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Cowboys news: Eagles upset by Cardinals, Dallas controls their destiny in NFC East

Notable headlines surrounding America’s team.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys In Control! Eagles Collapse Means Dallas Favored to Win NFC East, No. 2 Playoff Seed - Mike Fisher, Sports Illustrated

Thank you, Arizona.

Following the Cowboys’ controversial win on Saturday night against the Detroit Lions ... and the Philadelphia Eagles’ shocking Sunday loss to the 3-12 Arizona Cardinals at home ...

“America’s Team’’ is large and in charge in the NFC East.

That’s right. In the parlance, Dallas is “in control of its own destiny.’’ Forget all the tiebreakers and the complications and the headaches and the “what-if’s.’’ It’s simple now.

If the Cowboys beat the Washington Commanders in Week 18 at FedEx Field, the Cowboys move to 12-5 - for the third straight season under coach Mike McCarthy - and win the division.

They can also clinch the division if the Eagles lose to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium next week. ... which seems unlikely.

Of course, Philly dropping to 11-5 and losing to a bad Cardinals team seemed unlikely, to be fair.

Cowboys guard Tyler Smith completely tore plantar fascia vs. Lions - SportsDay Staff, DMN

As bad as it sounds, this is good news for Cowboys fans.

A person with knowledge of the injury informed The Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins on Sunday morning that Smith suffered a complete full plantar fascia tear in his left foot. But despite how the injury might sound to some, the guard isn’t expected to miss significant time. A full tear can prove more beneficial to a player than being forced to play through a partial one.

Smith could play in the regular season finale next week against Washington.

Smith went down with a left foot injury late in the third quarter and walked to the sideline before heading for the medical tent. The Cowboys ruled the starting guard questionable to return as the fourth quarter began.

He did not return to the game, but said afterward that he could have played. Undrafted rookie T.J. Bass took his place on the offensive line next to Tyron Smith.

Good, Bad, Ugly: Cowboys win despite missed opportunities, run-game failures, clock issues - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire

There were plenty of good, bad, and ugly on display Saturday night.

Good: CeeDee Lamb’s record night

Lamb needed three catches and 180 receiving yards to set new single-season franchise records in both categories. The first seemed like a slam-dunk; the second felt like a bit of a stretch, even against a suspect Lions secondary.

My, how a 92-yard catch-and-run changes the stat line.

Lamb ended the night with a whopping 13 catches and 227 yards, setting new personal single-game bests and shattering those Cowboys records with Michael Irvin and countless Dallas legends watching on in person. His 17 targets tied his career high, which he set… checks notes… a month ago, in the win over Seattle.

Heading into Sunday of Week 17, Lamb leads the NFL in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. While Garrett Wilson will likely re-take the targets lead, Keenan Allen will at least close in on receptions, and Tyreek Hill will almost certainly leapfrog him in yards, Lamb has put himself exactly where he’s said he is: among the best in the game.

Questions Remain After Cowboys and Lions Controversial Finish - Shane Taylor, Inside The Star

The questions and controversies are not subsiding anytime soon.

As I’m sure most of you have seen, the refs either make a huge mistake announcing the wrong Lions offensive lineman eligible or someone is lying.

Detroit would have had a one-point lead over the Cowboys with under a minute left.

Yes, the Ref was wrong.

*HOWEVER* we’re all falsely assuming the Lions would’ve scored had the ref been right.

Audio from Cowboys radio call reveals the ref stated #70 was eligible pre snap.

The Cowboys defense defended the play according to the ref.

— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) December 31, 2023

The official ruled that Taylor Decker was an ineligible receiver, even though Taylor said he reported prior to the snap.

The Cowboys should have been trailing by one with about 24 seconds left on the clock and two timeouts.

Detroit had two more chances to either tie the game or take the lead after Micah Parsons went offsides.

In a pool report (referee report), referee Brad Allen said the opposite, that Skipper reported to him as eligible and Decker did not.

From what it sounds like, the refs accounted that No. 70 was the eligible receiver, so Dallas didn’t cover the lineman who caught the pass.

Freeze frame shows refs actually screwed Cowboys before controversial Lions penalty - Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat

In summary, the officiating was poor all around.

Refs nearly screwed Cowboys with phanthom Peyton Hendershot tripping before Lions penalty

This will get lost in the chaos of the Lions penalty, but it shouldn’t.

Hendershot sealed the edge perfectly, allowing Pollard to scamper for seven yards. The Cowboys should’ve had 2nd and 3 at the two-minute warning, needing just three yards to pick up a first down and ice the game by forcing Detroit to burn its two remaining timeouts. Instead, Dallas had 1st and 25, which set the stage for Mike McCarthy to nearly ruin everything with his horrid clock management.

On 2nd and 14 after a first down pass to CeeDee Lamb went for 11 yards, McCarthy dialed up a deep shot to Brandin Cooks that sailed out of bounds to stop the clock. In doing so, McCarthy spotted Detroit an extra 40 seconds and they got the ball back with 1:41 left in the game, which is an eternity.

McCarthy deserves to face the music, but it never should’ve came to that. This freeze frame shows Hutchinson extend his leg to trip Hendershot. Just as the Lions tricky formation seduced them into flagging Decker for illegal touching, the refs were bamboozled by the similarity in pant colors and mistook Hutchinson’s leg for Hendershot’s.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions Stock Report: CeeDee Lamb shines on Jimmy Johnson’s night- RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

Outside of the obvious answer, whose stock rose in the Cowboys' Week 17 win?

Stock Up: Jourdan Lewis

In the middle of last season Jourdan Lewis intercepted a pass against the Detroit Lions and in the same game suffered an injury that ended his 2022 campaign. It was horrible. A Michigan native and Michigan Wolverine to boot, this game took Lewis full circle in that he picked off the Lions yet again and served as a huge defensive catalyst against Detroit with his tackling.

Sometimes sports and life can take you full circle like that and it was neat to see Lewis have his moment. While we are on Detroit sports, all of this happened on the night that the Pistons broke their losing streak! What are the chances?!

Stock Up: Donovan Wilson

Ever the enforcer on defense, Wilson showed up and showed out. While he should have had an interception earlier in the game as well, it was Wilson who did intercept what should have been the game-clinching pick. In a moment where someone needed to take control he did just that and deserves his props.

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