Marion Barber III ran for two short touchdowns and Billy Cundiff
kicked a franchise-record 56-yard field goal a day after rejoining
the club, giving the Cowboys a 20-7 victory over the penalty-magnet
Detroit was penalized 17 times for 129 yards and nine first
downs. Each of Dallas' four scoring drives included a failed third
down that became a first down thanks to a penalty against the
"Hey, we appreciate that," Cowboys safety Roy Williams said.
Dallas needed the help because its offense wasn't clicking. Drew
Bledsoe threw for a season-low 110 yards and didn't have a
touchdown pass for the first time. Julius Jones returned to the
starting lineup and ran for 92 yards, but lost a fumble and was
stuffed three straight times from the 1.
Still, the Cowboys (7-3) dominated the clock, didn't have any
other turnovers and allowed only one sack to win their third
straight and fifth in six games. This one also gives them more wins
than they had last season.
"It certainly wasn't the prettiest game and we didn't play up
to the standards that we've set for ourselves, but there's no
getting around the fact that it's a huge win for us," said
Bledsoe, who was 12-of-23.
Barber's first touchdown came on the opening drive and Dallas
led the rest of the way. Detroit (4-6) got within 10-7 in the
second quarter, but Cundiff's boot stretched the lead at halftime.
Once Barber scored again in the third quarter, the Cowboys were
able to enjoy a rare game that wasn't decided in the final minutes
-- something they needed coming off a wild win Monday night in
Philadelphia and with Denver coming to Texas Stadium on Thursday.
"I just can't get them exactly the way I want it right now,"
said Parcells, who hung mousetraps throughout team headquarters
this week to try keeping players focused. "They still don't all
get it. It's OK. I am happy to win. I don't have time to cry the
blues and I'm not going to."
The Lions were hoping to win a second straight game and break
even going into their own Thanksgiving game, but their loss and a
win by Chicago leaves them farther out of the NFC North race.
"They're all must-win games now," said Detroit receiver Roy
Williams, who caught five passes for 72 yards, but not the
game-breaker the Lions needed.
Detroit made things rough by getting penalized six times in each
of the first two quarters, then five times in the third, seemingly
taking aim at the league record of 22.
The breakdown on the flag-fest: five offsides, three false
starts, three personal fouls (roughing the passer, face mask and
unnecessary roughness), one defensive illegal contact, one
offensive pass interference, one offensive holding, one defensive
pass interference, one illegal block and one for too many men on
"The penalties are inexcusable," coach Steve Mariucci said.
It was the most ever against the Cowboys. Lions officials could
not immediately determine how the numbers ranked in their history.
The tone was set in the first 10 minutes.
On Dallas' first drive, a third-and-11 incompletion from the
Detroit 21 turned into a first down courtesy of illegal contact by
Lions safety Jon McGraw. The Cowboys got first down at the 16 and
Barber scored two plays later. He finished with 53 yards on 15
Before Detroit's first offensive snap, lineman Damien Woody was
called for a false start. The drive ended up featuring an offensive
pass interference call on Williams that wiped out his 40-yard
touchdown catch and ended with a third-down holding penalty that
knocked the Lions out of field-goal range.
"You can't put yourself in that type of position," said Joey
Harrington, who started again at quarterback. He was 17-of-25 for
169 yards, with a lost fumble.
Kevin Jones ran 12 times for 29 yards and Detroit's only
Cundiff, released with an injury settlement in August and
re-signed Saturday, also made a 19-yarder. ... Detroit FB Cory
Schlesinger got only a few inches on his first carry of the season,
but it came on fourth-and-an-inch, giving the Lions a first down
during their first scoring drive. ... The previous longest kick by
the Cowboys was from 54 yards, done by Toni Fritsch in 1972, Ken
Willis in '91 and Richie Cunningham in '98. ... Dallas TE Brett
Pierce tore a knee ligament, likely ending his season.