|Dallas 28||Detroit 27|
|December 09, 2007||Ford Field-Attendance: 62,759 (65,000)||Time: 3:11|
|DET||TD||7:35||T.J. Duckett rush to the left for 32 yards for a touchdown.||0||6|
|DET||PAT||7:35||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||0||7|
|DET||FG||0:12||Jason Hanson 19 yard field goal attempt is good.||0||10|
|DAL||TD||12:13||Marion Barber rush to the right for 20 yards for a touchdown.||6||10|
|DAL||PAT||12:13||Nick Folk extra point attempt is good.||7||10|
|DET||FG||8:22||Jason Hanson 36 yard field goal attempt is good.||7||13|
|DET||TD||1:41||Kevin Jones rush up the middle for 2 yards for a touchdown.||7||19|
|DET||PAT||1:41||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||7||20|
|DAL||TD||0:29||Tony Romo pass completion to the left to Marion Barber for 8 yards for a touchdown.||13||20|
|DAL||PAT||0:29||Nick Folk extra point attempt is good.||14||20|
|DET||TD||4:19||Kevin Jones rush up the middle for 3 yards for a touchdown.||14||26|
|DET||PAT||4:19||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||14||27|
|DAL||TD||14:12||Marion Barber rush up the middle for 1 yard for a touchdown.||20||27|
|DAL||PAT||14:12||Nick Folk extra point attempt is good.||21||27|
|DAL||TD||0:18||Tony Romo pass completion to the middle to Jason Witten for 16 yards for a touchdown.||27||27|
|DAL||PAT||0:18||Nick Folk extra point attempt is good.||28||27|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd down efficiency||4-10||7-14|
|4th down efficiency||2-2||0-0|
|Yards per pass||6.0||6.4|
|Yards per rush||5.4||4.8|
Romo threw a 16-yard pass to Witten with 18 seconds left, lifting Dallas to a 28-27 win over deflated Detroit on Sunday.
The quarterback fumbled near midfield on the drive and the bouncing football was recovered by a teammate after going through a linebacker's hands. The tight end lost the football on the previous possession, less than 1 yard from a go-ahead score.
''I was excited to have the ball back after thinking I lost the game for us,'' said Witten, who set a franchise record with 15 receptions and a career-high with 138 yards receiving.
Dallas (12-1) clinched the NFC East for the first time since 1998 and moved a step closer to earning home-field advantage in the conference playoffs.
''It's important for us to win our division so that we can play at home,'' said coach Wade Phillips, sporting a white championship hat and T-shirt. ''We're going to play at least one game at home. We're now going to try and get a bye and also get home field.''
The Lions (6-7) are left wondering why their season fell apart after winning six of their first eight games, creating a positive buzz for the first time since Matt Millen took charge of the once-mediocre franchise in 2001.
After losing five straight, they officially can't live up to quarterback Jon Kitna's expectations of a 10-win season.
The latest loss delayed the inevitable, though. The Lions would've had trouble reaching the goal with a closing stretch that includes road games against San Diego and Green Bay, along with a home game versus Kansas City.
Detroit put up a fight as a double-digit underdog, but that wasn't enough to satisfy offensive tackle Damien Woody.
''That's part of the problem with the Lions. It's acceptable to put up a fight and all those type of things,'' Woody said. ''At the end of the day, it's really not acceptable.
''It's all about wins.''
The Cowboys would not have won without Romo's steady leadership and Witten's soft hands, and their ability to forget about miscues.
Romo was 35-of-44 for 302 yards and two TDs, helping the Cowboys win 12 of their first 13 games for the first time in franchise history.
''I'm not trying to prove anything to anybody else but myself and my teammates that we're good enough to win a Super Bowl,'' Romo said.
The Lions had chances to win a game only they thought they could. It was a situation similar to the final week last season, when they went to Dallas with only pride at stake and beat a Cowboys team jockeying for playoff position.
Kevin Jones ran for 92 yards and two scores, T.J. Duckett had a 32-yard TD run and Detroit led 27-14 after three quarters.
''This is the ninth time we came from behind this year and it kind of shows you the character and heart of this team,'' Phillips said.
After Marion Barber scored for the third time early in the fourth period, the Lions had an opportunity to go ahead by more than a TD. But Jason Hanson's 35-yard field goal attempt sailed just wide right.
''You don't say it's over, but that was the season,'' Hanson said.
The blown chance came back to haunt Detroit.
After Witten fumbled and the Lions punted, Dallas got the ball back at its 17 with 2:15 and no timeouts left.
''I felt bad for Jay,'' Romo said. ''I told him when we went to the sidelines that he was going to get another chance.''
He did, thanks in part to a break that went Dallas' way when former Lion Kyle Kosier recovered Romo's fumble.
''It was unfortunate, but it was a great job by him,'' Romo said.
Romo converted a fourth down on the next play with a pass to Barber, and connected on his next two passes for first downs.
On a second-and-6 from the 16, Romo threw a perfect pass to Witten as he found an opening in the middle of the field on a post pattern.
''Witten played about as well as I've ever seen,'' Romo said.
Notes: Detroit successfully took Terrell Owens out of the game, limiting him to three catches for 21 yards, but the scheme created chances for Witten and Barber in the passing game. ... Kitna was 22-of-36 for 248 yards without a score or an interception. ... Detroit outgained Dallas 390-368, had 152 yards rushing against one of the NFL's best teams against the run and allowed only one sack after giving up the most in the league. ''I'm not going to throw bouquets out for a hard effort,'' Lions coach Rod Marinelli said.
Defense: --- C+. The Defense certainly played much better than last weeks debacle in Minnesota. They held TO in check which was very surprising. Recovering Jason Witten's fumble at the one in the 2nd half was a huge play. But, with a little more than two minutes to go and no time outs Romo and company showed why they are one of the best teams in the NFL and why the Lions are not. There are no excuses for Paris Lenon not recovering that fumble which would have won hte Lions the game. How fitting for the Defense to surrender a touchdown with 18 seconds left - so close to closing out the Cowboys.
Special Teams: --- F. If Stan Kwan is around next year I would be shocked. His special teams have been a total disgrace most of the year. Every week the special teams give up big returns and end up hurting the Lions dearly. A few times Dallas got great field position because of the Special Teams. The biggest back breaker was Hanson missing a 35 yard field goal in the fourth quarter. How often does that happen? Just about never.
Coaching: --- C. Wow! Look what happens when you have a balance between running and passing the ball. The Offense certainly looked much better and it is a mystery why Martz could not have figured this out earlier. Marinelli had the team ready to play which was surprising since just about everyone was predicting a blow out. But, there are no moral victories in the NFL and Marinelli certainly has his work cut of for him with his teams chances of making the playoffs just about over.
Overall: --- D. The Lions outplayed the 2nd best team in football for just about the entire game but fell short because they could not make the necessary plays to seal the victory. Good teams can win games when they are having a bad day. Teams that lack talent cannot. At 6-7 and a five game losing streak and growing starring down them, I would be shocked if they will put up a fight in San Diego. The Lions will most likely beat KC in two weeks given they are an awful football team and then head to Lambeau for their annual beating to finish the season at 7-9. If the Fords were serious about the Lions winning, all they need to do is look at the three other professional teams in Detroit. All three have if not the best GM's in their sport. But, the honolulu blue and silver have the worst in all four professional sports. I keep saying this year in and year out but until Millen is gone, nothing will ever change and it will be the same old crap we have seen the past seven seasons. Thank goodness for the Tigers, Pistons and Wings!