The Dallas Cowboys completed the largest second half comeback in franchise history to beat the Detroit Lions 24-20 in Dallas, Texas. Detroit had built a 17-7 lead by the half, but the Lions’ offense only managed a field goal in the second half; while the Cowboys scored 17 second half points to come back and win the game.
Romo found wide receiver Terrence Williams running a post route in the end zone to give the Cowboys 24-20 lead with six minutes left to go in the ball game. The Cowboys had been targeting Williams throughout their game winning drive, including a pass that was thrown a little to far to the wide receivers right and he went out of bounds. Fortunately for Dallas, Romo put the ball right into Williams’ bread basket for the score.
Detroit almost lost the game after the two minute warning when quarterback Matthew Stafford fumbled the football while he was getting sacked. And defensive end DeMarcus Lawerence recovered the fumble…only to fumble the ball when he was being tackled. The Lions recovered and were able to get another first down play thanks to the fact that the Cowboys had originally recovered the fumble.
The Lions attempt at a comeback came to an abrupt end when Stafford was sacked, and fumbled the football, on a fourth and three with one minute left in the fourth quarter. Dallas’ defensive line had struggled throughout the game with getting pressure on the quarterback, but they came up big on the final drive as they consistently harassed Stafford in the backfield.
Dallas’ defense received some help from the officials late in the fourth quarter when the officials picked up a defensive pass interference flag after announcing the penalty. Detroit was facing a third and one when they took a shot down field. Stafford threw the ball towards tight end Brandon Pettigrew, but the pass was “broken up” by line backer Andrew Hitchens. Hitchens had his back turned to the ball and did not turn his back towards the ball, this is called face guarding. The officials initially flagged it for defensive pass interference — which face guarding is — and then picked up the flag.
Stafford then drew a delay of game penalty during the fourth and one play, forcing the Lions to punt the ball. Dallas took its only lead on its ensuing possession.
The first touchdown of the game was scored by Lions’ wide receiver Golden Tate when Stafford found him on a slant route. After the catch, Tate just outran the Dallas defense on his way to the end zone as he completed the 51-yard touchdown. Detroit’s second touchdown came on a 18-yard run by running back Reggie Bush. Both of those touchdowns came in the first quarter, and were the only touchdowns the Lions would score.
Dallas will be traveling to Green Bay, Wisc. to take on the No. 2 seed Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoff.