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Lions rally from 24 points down to beat Cowboys

Mon., Oct. 3, 2011, midnight

ARLINGTON, Texas – Matthew Stafford took the final snap, dropped to a knee and tucked the ball under his jersey for safekeeping.

He wanted a souvenir to remind him of his first NFL game in his hometown – not that he, or anyone else involved, is likely to forget this one.

A week after turning a 20-point halftime deficit into an overtime win, the Lions provided further proof they’re a legitimate contender by turning a 24-point, third-quarter deficit into a 34-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Detroit’s defense started the rally with interceptions returned for touchdowns on consecutive drives, then Stafford and Calvin Johnson took over, hooking up for a pair of touchdowns in the final period, including a 2-yarder for the winning points with 1:39 left.

“It’s crazy how it happens,” Stafford said. “When it was 27-3, we knew we had to start making plays. Once we did, we started catching fire.”

Detroit is 4-0 and has won an NFL-best eight straight games. This also was its franchise-record fifth straight road win, avenging a loss here last November that had been its NFL-record 26th straight road loss.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys (2-2) continued to show there’s no lead and no deficit too big for them. They blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead for the first time in franchise history in the opener, and this was their largest lead blown in a loss in franchise history. Dallas’ previous biggest blown lead was 21 against Washington on Nov. 28, 1965.

“Today and over the next week or two, it’s going to be difficult to look back at it, but at some point here, we’re going to move on,” Romo said.

Detroit 0 3 14 17 34
Dallas 7 13 10 0 30

Dal—Bryant 25 pass from Romo (Bailey kick)

Dal—Bryant 6 pass from Romo (Bailey kick)

Dal—FG Bailey 41

Det—FG Hanson 33

Dal—FG Bailey 35

Dal—Witten 1 pass from Romo (Bailey kick)

Det—Carpenter 34 interception return (Hanson kick)

Det—Houston 56 interception return (Hanson kick)

Dal—FG Bailey 23

Det—Johnson 23 pass from Stafford (Hanson kick)

Det—FG Hanson 51

Det—Johnson 2 pass from Stafford (Hanson kick)

A—78,122.

Det Dal
First downs 18 25
Total Net Yards 303 434
Rushes-yards 17-63 27-113
Passing 240 321
Punt Returns 1-12 3-18
Kickoff Returns 3-76 3-94
Interceptions Ret. 3-90 1-11
Comp-Att-Int 21-43-1 34-47-3
Sacked-Yrds Lost 0-0 1-10
Punts 6-43.7 3-53.7
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 10-75 7-33
Time of Poss 23:21 36:39

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Detroit, Best 11-47, K.Williams 4-14, Logan 1-3, Stafford 1-(minus 1). Dallas, Jones 16-57, Choice 6-39, Murray 4-12, Bryant 1-5.

PASSING—Detroit, Stafford 21-43-1-240. Dallas, Romo 34-47-3-331.

RECEIVING—Detroit, Johnson 8-96, Pettigrew 6-64, T.Young 3-41, Best 2-23, Burleson 2-16. Dallas, Witten 8-94, Robinson 7-116, Jones 5-19, Choice 4-23, Bryant 3-37, Phillips 3-8, Bennett 2-22, Ogletree 1-13, Murray 1-(minus 1).

MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.



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