Cowboys vs. Lions score: Timely defense enough for Cowboys to survive…


There is only one word that could be used to sum up the Dallas Cowboys’ Saturday night: perfect. The team improved to a perfect 8-0 at home in the 2023 regular season, running their home win streak up to 16 games, the length of what used to be an entire NFL regular season with a 20-19 victory over the NFC North champion Detroit Lions.

However, the game almost felt secondary to the history made at AT&T Stadium. Hall of Fame head coach Jimmy Johnson was finally inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime. Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb broke Hall of Famer Michael Irvin’s single-season franchise records for catches and receiving yards  by totaling a career-high 227 yards and one touchdown on a career-high 13 catches with Irvin himself in attendance for Johnson’s Ring of Honor induction.

The first touchdown of the game occurred thanks to Prescott’s Houdini-like scrambling abilities and his connection with Lamb.

The completion is the longest of Prescott’s career, the longest catch of Lamb’s career as well as the second-longest completion in Cowboys history. The only completion longer in team history is Hall of Famer Bob Hayes’ catching a 95-yard touchdown pass from Don Meredith in Washington in Week 10 of the 1966 season.

Lamb ended up breaking Irvin’s catch record with his third catch of the night and his 112th of the season, but the play also came with a downside for Dallas. He fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a touchback to give the Detroit Lions the ball right as the Cowboys were about to go up 14-3.

Prescott came up clutch for the second week in a row, firing a go-ahead touchdown to receiver Brandin Cooks for an eight-yard touchdown with 7:20 left in the game. He finished with 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception of 26 of 38 passing.

Unlike against the Dolphins a week ago, the Cowboys defense made game-winning plays to make Prescott’s throw to Cooks stand up. Dallas safety Donovan Wilson anticipated Goff’s throw underneath to budding superstar rookie tight end Sam LaPorta and made a diving interception to give the Cowboys the ball back inside the Lions’ 30.

Why the Cowboys won…

Dallas’ ensuing drive ended with rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey’s 35th consecutive made field goal this season to put the Cowboys up seven, 20-13, with 1:41 left in the game with the Lions out of timeouts. However, the Dallas defense broke, surrendering an nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in just a minutes and 18 seconds. The scoring strike was from Goff to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown for 11 yards.

Then, chaos ensued. The Lions went for two and the win, and they appeared to have it after Goff completed a pass to offensive tackle Taylor Decker, number 68. However, Detroit reported tackle Dan Skipper, number 70 as eligible prior to the play. Therefore, the Lions were called for an illegal touching penalty. The Cowboys were in turn called for an infraction with Micah Parsons being called for being offsides. Finally, the sequence concluded with Dallas forcing an incomplete pass to hang on for the win.

We’re not taking anything away from the Cowboys’ win, but there’s no denying that they were the beneficiaries of the controversial penalty against Decker on the Lions’ two-point try. It appeared that Decker did notify the refs that he was lining up as an eligible receiver, but there was apparently a miscommunication between Decker and the officials.

That play aside, the Cowboys do deserve credit for making enough plays to beat a gamely Lions team. Specifically, the biggest difference in this game was Lamb, who had one of the greatest single-game performances by any player in Cowboys history.

Dallas’ defense also came up big on several instances. One of the unit’s biggest plays was Donovan’s pick that ultimately set up the game-winning score.

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