Oct 2, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson (81) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against Dallas Cowboys safety Barry Church (42)and linebacker Sean Lee (50) at Cowboys Stadium. The Lions beat the Cowboys 34-30. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys are set for an important week 8 matchup. The season is just approaching the half-way point but this one has serious playoff implications.
The Cowboys look like the best of a weak NFC East but the Lions can’t fall back on a weak division. To earn their way in they will have to beat other NFC playoff contenders like the Cowboys. They’ve already done that in beating the Bears, can they get another big win today?
Here is all the important information for today’s game.
Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions – 1:00 PM ET
Ford Field – Detroit, MI
TV: Fox (Dick Stockton, Brian Billick)
Radio: 97.1 FM in Detroit (click here for affiliates)
Live Stream: NFL Live
Favorite: Lions by 3
Game Time Weather: Indoors
Out: Nate Burleson (forearm), Corey Hilliard (knee)
Questionable: Jason Fox (knee), Riley Reiff (hamstring)
Probable: Reggie Bush (knee), Louis Delmas (knee), Calvin Johnson (knee), Rashean Mathis (groin), Ashlee Palmer (ankle), Brandon Pettigrew (hamstring), Andre Fluellen (concussion), Theo Riddick (concussion)
Out: DeVonte Holloman (neck), J.J. Wilcox (knee)
Doubtful: DeMarcus Ware (thigh)
Questionable: Miles Austin (hamstring), DeMarco Murray (knee)
Probable: Morris Claiborne (illness), Nick Hayden (back), Lance Dunbar (hamstring), Jason Hatcher (neck), George Selvie (shoulder), Dez Bryant (hamstring/wrist), Ronald Leary (knee), Dwayne Harris (hip)
Last meeting: October 2, 2011
The Cowboys took the opening drive of the second half in for a touchdown to give them a commanding 27-3 lead. The Lions looked buried but a funny thing happened once the Cowboys got that 24-point lead. Tony Romo kept throwing touchdown passes, just to the Lions this time. Bobby Carpenter stretched for an interception and showed some nice running skills as he cut across the field and eventually found the end zone for the Lions’ first touchdown of the game. Less than five minutes later it was Chris Houston intercepting Tony Romo and outrunning the Dallas offensive line along the sideline for a touchdown of his own. It was a new game at 27-17 and the Lions offense still hadn’t found the end zone themselves.
The Lions couldn’t pick-six their way to a win and needed the offense to start putting up some points of their own. Big players need to make big plays in big spots and that is exactly what they got following a Cowboys field goal that extended their lead to 30-17. Matthew Stafford threw a deep pass to a triple covered Calvin Johnson in the end zone for a touchdown in the early stages of the fourth quarter to bring the Lions within one score.
The Lions looked to have a golden opportunity to punch in the go ahead score later in the fourth but four penalties stalled a drive and forced a 51-yard field goal from the steady Jason Hanson with 4:22 left to play. The Lions defense didn’t just hold the lead, they put the offense in perfect position to win the game when linebacker Stephen Tulloch dropped deep into coverage and intercepted an under thrown ball that gave the Lions possession in Cowboys territory.
Needing just a field goal to tie the game, the Lions offense drove inside the Cowboys five yard line and managed to run the Cowboys dry of time outs. A third down pass went incomplete in the end zone but a defensive holding call gave the Lions a new set of downs on the one yard line. Matthew Stafford wasted little time in getting the go ahead score. Calvin Johnson made a leaping catch in the corner of the end zone and held on as he landed hard on his back. Deficit deleted comeback complete as the Lions won 34-30.