Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten accomplished two things Sunday: he set career highs in receptions and receiving yardage and he helped his team win a game. Witten caught the winning touchdown pass from Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo with 18 seconds left in the game, enabling the cowboys to slip past the Detroit Lions 28-27 at Ford Field.
Detroit dominated the scoring in the first quarter, thanks to a 32-yard TD run by RB T.J. Duckett and a 19-yard field goal by kicker Jason Hanson to give the Lions a 10-0 lead after the first quarter. After Dallas RB Marion Barber scored for the second time early in the 4th quarter, the LIons had the chance to go ahead by more than 10 points; however, Detroit’s Hanson missed a 35-yard FG to keep their lead at 7.
After Witten fumbled and the Lions punted, Dallas got the ball back at its 17 yard line with 2:15 left and no timeouts remaining. The Cowboys caught a huge break when former Lion Kyle Kosier recovered a Romo fumble at midfield when the ball went through the hands of Lions linebacker Paris Lenon. Romo would convert on fourth down on the next play to Barber and then connected on his next 2 passes for first downs. On 2nd-and-6 from Detroit’s 16, Romo would find Witten in the end zone for the winning score.
Romo had a very good outing, going 35-of-44 for 302 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Barber had a decent effort as well, rushing for 43 yards on only 7 carries while rushing for 2 TD’s; he also caught 10 balls for 61 yards and a score. The aforementioned Witten led all Cowboys receivers with 15 receptions for 138 yards (both career highs) and a TD. Detroit QB Jon Kitna had an OK afternoon, going 22-for-36 for 248 yards but with zero TD’s. RB Kevin Jones had a very good day, rushing 23 times for 92 yards with 2 scores; T.J. Duckett contributed to the Lions’ running attack by rushing 9 times for 60 yards and a score. Wide receiver Shaun NcDonald led all Lions receivers with 8 receptions for 96 yards, while Calvin Johnson caught 5 balls for 51 yards. Dallas (12-1) flies to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles next Sunday afternoon, while Detroit (6-7), playoff chances all but gone, flies west to take on the San Diego Chargers, also next Sunday.