Lions Get Taken to the Woodshed Against Cowboys on Monday Night Football
The Detroit Lions played well in the first half, but couldn’t keep up with the Dallas Cowboys in the second half, losing 42-21 on Monday Night Football. Matthew Stafford never recovered from his third quarter interception and was held without a passing TD (he ran for his only touchdown on a QB sneak). The Lions’ defense wasn’t able to slow down the big boys up front and Dallas had their way with Detroit’s defense for much of the game. The Lions are 9-6, with one game against the 9-6 Packers in Week 17 for the NFC North. Check out my notes from the game below.
The Cowboys received to start the game, coming out in a nice rhythm. Dak Prescott found Dez Bryant for a big gain towards midfield. Jason Witten caught one over the middle for a first down. Prescott then hit Brice Butler for a 21-yard strike for a TD. Dallas goes up 7-0. Matthew Stafford came out and marched right down the field. Zach Zenner was everywhere, catching and running Detroit into the red zone. He finished the drive with a nice cutback run up the gut to tie the game at 7.
The Cowboys ran the ball at will in the first quarter. Ezekiel Elliott broke a 55-yard run for a touchdown a few plays into Dallas’ next drive. The Cowboys took the lead, 14-7. Detroit got the ball back with two and a half minutes left in the first quarter. Stafford found Eric Ebron on back-to-back plays for a big gain and a first down into Dallas territory. Zenner got a few yards and that ran out the first quarter.
End of 1st: Dallas-14, Detroit-7.
Stafford connected with Marvin Jones on 3rd & 7 for a first down, getting to the one-yard line. The Lions decided to go for it on 4th & goal. Stafford took it up the middle for the tying score. 14-14 with over thirteen minutes left in the half. Detroit sacked Prescott to start Dallas’ next drive. After an incompletion to Cole Beasley, Dallas punted for the first time all night. The Lions got great field position off of the punt.
Zenner had a few nice runs, then Golden Tate made a catch into the Cowboys’ red zone. The Lions ran it right up the gut with Zenner, who powered through for the touchdown. Detroit went up 21-14, with a few minutes left in the half. After another punt, Detroit got the ball back and went backward. A punt out of the end zone gave the Cowboys great field position. After a penalty extended the drive, Prescott found Bryant down the right sideline for a 25-yard TD reception with a minute left in the half. Stafford couldn’t get anything going, and the Lions punted to end the half.
Halftime: Detroit-21, Dallas-21.
Stafford, on the first drive of the second half, was flushed out of the pocket to his left and forced an ill-advised throw that got intercepted. The Cowboys took over and got a critical pass-interference on Nevin Lawson which put them in scoring range. Ezekiel Elliott scampered in for a TD, giving Dallas a 28-21 lead. The Lions got the ball back, down by seven with ten minutes left in the quarter.
Stafford threw a couple risky balls, then after a near-INT, the Lions punted. Dallas came out with a balanced attack on offense. Prescott found Terrence Williams for a nice gain. In the red zone, Dallas ran a well-executed trick play – Tossing it to Dez Bryant, who then threw it to Jason Witten for a TD. Dallas went up 35-21. Detroit took over with three and a half minutes left in the third. After getting close to field goal range, Prater missed and Dallas took over as the quarter was ending.
End of 3rd: Dallas-35, Detroit-21.
Dallas could not be stopped on their next drive, moving right down the field. Prescot found Dez Bryant for a beautiful TD pass. The Lions were down by 21 with twelve minutes left in the game. There was enough time to put up a fight, but they just couldn’t get things going. I’ll spare you the final couple of drives, as Stafford failed to get points on the board after a nice first half.
We knew the Lions would need to score in this game, but late in the game, they couldn’t match the Cowboys as many predicted. The defensive line couldn’t stop the Pro-bowl lineman for Dallas. As someone that covers the Cowboys, this is how every game has gone for them all year. Dallas has won thirteen games for a reason. The Lions fall to 9-6, with next week’s game against the Packers deciding the NFC North.
End of Game: Dallas-42, Detroit-21.