Cowboys deny Lions on 2-point try for 20-19 win to extend home win streak to 16

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, right, is sacked by Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, center, as Cowboys center Tyler Biadasz (63) tries to block during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

ARLINGTON, Texas — CeeDee Lamb could only watch from the sideline in the final seconds of the best game of his career, hoping it would be enough for a 16th consecutive home victory for the Dallas Cowboys.

It was, because the Cowboys survived a 2-point conversion fest with Detroit going for the win.


The first of Dak Prescott’s two touchdown passes was a 92-yarder to Lamb, and Dallas stopped the third 2-point try from the Lions after they were penalized when they converted the first with 23 seconds remaining in the Cowboys’ 20-19 victory Saturday night.

On the first conversion try after Jared Goff’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown, Goff completed a pass to lineman Taylor Decker, but he was ruled to be an ineligible receiver.

The Lions went for 2 again from the 7-yard line and were stopped on an interception that didn’t even reach the end zone, but the Cowboys were called for offsides.

On the final attempt, Goff’s pass to James Mitchell short of the goal line was incomplete, finishing off the Dallas celebration of two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson’s induction into the team’s ring of honor at halftime.

“Very stressful,” said Lamb, who had a career-high 227 yards receiving. “But definitely I know my defense had us, and they held it down.”

Lamb’s touchdown was the second-longest pass in club history — behind the 95-yard connection in 1966 between two more ring of honor members in Don Meredith and Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Bob Hayes.

The NFC North champion Lions (11-5) went for the victory after entering the game with hopes of getting one of the top two seeds in the NFC.

“I told the offense that we were going down, 1:41 left, we’re going to go down and score and then we’re going to go for 2 and finish this game off,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “I told them that, and so that’s what we’re doing.”

The playoff-bound Cowboys (11-5) have a shot at the NFC East title, but need division-leading Philadelphia to lose at least once in the final two weeks.

Dallas went ahead 17-13 on Brandin Cooks’ scoring catch from Prescott midway through the fourth quarter, and the Cowboys extended the lead to seven on Brandon Aubrey’s record 35th field goal without a miss to start his career.

Goff’s second interception set up Aubrey’s kick, but he led the Lions 75 yards in nine plays to St. Brown’s TD catch.

Goff said Decker, the starting left tackle, reported to officials and Dan Skipper, a backup offensive tackle, did not. Skipper said he didn’t report to an official. Two players can’t report to be eligible receivers on the same play.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” said Campbell, who was visibly angry with referee Brad Allen after the successful 2-point play was negated.

In a pool report, Allen said Skipper reported to him as eligible, but then lined up in a tackle spot that didn’t require him to report. Allen said Decker didn’t report, and that his conversation with Decker was about Skipper reporting.

Video showed Allen and Decker talking before Allen said something to the Dallas defense.

“That conversation is where (Skipper) reports to me, and I then go to the defensive team, and I say to them ‘(Skipper) has reported as an eligible receiver,’ so they will be aware of who has reported,” Allen said in the pool report.

Goff finished 19 for 34 for 271 yards with a TD and two interceptions, and David Montgomery had a scoring run.

“It’s unfortunate, man,” Goff said. “I don’t know if I’ve had this feeling before where you feel like you won and then you didn’t.”

Prescott finished 26 for 38 for 345 yards with an interception.

Lamb broke two of receiver Michael Irvin’s single-season club records from 1995 while also setting career highs with 13 catches in his first 200-yard game.

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