Dak and Dez fire as Dal­las deny Detroit

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The Dal­las Cow­boys en­tered their fi­nal reg­u­lar-sea­son home game with the NFC East ti­tle and home-field ad­van­tage in the play­offs in their back pocket. Even so, Dal­las showed no signs of slow­ing down as it raced past the Detroit Lions in the third quar­ter on the way to a 42-21 vic­tory on Mon­day night at AT&T Sta­dium. The Lions (9-6) were the team try­ing to lock up a play­off berth, but they couldn’t keep up af­ter half­time with Dal­las (13-2), which had all of its stars on dis­play.

Cow­boys rookie quar­ter­back Dak Prescott passed for 212 yards and three touch­downs. Wide re­ceiver Dez Bryant caught a pair of TD passes and threw an­other, and rookie run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott rushed for 80 yards and two scores on 12 car­ries.

The only sign that Dal­las might have let its hair down a bit, with the NFC East ti­tle in hand, came in the third quar­ter when Bryant threw a 10-yard touch­down pass to tight end Jason Wit­ten.

On first-and-goal from the Detroit 10, Bryant took a pitch go­ing to his left on a re­verse and ap­peared headed up­field. But just be­fore Bryant reached the line of scrim­mage, he tossed to a wide-open Wit­ten in the end zone for the score.

The Bryant-to-Wit­ten con­nec­tion put an ex­cla­ma­tion point on the Cow­boys’ dom­i­na­tion of the third quar­ter.

Af­ter go­ing to half­time tied at 21, Dal­las won the third 14-0 by mov­ing the ball ef­fi­ciently and shut­ting down the Lions’ of­fense.

Cow­boys safety J.J. Wil­cox ended Detroit’s sec­ond-half-open­ing pos­ses­sion by in­ter­cept­ing Matthew Stafford at the Lions 46-yard line.

Dal­las stopped Detroit’s sec­ond se­ries of the third quar­ter at the Lions 36, and Detroit kicker Matt Prater missed a 47-yard field goal on the Lions’ third and fi­nal of­fen­sive se­ries of the pe­riod.

The Cow­boys re­sponded to Prater’s miss by driv­ing 63 yards in seven plays. Prescott hit Bryant for a 19-yard touch­down that put Dal­las ahead 42-21 and in to­tal com­mand with 12:12 left.

Stafford fin­ished 26 of 46 for 260 yards and the one in­ter­cep­tion. Detroit run­ning back Zach Zen­ner pro­duced two touch­downs and 67 yards on 12 car­ries, while tight end Eric Ebron had eight re­cep­tions for 93 yards. Bryant made a jug­gling one­handed touch­down catch, de­spite being in­ter­fered with by Lions cor­ner­back John­son Bade­mosi, to tie the game at 21 go­ing into half­time. Prescott con­verted a third-and-7 by hit­ting Bryant for the 25yard touch­down with 1:04 left in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Detroit scored on its first three pos­ses­sions to take a 21-14 lead with 7:40 re­main­ing in the half. Zen­ner ran 7 yards for the Lions’ first touch­down and 5 yards for the third. Stafford plunged for­ward 1 yard to con­vert a fourth-and-goal and tie it at 14.

Dal­las strug­gled for most of the first half to stop the Lions’ com­bi­na­tion of Stafford and Zen­ner. Stafford fin­ished the first half with 137 pass­ing yards, and Zen­ner rushed for 64 on 10 car­ries be­fore in­ter­mis­sion.

How­ever, Prescott and El­liott helped the Cow­boys keep pace. Prescott hit wide re­ceiver Brice But­ler for a 21-yard touch­down to give Dal­las a 7-0 lead af­ter its first drive. El­liott broke loose for a 55-yard touch­down run late in the sec­ond quar­ter to put the Cow­boys back in front 14-7. El­liott fin­ished the first half with 74 yards on eight car­ries. — Reuters

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