|Detroit 39||Dallas 31|
|December 31, 2006||Texas Stadium-Attendance: 63,008 (65,675)||Time: 3:21|
|DET||FG||11:08||Jason Hanson 33 yard field goal attempt is good.||3||0|
|DET||FG||5:13||Jason Hanson 25 yard field goal attempt is good.||6||0|
|DET||TD||2:37||Jon Kitna pass completion to the right to Roy Williams for 20 yards for a touchdown.||12||0|
|DET||PAT||2:37||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||13||0|
|DAL||TD||11:38||Marion Barber III rush to the right for 1 yard for a touchdown.||13||6|
|DAL||PAT||11:38||Martin Gramatica extra point attempt is good.||13||7|
|DAL||TD||2:48||Tony Romo pass completion to the middle to Patrick Crayton for 6 yards for a touchdown.||13||13|
|DAL||PAT||2:48||Martin Gramatica extra point attempt is good.||13||14|
|DET||TD||0:02||Jon Kitna pass completion to the right to Roy Williams for 15 yards for a touchdown.||19||14|
|DET||PAT||0:02||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||20||14|
|DAL||TD||12:16||Nick Harris punts 43 yards. Terence Newman returns 56 yards for a touchdown.||20||20|
|DAL||PAT||12:16||Martin Gramatica extra point attempt is good.||20||21|
|DET||FG||6:06||Jason Hanson 26 yard field goal attempt is good.||23||21|
|DET||TD||4:16||Jon Kitna pass completion to the right to Mike Furrey for 13 yards for a touchdown.||29||21|
|DET||PAT||4:16||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||30||21|
|DAL||FG||0:04||Martin Gramatica 39 yard field goal attempt is good.||30||24|
|DAL||TD||8:09||Tony Romo pass completion to the right to Terrell Owens for 56 yards for a touchdown.||30||30|
|DAL||PAT||8:09||Martin Gramatica extra point attempt is good.||30||31|
|DET||TD||4:24||Jon Kitna pass completion to the left to Mike Williams for 21 yards for a touchdown.||36||31|
|DET||2PT||4:24||Jon Kitna 2-pt conversion pass attempt failed.||36||31|
|DET||FG||2:58||Jason Hanson 23 yard field goal attempt is good.||39||31|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd down efficiency||9-17||6-10|
|4th down efficiency||1-1||0-1|
|Yards per pass||5.9||8.5|
|Yards per rush||3.4||2.8|
It just means they're in a mess of trouble heading into what Bill Parcells likes to call ''the tournament.''
Done in by repeated mistakes from Tony Romo and a few more by Terence Newman, the Cowboys blew their chance to stay alive in the NFC East race and build some much-needed momentum for the playoffs with a 39-31 loss to the lowly Lions on Sunday.
''I can't tell you how disappointed I am. I really can't,'' Parcells said, his tone more deflated than irate. ''This is the low point for me in a long time.''
Detroit would've been better off losing this game and locking up the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
But even the Lions (3-13) couldn't refuse all the gifts the Cowboys gave them, from a penalty on Newman wiping out an interception return for a touchdown on the game's first snap to Romo failing to scramble into the end zone from the 6-yard line on the final play that mattered.
In between, Romo threw an interception and lost two fumbles, Newman muffed a punt and there were plenty more mental errors by their teammates.
''Too many things that beat you, we did today,'' Parcells said.
It could get worse Saturday night when the Cowboys (9-7) play a first-round game at Seattle.
Dallas goes into the playoffs on its first two-game losing streak of the season and having dropped three of four. There are plenty of reasons for it, from Romo looking more like a career backup than a Pro Bowler, to the defense being at its worst.
The Cowboys have allowed 132 points the last four games, the exact amount they gave up the previous eight games. Realizing a change may be needed, Dallas tested out a lot of different formations and player combinations; they'll have to go back to the drawing board considering Detroit scored its most points in 63 games, since the 2003 opener.
''We are definitely going in backwards from the way we wanted to,'' said Romo, who was 23-of-32 for 321 yards with two touchdowns. ''We may not scare anyone right now. We win a game or two and that will change.''
Detroit's Jon Kitna was 28-of-42 for 306 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. He set the club record for completions in a season and joined Scott Mitchell as the only Lions quarterbacks to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.
Roy Williams caught the first two TDs, a great one that withstood replay and another with 2 seconds left in the first half. Mike Williams caught a 21-yarder that put Detroit ahead for good and Mike Furrey punctuated his TD by firing the football into a plastic Cowboys logo behind the end zone, knocking it off the wall and putting a crack in it.
''I didn't think the star would come down,'' he said. ''I didn't want to do that. But all the guys enjoyed it.''
The Raiders did, too. Now Oakland gets the top overall pick and the Lions will go second.
Detroit has played better than its record indicates all season, getting blown out only twice. Just last week, they had a chance to beat NFC-leading Chicago but botched the final play.
This time, Detroit made the final play, stuffing Romo's fourth-down scramble. He also was stopped on a first-down run and forced to throw incompletions on second and third downs.
''It's important for us to go into the offseason like this,'' defensive tackle Cory Redding said. ''The way we finished, it doesn't get any better than that.''
Dallas led by one several times, including Newman atoning for his mistakes with the team's first punt return for a touchdown since 2001 and Owens catching a 56-yard pass for a 31-30 advantage with 8:09 left.
That play capped a 99-yard drive that was highlighted by Romo losing the ball in his own end zone, picking it up and throwing to Owens for 17 yards. It was the kind of good luck that was Romo's hallmark when he won five of his first six starts, and it seemed like the kind of play that could've turned things around for the Cowboys.
