Detroit Lions unable to slow down Dallas Cowboys, lose, 35-27, for 3rd straight defeat

Dave Birkett
Detroit Free Press
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It’s mid-November, 11 days until Thanksgiving, and the Detroit Lions are hopeless once again.

If that wasn’t clear before Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, it sure was during it, when the Cowboys rolled up 509 yards of offense and their fans staged an embarrassing takeover of Ford Field.

With chants of “Let’s Go Cowboys,” “de-fense” when Dallas needed a big third-down stop, and “Cooop” every time Amari Cooper caught a pass, filling the stadium, the Cowboys all but extinguished the Lions’ faint playoff hopes with a 35-27 victory.

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Tracy Walker tackles Cowboys running back Tony Pollard during the first half Sunday at Ford Field.

The Lions, wearing their road white jerseys in their home stadium for the first time in 48 years, lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, and for the second straight week without Matthew Stafford.

And as was the case in last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears, Stafford’s replacement, Jeff Driskel, played well enough to win, but the Lions were let down by a defense that ages ago seemed like it would be their strength.

Dak Prescott completed 29 of 46 passes for 444 yards and Ezekiel Elliott scored rushing and receiving touchdowns for the Cowboys, who improved to 6-4 with the win and temporarily moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

The Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) play in Sunday’s late-afternoon game.

The Lions (3-6-1) need to win three of their final six games to better last year’s record, which was their worst since 2012, and if Sunday’s game was any indication, will have a hard time doing so without Stafford, whose absence from fractured bones in his back could last into December.

Driskel, in his seventh career start, completed 15 of 26 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns and added 51 yards rushing on eight carries.

Jeff Driskel, Bo Scarbrough impress on otherwise rough day at home ]

With the Lions down, 35-21, after Prescott’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Elliott, Driskel led a five-play 75-yard drive to keep the Lions within striking distance.

He scrambled twice on the possession for 29 yards and found Marvin Jones open in the middle of the field for a 25-yard touchdown.

The Lions failed on their two-point conversion attempt, forced a punt on the ensuing possession and moved into Dallas territory on their final drive before a penalty on Kenny Wiggins and sack by Michael Bennett left the Lions punting from fourth-and-31.

Kenny Golladay is defended by Anthony Brown during the first half.

The Cowboys started their final drive at their own 13, and Prescott put the game away with a 23-yard play-action pass to Blake Jarwin with just under two minutes to play.

Bo Scarbrough, making his NFL debut, ran for 55 yards on 14 carries and opened the scoring for the Lions with a 5-yard touchdown run five plays after Jarrad Davis recovered an Elliott fumble.

But the Lions’ 30th-ranked defense had little success the rest of the day.

Elliott had 45 yards rushing and a 1-yard touchdown run, Michael Gallup added nine catches for a game-high 148 yards, and Randall Cobb had four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

The Lions visit hapless Washington (1-9) next week, one of the few teams with a worse record, before returning home on Thanksgiving.

Your turn:Grade the Lions performance vs. Cowboys

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Read more on the Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions newsletter.

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