Week 11 Game Recap: Detroit Lions 7, Dallas Cowboys 20
What you need to know
Penalties were the story of the game for the Detroit Lions. They were penalized 17 times for 149 yards. Penalties that either stalled their own drives or extended the Cowboys’ drives.
Joey Harrington managed the game fairly well. He completed 17 passing attempts for 169 yards. He did not throw an interception or a touchdown. Late in the game, leading the Lions downfield quite effectively, Harrington stepped forward and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by the Cowboys and was enough to bring the Lions’ chances to comeback to an end.
The Lions continued to use their trio of running backs interchangeably, though in this game Kevin Jones and Shawn Bryson saw the majority of the work. Jones saw the majority of the work with 12 carries for 49 yards, and his fifth rushing touchdown of the season. Jones also added three receptions for 48 yards to his totals. Bryson supplemented him with an additional four carries for 15 yards and two receptions for 13 yards. Unlike previous games, Artose Pinner was an afterthought and only had one carry for seven yards in the second quarter.
Roy Williams was still the leading receiver for the Lions, but he nowhere matched his three touchdown game from last week. He saw a team leading ten targets and caught half of them for 72 yards. He made a beautiful 30 yard reception to the two yard line that led to Kevin Jones’ rushing score
Solid rushing by both Julius Jones and Marion Barber III provided the edge and the scores that the Cowboys needed in this game. Jones had particular success running between the twenties, and rushed for 92 yards on his 21 carries. In the second quarter, Jones made three rushing attempts at the goal line, all that came up short and the Cowboys were forced to settle with a field goal. Barber on the other hand, did have success when it came to the goal line and he rushed for two touchdowns, one for six yards, the second for four yards.
The Cowboys’ passing game was nothing to write home about. Drew Bledsoe did not make any major mistakes, but he only completed 12 out of 23 attempts for a mere 110 yards. His longest pass went for 15 yards. Terry Glenn was relatively quiet, though his first reception for nine yards during the Cowboys’ opening drive was his 500th career reception. Keyshawn Johnson led the team with eight targets and caught five of them for 57 yards.
Billy Cundiff recorded the longest Dallas field goal ever with his 56 yarder near the end of the first half.
What you ought to know
Harrington started the game at quarterback for the Lions. Harrington managed the game well, completing 17 out of 25 passing attempts for 169 yards. And it is of note that he did not throw either a touchdown or an interception. He was leading the Lions into the Cowboys’ territory when he lost a fumble in the fourth quarter which put any dreams of a late game comeback for the Lions to rest.
|RB Kevin Jones, Rush: 12 - 29 - 1, Rec: 3 - 38 - 0 (3 targets)|
Jones made a great 28 yard gain on a catch in the second quarter. He ran in to score his fifth rushing touchdown for the season, following Roy Williams’ 30 yard catch to the two yard line. Jones made a 13 yard reception during the fourth quarter.
|RB Shawn Bryson, Rush: 4 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (3 targets)|
Bryson broke tackles to gain 14 yards on his first carry. It was his longest gain of the game and he only added an additional one yard on the rest of his carries. Bryson was also targeted three times and added two receptions for 13 yards.
Pinner saw his first and only carry in the second quarter.
Schlesinger carried the ball on a fourth and inches play in the second quarter and was able to just barely convert. He was also targeted in the second quarter as well.
Williams was targeted deep during the Lions’ opening drive, and was called for offensive pass interference. He made a 15 yard catch on the next play. In the second quarter, Williams was targeted deep along the sidelines, but the pass was broken up by Aaron Glenn. He made a beautiful deep reception for 30 yards to the Dallas’ two yard line. At the start of the second half, Williams had a pass broken up by Terence Newman.
Rogers caught everything that came his way making four receptions for 41 yards. But it is of note that he was not looked to until the fourth quarter of play.
With the emergence of Rogers and Williams, Vines was an afterthought in the Detroit offense, only getting one target thrown his way.
Pollard made only two receptions for five yards.
Fitzsimmons made his one reception for no yardage in the third quarter.
Hanson missed a 50 yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. He did convert his one extra point attempt.
Nate Wayne recovered a Julius Jones’ fumble at the start of the second quarter. Shaun Rogers limped off the field, but was able to return to the game. During Dallas’ second drive, the Lions gave up 49 penalty yards to the Cowboys. But they made a tough goal line stance, holding Julius Jones from scoring on three straight carries. And though they found the answer to keeping Jones out of the end zone, they had no answer for Marion Barber III who scored two rushing touchdowns of four and six yards.
The Lions kept what was has been a strong passing attack by the Cowboys at bay, holding Drew Bledsoe to only 110 passing yards and no touchdowns. Kalimba Edwards sacked Bledsoe once.
|QB Drew Bledsoe, Pass: 12 - 23 - 110 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 2 - 0|
Bledsoe managed a game that took advantage of Lions’ penalties, relied on strong rushing from the Cowboy’s rushing corps, and utilized short accurate passes to move the ball and put the Cowboys’ in scoring positions. Bledsoe did not compete a pass over 15 yards in length. In the second quarter, Bledsoe was slow in getting up and was visibly limping, but it did not impact his play.
|RB Julius Jones, Rush: 21 - 92 - 0, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets)|
Jones started the game with two great carries up the middle for a total of 30 yards. He played a huge role during the start of the Cowboys’ first drive. Jones lost a fumble at the beginning of the second quarter. He was stopped on three goal line carries and the Cowboys’ were forced to settle for a field goal. Jones was more effective rushing between the twenties and finished the game with 92 yards on his 21 carries.
Barber saw his first carry of the game during the opening drive, on a short yardage situation. He converted the first down. Barber was more productive at the goal line and rushed for the two Cowboys’ touchdowns in the game. He saw goal line carries and rushed for a six yard touchdown during the Cowboy’s first drive. In the third quarter, Barber scored his second rushing touchdown up the middle.
Thompson saw only two carries on which he gained two yards.
Polite caught a screen catch to the one yard line.
Johnson was the leading receiver for the Cowboys’ with his five receptions for 37 yards. Johnson’s first target was broken up by R.J. McQuarters. On the same play, a roughing the passer penalty was called against the Lions. His second target on the next play was thrown behind him. Johnson made his first catch for nine yards to gain a first down over the middle; it was his longest reception for the game. He made his second catch in the third quarter for eight yards over the middle. He made back to back receptions in the third quarter that gained a combined 13 yards.
Glenn made his 500th career reception of the game with his first catch on the Cowboys’ opening drive. He was relatively quiet in the game and made three receptions for 35 yards on his six targets.
Price was targeted in the end zone near the end of the first half.
Witten was targeted in the red zone, he was wide open and the pass just went off his fingertips. He was targeted on the very next play, but the pass was knocked down. The Lions were called for illegal contact on the play. Witten has his first reception in the game during the third quarter called back because of an offensive holding penalty. He made his first catch for ten yards in the third quarter.
Cundiff made a 56 yard field goal attempt to bring the first half to a close. It was the longest field goal in Dallas history. He had earlier made a 19 yard field goal attempt as well. And converted two extra point attempts.
The Cowboys’ rush defense kept the Lions in check. They only allowed a total of 57 yards rushing; the only soft spot was the two yard touchdown run they allowed to Kevin Jones. Dat Nguyen recovered Joey Harrington’s fumble in the fourth quarter.
Aaron Glenn had an interception returned for a touchdown nullified with a false start penalty against Casey Fitzsimmons. Greg Ellis sacked Joey Harrington.