19 - 35 Final
  for this game

Cowboys use strong second half to beat Lions

Nov 22, 2010 - 2:14 AM Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Bryan McCann's 97-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter sparked Dallas to a come-from-behind 35-19 victory over Detroit at Cowboys Stadium.

Jon Kitna threw for 147 yards and three touchdowns and also scored once on the ground for the Cowboys (3-7), who scored 28 points in the second half to win their second straight game with Jason Garrett at the helm.

"He has a lot of moxie, he is a tremendous competitor. There's a reason he's been playing in this league as long as he has," Garrett said of his signal caller. "He's the kind of guy you want on your football team, he's the kind of guy that you want playing quarterback for you. He's got a lot of mental toughness. He loves to play the game and I think we've seen that the past couple weeks."

Felix Jones paced the Cowboys on the ground with 51 yards, while Miles Austin caught second-half touchdowns of three and four yards.

Shaun Hill threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted once as the Lions (2-8) dropped their third in a row and extended their NFL record for road losses to 26 straight games. Nate Burleson caught seven passes for 97 yards in the defeat.

McCann's game-changing return was set up when Nick Harris' punt bounced inside the 10-yard line and Lions special teamer John Wendling kept the ball from going in the end zone by batting it to the three-yard line.

McCann, however, fielded the ball before the Lions downed it and scampered alongside the left sideline for a 97-yard touchdown return to put the Cowboys up 14-12 with 9:16 left in the third quarter.

The Lions continued to implode during the ensuing series when Jerome Felton fumbled and Dallas recovered the ball on its own 19-yard line. Four plays later, Kitna found Austin on a quick seam pass from three yards out to take a 21-12 lead with 6:33 left to play in the quarter.

"John Wendling had done a great job of getting [to the ball]...They made a heads up play and went 97 yards for a touchdown," Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz said. "Right away on offense we fumbled and that was really the key to this game. It was a hard fought game, so it went back and forth defensively."

Hill hooked up with Burleson for 58 yards on the next drive to set up a 14- yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson to make a two-point game, 21-19, with a little over four minutes left in the third.

But the Cowboys answered back with a 71-yard touchdown drive on 16 plays. Dallas received a horse collar call on a 2nd-and-13 run by Barber which gave it a first down on the five. Three plays later, Kitna found Austin for second time on a quick out from four yards to take a two-possession lead with 11:15 left to play.

On Dallas' next possession, Kitna put the game away, 35-19, on a 29-yard naked bootleg TD run toward the left side of the field.

The Lions were forced to punt on their first possession of the game and they pinned Dallas on the two-yard line. The field position didn't phase the Cowboys, who marched 98 yards in 13 plays. Kitna completed 7-of-8 passes during the series, which was capped off with a one-yard toss to Dez Bryant.

Detroit got on the board on the second play of the second quarter when Dave Rayner drilled a 47-yard field goal. The kick was set up by two third-down conversions by Hill, but a holding penalty put the Lions in a 1st-and-20 series which they were unable to convert.

The Lions had a chance to put some points on the board with 2:10 left in the half, but back-to-back penalties put them at 1st-and-25 and they were forced to punt three plays later.

The Cowboys, pinned on their own four-yard line, looked to run out the clock during the next play. They handed it off to Jones, but Kyle Vanden Bosch popped the ball loose and the Lions recovered on the nine-yard line with 36 seconds left.

With 17 ticks left, Hill scrambled out of the pocket on a 3rd-and-5 and threaded the needle to Burleson for a 10-7 lead at the half.

Dallas' second drive of the second half ended poorly when Leonard Davis was called for a holding penalty against Ndamukong Suh in the end zone. The play resulted in a safety and a Detroit 12-7 lead.

Game Notes

Both teams will have a short week as they play their annual Thursday Thanksgiving games. The Cowboys will host New Orleans and Detroit will take on New England...The Lions had 10 penalties for 76 yards, while Dallas only had 39 yards on six flags...Dallas was outgained 338-265 yards in the win...Brandon Pettigrew had eight receptions for 75 yards in the loss, while Jason Witten led the Cowboys with four receptions for 48 yards.