The three two-point conversion attempts will become the stuff of legend.
On the first conversion try after Jared Goff’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown, Goff completed a pass to lineman Taylor Decker, but he was ruled to be an ineligible receiver. The Lions went for 2 again from the 7-yard line and were stopped on an interception that didn’t even reach the end zone, but the Cowboys were called for offsides.
On the final attempt, Goff’s pass to James Mitchell short of the goal line was incomplete, finishing off the Dallas celebration of two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson’s induction into the team’s ring of honor at halftime. “Very stressful,” said Lamb, who had a career-high 227 yards receiving. “But definitely I know my defense had us, and they held it down.”
Lamb’s touchdown was the second-longest pass in club history — behind the 95-yard connection in 1966 between two more ring of honor members in Don Meredith and Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Bob Hayes. The NFC North champion Lions (11-5) went for the victory after entering the game with hopes of getting one of the top two seeds in the NFC.
“I told the offense that we were going down, 1:41 left, we’re going to go down and score and then we’re going to go for 2 and finish this game off,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “I told them that, and so that’s what we’re doing.” The playoff-bound Cowboys (11-5) have a shot at the NFC East title, but need division-leading Philadelphia to lose at least once in the final two weeks.
Dallas went ahead 17-13 on Brandin Cooks’ scoring catch from Prescott midway through the fourth quarter, and the Cowboys extended the lead to seven on Brandon Aubrey’s record 35th field goal without a miss to start his career. Goff’s second interception set up Aubrey’s kick, but he led the Lions 75 yards in nine plays to St. Brown’s TD catch.
Goff said Decker, the starting left tackle, reported to officials and Dan Skipper, a backup offensive tackle, did not. Skipper said he didn’t report to an official. Two players can’t report to be eligible receivers on the same play. “I don’t want to talk about it,” said Campbell, who was visibly angry with referee Brad Allen after the successful 2-point play was negated.
2023 NFL season, Week 17: What We Learned from Lions-Cowboys on Saturday night-Michael Baca, NFL.com
Here’s what Saturday’s win said about the Dallas Cowboys
1. Dallas nearly blew its perfect home record. How did the Lions nearly pull off an improbable win you ask? Look no further than the Cowboys’ final possession after Donovan Wilson’s interception with 2:11 left to play. Needing to convert just one first down to seal the victory, a tripping penalty pitted the Cowboys with a first-and-25 coming out of the two-minute warning. An 11-yard completion forced Detroit to use its second timeout, but the passes kept coming for some reason.
An incomplete deep shot on the next play was a head-scratcher that perhaps could’ve been argued as a go-for-the-win decision, but the wayward pass wasn’t nearly close and it saved the Lions a much-needed timeout and precious seconds on the clock. They used that last TO after the Cowboys’ final completion on third-and-long, setting up Brandon Aubrey’s 43-yarder to make it a 7-point lead. Those points ended up being the difference as the Cowboys defense proceeded to get shredded on a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with some time to spare. Despite the win, it wasn’t a good look for Mike McCarthy’s squad and it will be the type of fine-tuning needed in the postseason.
2. CeeDee Lamb notches best statistical receiving season in Cowboys history. With 13 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown on Saturday night, the Cowboys’ star wideout became the franchise’s new single-season record holder in both receptions (122) and receiving yards (1,651), breaking both of Hall of Famer Michael Irvin’s marks.
Lamb’s night was highlighted by an incredible 92-yard TD that came on a heads-up play by both the receiver and Dak Prescott. Evading an oncoming blitz by the Lions, Prescott broke free of a would-be safety and rolled out to the right, heaving it 50 yards off one leg toward Lamb, who left his defender in the dust on the broken play. Lamb was sensational on a night where the Cowboys’ run game had seen better days and the performance was a continuation of his career-best campaign.
In the locker room after the Cowboys’ 20-19 win over the Detroit Lions, Cowboys left guard Tyler Smith told reporters that he strained his plantar fascia and that he will have imaging on Sunday to determine the severity. There was confidence in from Smith that it’s not a long-term issue, but obviously the playoffs and his availability for those game(s) will take precedence over next week’s game against Washington.
Smith limped off the field early in the third quarter after suffering the injury on a deep shot from Dak Prescott to Brandin Cooks that fell incomplete. Smith missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury.
How the Cowboys can still win the NFC East after beating Lions 20-19-Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys
The Cowboys are still in the hunt for the NFC East crown and here’s the breakdown.
The wild ending to the Cowboys game against the Detroit Lions had Cowboys fans on a rollercoaster of emotions. One moment it looked like any hope of capturing the NFC East was gone when the Lions appeared to have gone ahead on their first two-point conversion. A penalty flag saved the day, then a Micah Parsons penalty on the next attempt brought about despair again. Finally the last attempt was incomplete and the Cowboys kept themselves afloat in the NFC East.
Now the pressure moves over to the Philadelphia Eagles. They host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and they need to win that game to keep Dallas at arm’s length. If they lose that game, the Cowboys can capture the East with a win on the final weekend against the Washington Commanders.
Even if Philadelphia wins this weekend, they will still need to beat the New York Giants on road on the final weekend to assure themselves of the East crown. If they lose to the Giants, the Cowboys can capture the division with a win over the Commanders next week.
Sure, the Eagles should be able to beat both the Cardinals and the Eagles, but crazier things have happened. The Cowboys lost to the Cardinals earlier this season and the Eagles were beaten by the New York Jets.
The Cowboys victory over the Lions kept the dream alive for a home playoff game and the number two seed in the conference. Go Cardinals!
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