But the Lions answered with Mike Williams' TD and Romo fumbled on his very next snap. That led to Jason Hanson's fourth field goal of the game and an eight-point Detroit lead with 2:58 to go.
When Romo was stopped shy of the goal line, the loudest cheer came from Philadelphia because it meant the Eagles clinched the division title.
''We talked about playing with emotion,'' said Newman, who last week accused teammates of doing more talking than playing. ''I don't think it was there.''
Notes: The Cowboys finished with more road wins (five) than home wins (four) for the first time since 1989, when they were 1-7 and 0-8. ... Roy Williams caught six passes for 104 yards for Detroit and Furrey had 11 for 102. Furrey caught 98 passes this season, the most ever by a non-rookie following a season when he had no catches. ... DeMarcus Ware had three sacks, giving him 11 1/2 for the season, the most ever by a Dallas linebacker and the most for anyone since Tony Tolbert had 12 in 1996. ... Owens caught six passes for 117 yards and Terry Glenn had six for 109. Both hit milestones: T.O. got his 800th career catch and T.G. went over 1,000 yards for a second straight season. ... Lions right tackle Jonathan Scott was strapped to a board and taken off via motorized cart during the fourth quarter. The team said it was a hip injury.
Defense: --- C. Season: F. The Defense gave up 24 points against the Cowboys and for the third straight road game forced several turnovers that put the Offense in a great spot. Ernie Sims definitely lived up to expectations and should be a force for years to come. I was worried about all his concussions in college, but he played every game. Boss Bailey has been a failure but the biggest disappointment definitely goes to Kalimba Edwards. Mr. 24-72 knew exactly what he was doing giving Edwards a multi year contract after a mediocre few years in Detroit. Edwards had a whopping 3 sacks the entire season! At least Kalimaba admitted he was stealing money from the Lions - too bad Millen doesn't believe he is. Shaun Rogers had a great first game against Seattle and then unraveled with his drug suspension. He needs to get his head straightened out or should ask to be traded. Dre Bly did a decent job in the secondary and Stanley Wilson was a pleasant surprise. Still, the Defense was awful against the run and was just darn right miserable stopping teams in the fourth quarter. That adds up to a flunking grade and also Defensive Coordinator Donnie Henderson's job
Special Teams: --- C-. Season: B+. Nothing like giving up a touchdown on a punt return to give Dallas the lead. Other than the run back, Eddie Drummond had one of his best games of the year but failed to find the endzone the entire season. He's on his last leg and next season should be his last. Jason Hanson had great season and should have at least a few more years left in his leg. Nick Harris was not as good as the prior season but did a decent job punting. Loing Special Teams coach Chuck Preifer to retirement will be a big void to fill. He gave the Lions one of the best Special Team units in the NFL the past seasons. He will be missed.
Coaching: --- A. Season: D-. I give Marinelli and his staff credit for going all out against the Cowboys - Marinelli certainly ended the season on a bright note after seven straight loses. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the games he was a deer caught in head lights! The Lions wasted so many time outs because they were not ready for a play it was sick. Marinelli talked the talk but definitely did not walk the walk. I can only hope he has learned from his rookie coaching season - i'm not sure he will survive another awful season.
Overall: --- C. Season: F-. Leave it to the Lions to pull one of the biggest upsets of the year and beat the Dallas Cowboys on the road! Looking back at this season, it pains me to say it, but the Lions could have been a playoff team had they known how to finish games. With the exception of the Bears road game and Miami Thanksgiving Day game, the Lions had a chance in every game they played. It certainly did not help out with all the injuries that struck - isn't that a repeating record during the Millen regime? The bottom line is the Lions are lacking the talent needed to be a mediocre team in a league that all about parity. They have consistently blown draft picks and are the laughing stock of the NFL. So, did it shock anyone when Millen announced that he's definitely not quitting and will be back? Not I. It is what it is. What can I say, William Clay Ford could give to rats about his football team. How Millen gets to survive another year is beyond mind boggling. How did my two of my buddies take the news? They are canceling their season tickets they have had for almost a decade! And i'm sure there will be several others that follow suit. Unfortunately, there are too many Lions fans like myself that keep hoping one of these years they get it right. I mean for crying out loud! Look at the freaking New Orleans Saints!!! They were worse than the Lions only a year ago and now have a great shot at ending up in the Super Bowl. Look at what they did during the last off season - draft Reggie Bush (Lions could have had him if they had not gotten that miracle victory a year ago against the Saints), sign Drew Brees (the Lions opted for an over the hill journey man QB named John Kitna) and hired a head coach that had a little more experience than Rod Marinelli. So, who made all those moves? The Saints GM! See, it all starts with the GM and that is why Millen should have been given the axe a long time ago. If Millen thought it was bad this past season, just wait if the Lions are a failure next year! If by some stroke of luck, Millen signs some decent free agents (fat chance in hell) and if they have a good draft (seeing is believing), the Lions should at least be able to contend for the mediocre 8-8 record. With the second pick overall, all I know is they better not draft Brady Quinn if Oakland does not take him. Quinn will be the next Joey Harrington in the NFL - the Lions better stay far away from him. Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson is the best RB available but i'm not sure he is worth the second pick overall. If Millen has any brains he will trade down and hopefully pick up extra picks to give this team some depth. I will update the website with any breaking Lions offseason news and will most definitely comment on the draft in a few months. Until then, thanks again for putting up with my rants and raves since 1996 - the longest of any Lions website on the Internet!