If you are going to tell me that the Detroit Lions lost a football game in the toughest venue in football because a referee needs a hearing aid that bodes well for the home boys of Ford Field.

If you are going to tell me that the Lions lost a football game because Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott pulled off one of the greatest Houdini acts by avoiding a sack and safety. And followed up by firing a 92-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb, then we’ve got a team that can beat anybody anywhere when the playoffs begin.

Sometimes we forget opponents can make great plays.


The Lions lost to the Cowboys 20-19 during a deliciously exciting next-to-final game of the season at AT&T Stadium where teams come to get slaughtered.

They lost because a successful two-point conversion try with 23 seconds remaining—a pass to left tackle Taylor Decker—was called back for “illegal touching.” Television replays show this was the wrong call.

The Lions did not get pushed around. They did not get humiliated. Instead, they stood toe to toe with the Cowboys who are predators at home and pretenders on the road.

If the Lions can do this in Arlington who is to say they cannot play like this in Philadelphia where the Eagles play or San Jose where the big, bad San Francisco 49ers play.

Of course the loss made the road to the Super Bowl more treacherous. The Lions are likely to finish as the third seed in the NFC. Although they will play the first wildcard game at noisy Ford Field, they are more likely to play Dallas, San Francisco or Philadelphia on the road.

Referee Brad Allen said that offensive tackle Dan Skipper reported to him that he would be the eligible receiver and that Taylor Decker did not.

However, why would Decker talk to Allen before the play while Skipper was running onto the field? It was either a case of mistaken identity or Allen cannot hear.

I guess all white guys look alike.


Allen is seen staring at Skipper running onto the field as Decker is talking to him. It is a clear case of mistaken identity. Which means I would not trust Allen to be the prosecutor’s star witness in a big murder case. He’d ID the wrong culprit.

“I went to the ref, said, report,” Decker said. I don’t know. It was my understanding too that Dan (Campbell) brings up the possibility of those sorts of plays pregame, so I did what I was told to do, did it how we did it in practice all week, and that’s probably all we can touch on with that.”

Here is what Allen had to say.

“(Decker) who ended up going downfield and touching the pass, did not report. Therefore he is an ineligible player touching a pass that goes beyond the line of scrimmage, which makes it a foul. So the issue is (Skipper) did report, (Decker) did not.”

Skipper said after the game, “I did not say a word.”

I am going to take the man at his word since he was nowhere near Allen.

Referees are not kind to the Lions in Texas. During the 2014 playoffs, the Lions were driving late for the game clinching. The Cowboys were called for a pass interference penalty that would have given the Lions a first down. Then the refs did the unthinkable. They changed their minds, giving the ball to the Cowboys, who then ran out the clock.


For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet

Tweet: @WoodwoodSports or comment on your favorite social media platform!

The Woodward Sports Shop has ALL NEW Apparel – check it out here!

Original Photo Credit: © Kevin Jairaj – USA TODAY Sports

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment

By Published On: December 31st, 2023Categories: Detroit Lions, NFL

Detroit’s First All Digital Sports Network!

Listen to Your Favorite Shows LIVE each and every weekday. Download the Woodward Sports App Today!