Dallas nips Detroit among controversial conversion play

Published 12:05 am Sunday, December 31, 2023

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns, and the Dallas Cowboys stopped the Detroit Lions on the third try of a 2-point conversion with 23 seconds remaining, preserving a 20-19 victory to extend their home winning streak to 16 games 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.

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On the final attempt, Goff’s pass to James Mitchell 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.

CeeDee Lamb caught a 92-yard touchdown that 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.

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 finished 19 for 34 for 271 yards with a TD and two interceptions.

Prescott finished 26 for 38 with an interception.

Lamb broke two of receiver Michael Irvin’s single-season club records from 1995 while setting career highs with 13 catches for 227 yards, his first 200-yard game.

The third catch broke Irvin’s mark of 111, although it ended up being a turnover when he fumbled into the end zone out of bounds when Dallas was on the verge of a 14-3 lead.

Lamb has temporary taken the NFL receiving yardage lead with 1,651 yards, 10 more than Miami’s Tyreek Hill, who plays Sunday. Irvin had 1,603 yards in 1995.

Irvin was there to see every catch and yard. He and his fellow Hall of Fame “Triplets” from the 1990s Super Bowl winners — quarterback Troy Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith — greeted Johnson as their former coach joined them in the ring of honor during a halftime ceremony.

Dallas was trailing 3-0 and facing third-and-13 from its 8-yard line in the first quarter when Detroit linebacker Derrick Barnes ran right by Prescott with a chance to sack him just inside the goal line. Cornerback Kindle Vidor fell just as Prescott was throwing deep to a sprinting Lamb, who caught the ball near midfield and cruised to the end zone.


The teams will play their final regular-season games next Saturday or Sunday.

Lions: Host Minnesota.

Cowboys: At Washington.