Hidden Game-Changers

But like always, let's look at a handful of plays that might be more forgettable, but still played a huge role in the Lions' remarkable 34-30 comeback win Sunday at Cowboys Stadium.

1. Detroit's goal-line stand:
When it was 27-3, obviously this play or any other in the first half didn't seem to matter much. The Cowboys had a 7-0 lead and decided to go for another touchdown with a fourth-and-goal from the Lions' 1-yard line. Felix Jones was stuffed for no gain, which could've been the difference in the game. Had the Cowboys kicked the field goal, it still would've added more points to the lead and possibly forced Detroit to the play the game even more differently. Either way, it was a scoring opportunity that was lost.

2. Short pass to Phillips
The Cowboys held a 27-17 lead with a second-and-goal from the Lions' 7-yard line. This is just one of three plays that led to a field goal, but it was an interesting route with John Phillips and Jason Witten both running out-patterns about four yards apart down by the goal line. Romo went for Phillips, who had no shot of scoring and only went to the 5-yard line, eventually leading to a field goal. That entire series from first-and-goal at the 9 was another wasted opportunity to score.

3. Punt downed at the 5
This time, Detroit's punt inside the 5-yard line wasn't returned the other way for a touchdown like Bryan McCann did last year. But with the Cowboys winning 30-24 with 9:53 left, Ryan Donahue's punt was corralled at the 5, setting up a conservative offensive series for the Cowboys, who went three-and-out and couldn't swing the field position or momentum back in their favor. Detroit added a field goal on its next drive, which started at the Cowboys' 47-yard line.

4. Decision to decline penalty
The Cowboys' 30-24 lead was in jeopardy with the Lions driving, but an offensive pass interference penalty on Nate Burleson was declined by Jason Garrett. Taking the penalty would've given the Lions a second-and-23 at the Cowboys' 43. Garrett opted to try and stop the Lions for one play and settle for a field goal, which is what occurred. However, three more points for the Lions was all they needed to overcome the Cowboys on the next drive.

5. Holding on Walker
On a third-and-3 with 1:48 to play, the Lions shockingly didn't go to Calvin Johnson. Instead, Matthew Stafford targeted Brandon Pettigrew, but the incomplete pass was nullified by cornerback Frank Walker's defensive holding penalty in the end zone. No penalty there and the Lions would've kicked a game-tying field goal. Instead, a new set of downs allowed the Lions to go to Johnson for a touchdown on the next play, giving Detroit its first lead.

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