Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell. Alamy Stock Photo

Campbell furious about receiver mix-up as Lions fall to Cowboys

Lions adamant that they nominated Taylor Decker in closing play as a receiver.

THE DALLAS COWBOYS survived a controversial finish to beat the Detroit Lions 20-19 and ensure they end with a 100 percent home record this season in the NFL.

With Dallas leading 20-13 and 23 seconds remaining in the battle of two teams already assured of the playoffs, Amon-Ra St.Brown caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff to bring the Lions within a point of levelling the game.

True to his style, Detroit head coach Dan Campbell opted to go for two and take the lead rather than settle for the extra point.

The move looked to have paid off when Goff found lineman Taylor Decker in the end zone for the two points but the referee ruled that Decker had been an ineligible receiver.

The Lions protested the decision furiously arguing that Decker had reported as per the rules which state that players not normally receivers, such as Decker an offensive tackle, need to report as eligible receivers.

Despite being penalised back to the seven yard line for the repeat of the play, Campbell stuck to his guns and although Goff was intercepted, the Cowboys were penalised this time for offside.

That gave the Lions a third chance for the two points with Campbell sticking to his guns but James Mitchell was unable to collect Goff’s pass.

The Cowboys returned Detroit’s onsides kick attempt and were able to run out the clock and secure their eighth win in eight home games this season.

Campbell was fuming at the end of the game.

“70 (Dan Skipper) reported and 68 (Decker) didn’t. That was the explanation,” said Campbell who insisted the referees had got it wrong and Decker had reported as eligible.

Decker said he had reported as required.

“All I want to say on it, so that I don’t get myself into trouble is that I did exactly what coach told me to do and went to the ref and said ‘report’….you can see the video of it,” he said.

Video footage did show Decker and Skipper both approach the referee separately before the two point attempt.

The result leaves both NFC teams on 11-5 records – the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers both have 11-4 records with two games remaining in the fight for the conference’s top seed.

Dallas had taken a 7-3 lead in spectacular fashion when scrambling quarterback Dak Prescott threw to CeeDee Lamb on the 50 yard line and he raced home for a 92-yard touchdown.

Detroit got ahead through a three-yard rush from David Montgomery but Dallas put themselves in a game winning position thanks to an eight-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to Brandin Cooks and a 43-yard field goal from the reliable Brandon Aubrey.

The late drama somewhat overshadowed the milestones reached by Lamb who overtook Michael Irvin for the most receiving yards in a season as he reached 1,604.

“It means everything It means all the work that me and my guys put in is showing,” said Lamb who also surpassed the watching Irvin for the most receptions in a season with his 112th of the year.


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