most in NFL history.
Dallas lost several players to injury throughout the game, notably RG Brian Waters who first hyperextended his knee and then hurt his triceps. Also gone, Morris Claiborne and Barry Church, amongst others that went in and out of the game.
Dallas drops to 4-4 and fails to stretch their NFC East lead, as the Eagles lost to the Giants. Dallas is now 4-1 in the NFC on the season and will be left wondering what if.
They will face off against the Minnesota Vikings next week.