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Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Five plays that shaped Cowboys-Lions

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

SCORE: 17-0, Dallas
SITUATION: Lions ball, third-and-4 from Detroit 44 with 5:07 left in the second quarter
PLAY: Matthew Stafford shrugs off Victor Butler and eludes Anthony Spencer as he rolls right and flips the ball to Jahvid Best for 24 yards and a first down to set up the Lions' first field goal of the game.

SCORE: 27-3, Dallas
SITUATION: Cowboys ball, first-and-10 from Dallas 27 with 10:30 left in the third quarter
PLAY: Bobby Carpenter makes a leaping interception in the right flat on a pass intended for Dez Bryant, weaves his way through the Dallas offense and returns it 34 yards for a touchdown.

SCORE: 30-27, Dallas
SITUATION: Cowboys ball, first-and-10 from Dallas 20 with 4:22 left in the fourth quarter
PLAY: Tony Romo, pressured by Ndamukong Suh, heaves a pass off his back foot to Jason Witten, who is 25 yards downfield. Stephen Tulloch tips the badly underthrown pass before intercepting it.

SCORE: 30-27, Dallas
SITUATION: Lions ball, third-and-3 from Dallas 3 with 1:48 left in the fourth quarter
PLAY: Asking Frank Walker to cover Brandon Pettigrew is a difficult assignment, but Walker didn’t give the officials any choice when he yanked on the tight end's jersey to slow him down. The penalty gave the Lions an automatic first down instead of forcing them to settle for a game-tying field goal.

SCORE: 34-30, Detroit
SITUATION: Cowboys ball, second-and-4 from the Detroit 44 with 1:01 left in the fourth quarter
PLAY: Felix Jones, circling out of the backfield, drops a pass without a defender within 5 yards of him that would’ve gain at least 10 yards. More important, with the clock stopped Detroit brought rested personnel into the game.