The Legend Continues for Romo as Cowboys Clinch NFC East with Amazing Comeback Win
The Dallas Cowboys clinched the NFC East, their first since 1998 with a somewhat miraculous 28-27 win over the Detroit Lions. They are now 12-1 on the season, while the Lions have suffered their 5th straight loss and dropped to 6-7 on the season, making their playoff hopes even bleaker. It may not have quite been like in Buffalo, but it was still really good. Neither team really looked like they could stop the run or pass, but there would be a few plays late in the game that would come back to haunt the Lions.
The Cowboys got the ball to start the game and Romo navigated Dallas to the Detroit 32, but after an incomplete pass to Sam Hurd, the drive stalled and Nick Folk missed a 50-yard field goal that would’ve given Dallas a 3-0 lead early.
After the Lions got the ball they surprised the Cowboys with a running attack that the Cowboys couldn’t stop. T.J Duckett scored a touchdown on a 32-yard run to give the Lions a 7-0 lead early.
After a 3 & out on the next Dallas possession and a 19-yard field goal to give Detroit a 10-0 lead, the Cowboys utilized Marion Barber III very nicely in a balanced attack that ended with a tough Marion Barber touchdown run to cut the lead to 10-7.
After a Jason Hanson 36-yard field goal to make it 13-7 Lions, Detroit forced yet another 3 & out. John Kitna marched his team down the field yet again, resulting in a 2-yard touchdown from Kevin Jones to amazingly make it 20-7 Lions.
The Cowboys would grab momentum right before the end of the half though, as Tony Romo worked the 2 minute drill and found Marion Barber III wide open for an 8-yard touchdown to slice the lead for Detroit to 20-14 at halftime. Terrell Owens didn’t even have a ball thrown to him in the 1st half, but would be worked into the offense in the 2nd half.
The Cowboys forced the Lions into a 3 & out to start the 2nd half, but couldn’t get anywhere on offense and it would come back to bite them. After a rare bad punt from Mat McBriar giving the Lions a 41-yard field, the Cowboys’ defense was exploited again, and Kevin Jones ran in a 3-yard touchdown, his second of the day to make it 27-14 Lions. Now the Cowboys had to bear down, and they did just that.
Romo led the Cowboys down the field, but on 3rd & goal from the 3, Marion Barber was stopped short of the end zone. Now it was decision time, either kick the field to cut it to 10, or go for it to make it a 6 point game. Wade Phillips decided to go for it and it payed off. Marion "The Barbarian" went untouched into the end zone and it was a one possession game again at 27-21 Lions.
The Dallas defense still couldn’t get the stop that they needed to get the ball back, but Jason Hanson missed a 35-yard field goal attempt that would’ve given the Lions a 30-21 lead with 10:45 left to play in the 4th quarter.
Just when it looked like the Cowboys were about to take the lead, the unthinkable happened. Romo drove all the way down the field, but on a 1st & goal completion to Jason Witten, he fumbled the ball trying to stretch it over the goal line and Greg Blue recovered it for Detroit and at the time it looked like he saved the day.
Pinned deep at their own 1, Detroit completed a 3 & 10 and also a 3rd & 8 to keep the drive alive. However, the Cowboys stopped a 3rd & 9 that would’ve ended the game and the Cowboys had one last chance to win. Tony Romo would have to execute the 2-minute offense once again if the Cowboys were to win the game, and he did.
Faced with a 3rd & 6 from his own 40, Romo tried to scramble up the middle for the 1st down, but fumbled the ball. Detroit had a magnificent chance to end it right there, but Kyle Kosier recovered it for the Cowboys to keep them alive. On 4th & 6, Romo found Marion Barber for a 13-yard completion to keep their hopes alive. From there, Tony Romo methodically worked it down field and then found Jason Witten for the game-winning score, a 16-yard strike to give the Cowboys an amazing 28-27 win!
Tony Romo completed 35/44 passes for 302 yards with 2 TD’s.
Marion Barber III carried the ball 7 times for 43 yards and a TD, and also made 10 receptions for 61 yards and a TD for 2 touchdowns on the day. Julius Jones rushed 8 times for 29 yards.
Jason Witten caught 15 passes for 138 yards with 1 TD, while Patrick Crayton had 3 catches for 46 yards. Terrell Owens was silent this game and only caught 3 balls for 21 yards.
Nick Folk missed his only field goal attempt, a 50-yarder, but was 4/4 on extra points.
The Cowboys defense didn’t come up with any takeaways, and the only sack came from Greg Ellis on the last play of the game. He also forced a fumble on the play as well.
Man what a game this was! We make John Kitna eat his words about the Cowboys and his 10-win season prediction at the same time. With this win, the NFC East is clinched, and now we can worry about securing our 1st round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. A Seattle loss to Arizona in a game that is being played now, would give the Cowboys a guaranteed bye. If Seattle wins, we could just clinch that next week at home against the Eagles.
HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!