ARLINGTON – The Detroit Lions weren't able to continue the momentum they built last week with their first win of the season against New England, falling Sunday in Dallas to the Cowboys 26-24 to drop to 1-3 on the year.
It was a tough loss for Detroit, who fought back to take a late 24-23 lead on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Golden Tate with 2:17 left in the game, but Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was able to move his offense into Lions' territory in the last couple minutes to set up a 38-yard game-winning field goal by rookie kicker Brett Maher as time expired.
The key play on the last series for the Cowboys was a 34-yard pass from Prescott to running back Ezekiel Elliott, who got behind Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis, down to the Lions' 25-yard line.
"The guy is explosive, he's strong," Lions head coach Matt Patricia said of Elliott earlier this week. "He does a great job of obviously seeing things in the run game, making outstanding cuts. He gets vertical in the defense extremely quickly, explosive at the point of attack. That's what's real dangerous about this guy is that when he gets the ball in his hands in space."
Elliott rushed for 152 yards and caught another four passes for 88 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
In the end, Detroit's defense simply couldn't get the big stop they needed late in the game.
Tate scored two touchdowns (45 & 38) and Kerryon Johnson (8) recorded the other for the Lions. Johnson's touchdown was the first of his career and the first rushing touchdown for the Lions on the ground this season.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
QB Comparison: Prescott broke his streak of five straight games failing to reach 200 passing yards as he was 17-of-27 passing for 255 yards with a couple touchdowns and no interceptions. He finished with a 118.6 passer rating.
Stafford had a good game for Detroit. He completed 24 of his 30 passes for 307 yards and those two touchdown passes to Tate. He also didn't throw an interception and finished with a 131.5 passer rating.
Injury report: Right guard T.J. Lang was involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision with Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith in the first quarter and did not return after suffering a concussion.
Lang was down on the field for some time, and was helped off the field by trainers and went straight to the Lions locker room. He did not return.
Lang missed Detroit's Week 2 contest in San Francisco with a back injury.
Safety Tavon Wilson, who entered the game tied with Jarrad Davis for the team lead in tackles with 15, injured his back in the first half and didn't return.
Fellow safety Quandre Diggs injured a hand in the fourth quarter and also didn't return to the game.
Trio of threats: The Lions entered the game as the only team in the NFL with three different receivers recording at least 50 yards receiving per game through the first three weeks of the season.
That streak has continued into a fourth week as Tate (132), Kenny Golladay (74) and Marvin Jones Jr. (56) all recorded more than 50 yards receiving vs. the Cowboys Sunday.
Lions player of the game: Tate had himself a terrific game. The veteran receiver caught all eight of his targets for 132 yards and two scores. He and the offense did enough to win the game.
Up next: vs. Green Bay (2-1-1).