Blown tripping call gave Lions a two-point conversion chance.

Because the Lions intended to deceive the Cowboys, referee Brad Allen's crew may not be responsible for the Lions' improper touching penalty, at least in the league's and Cowboys' eyes. With 23 seconds remaining, left tackle Taylor Decker, who reported eligible but had extra lineman Dan Skipper confuse Allen, was penalized, negating a two-point convert that would have given the Lions the The non-debatable call came two minutes earlier.

Tony Pollard rushed for 7 yards on first-and-10 from the Detroit 29 after Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson intercepted Jared Goff with 2:05 left. However, officials penalized tight end Peyton Hendershot for tripping.

The Cowboys reached the Detroit 44 after a 15-yard penalty. However, replay revealed Lions edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson tried to trip Hendershot. The Lions should have been penalized.

"I think the tape, clearly, you probably saw it when they showed it on the replay," Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press on Monday. We think the penalty reversed the scenario. We grabbed the turnover on first-and-10 on the [29]-yard line.

We're second-and-[3] with a running clock, eliminating their second timeout. It's evident you want to be inside 30. I know Brandon [Aubrey] kicks well, but both sides of that kick have field position issues."

Given a first down at the Detroit 7, the Cowboys may have ran out the clock. They wouldn't have threw the ball three times to get back in chip-shot field goal range. Prescott completed two throws then botched a deep ball to Brandin Cooks on second-and-14 at the Detroit 33.

McCarthy was chastised for his time management, which gifted the Lions 40 seconds, but Prescott acknowledged blame after the game. "Honestly, that's on me," Prescott added. "That wasn't the smartest or best play by me."

But if officials had called the tripping penalty correctly, the Cowboys wouldn't have thrown and the Lions wouldn't have gained the ball back. Or they would have recovered it with little time remaining and presumably never taken a two-point conversion.

"The second-down play is just the real disappointment," McCarthy said, explaining how the tripping penalty hurt the Cowboys. "We were dirty, whether it was my conversation. We got what we expected defensively and tried to hit Brandin and CeeDee [Lamb] separately on one-on-ones to avoid a third-and-short. 

 I wanted to reach third-and-five or less so we could convert and win. That was the reasoning, knowing the time clock, etc. We had 3 downs. We would run two of the three clocks. The second-down call may have won the game."

Watch this space for further developments.