June 22, 2024

All season lengthy, the primary concern concerning the Dallas Cowboys has been whether or not they can beat the cream of the crop.

A minimum of briefly, they addressed that with their 20-19 victory over the Detroit Lions, however that unique narrative was oh so near remaining true.

Getting into Saturday, the Cowboys had performed seven video games towards groups that presently maintain a playoff spot – they gained simply two of them, beating the Los Angeles Rams (earlier than they turned issues round) and the Seattle Seahawks.

And so they virtually went to 2-6 in such video games. Nearly…

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Cowboys extensive receiver CeeDee Lamb makes a catch towards Lions cornerback Kindle Vildor throughout the first half at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023. (Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Contained in the two-minute warning, Mike McCarthy pulled a Mike McCarthy and saved the Lions from burning a timeout on account of an incomplete cross on second down, somewhat than losing the clock. The Cowboys have been held to a discipline objective and went up, 20-13, with 1:41 to go.

It was greater than sufficient time for the Lions – Detroit marched proper down the sector in 9 performs, and Amon-Ra St. Brown scored from 11 yards out with 23 seconds left. 

Detroit, having already clinched the NFC North with nothing to lose, went for the win and opted to go for 2. It was profitable, as Jared Goff ran a play motion and located Taylor Decker, an offensive lineman, ultimately zone. However…refs stated he didn’t report himself as eligible! So, flag on the play. 

Take two.

Detroit opted to maintain the offense on the sector, and Goff threw a choose. BUT WAIT! That wasn’t all! Micah Parsons lined up offsides.

Take three.

Goff’s third cross fell incomplete, and there have been no flags this time. Detroit went for the onside kick, however was unsuccessful.

CeeDee Lamb pregame

CeeDee Lamb #88 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up earlier than kickoff towards the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium on December 30, 2023 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photograph by Cooper Neill/Getty Photographs)

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Though McCarthy’s decision-making virtually gave the sport away, he did have an excellent gameplan beforehand: Give the ball to CeeDee Lamb.

Within the first quarter, Dak Prescott discovered Lamb for a 92-yard landing, which was a preview of what was to come back. Simply earlier than the half, Lamb was inches away from his second rating of the evening – however he was a sufferer of the worst rule in sports activities when he fumbled the ball, and it went out of bounds ultimately zone, leading to a touchback. So, as an alternative of a 14-3 Cowboys lead, it stayed at 7-3.

Halfway by the third, David Montgomery ventured his method into the top zone to place the Lions up 10-7, however Dallas answered with a 51-yard discipline objective to tie it simply earlier than the beginning of the fourth.

Detroit kicked a discipline objective shortly after a 64-yard reception from Jameson Williams to go up three, however with 7:20 to go, Prescott discovered Brandin Cooks for a landing, and Dallas was up 17-13. Then all of the aforementioned hell broke free.

Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb #88 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with Dak Prescott #4 after scoring a 92 yard landing towards the Detroit Lions throughout the first quarter within the sport at AT&T Stadium on December 30, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Photographs)

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Prescott accomplished 26 of his 38 passes for 345 yards, 227 of which went to Lamb. His evening additionally gave him essentially the most receptions and receiving yards in a single season in Cowboys historical past, surpassing Michael Irvin in each classes. He now has 122 catches for 1,651 on the season, which each rank first within the league (though Tyreek Hill trails by simply 10 yards and has but to play this weekend).

The win retains Dallas’ hopes of successful the NFC East alive, as they improved to 11-5 on the season though the Philadelphia Eagles do nonetheless management their very own future. Detroit fell to that very same file, as they’re nonetheless vying for seeding – they clinched their first division title since 1993 final week. 

Dallas wraps up their common season towards the Commanders in Washington, whereas the Lions will host the Minnesota Vikings.

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