ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Dan Campbell threw his headset and stormed away from the goal line where Detroit running back Jamaal Williams had just lost a fumble with the Lions on the brink of taking a fourth-quarter lead.
The frustrated Lions coach said the reaction was more about not getting a challenge on what he thought might be the go-ahead touchdown a play earlier.
Regardless, Campbell can’t get a win on the road – not even in his home state of Texas.
The Lions had five turnovers and didn’t get in the end zone for a second consecutive game, losing to the Dallas Cowboys 24-6 on Sunday despite a solid showing from the NFL’s lowest-ranked defense.
”I’m not going to go hide in a corner,” Campbell said after falling to 0-11-1 on the road and 4-18-1 overall in his second season in charge of the Lions. ”Because I know if you change a couple of things, take care of the football, play the game plan the way you should and all of sudden you win.”
Goff was responsible for the other four turnovers with two interceptions and two fumbles as the Lions lost their fourth consecutive game, the past two without a touchdown. Detroit had the highest-scoring offense in the NFL through six weeks.
Williams’ miscue hurt the Lions the most.
Tight end Brock Wright had just been knocked out of bounds at the pylon on a 17-yard catch, with officials ruling Wright down at the Dallas 1.
Campbell said he waited for word from his replay crew, but nothing came before Goff handed off to Williams. An otherwise productive day for the back (15 carries, 79 yards) was marred when he lost the ball in a pile and Anthony Barr recovered for Dallas inches from the goal line.
”We had time,” Campbell said. ”They were up there and I’m waiting to get a call, and I didn’t get a call. So at that point, let’s go. Line up and play ball.”
Goff’s first three turnovers – two interceptions and a lost fumble – led to all three Dallas touchdowns.
The Cowboys had to drive 82 yards after Trevon Diggs’ third interception, which came with the Lions leading 6-3 early in the third quarter. The second pick was near midfield. Goff later lost a fumble inside his 25.
”Can’t do it,” said Goff, who was 21 of 26 for 228 yards. ”Defense played their tails off today. Gave us a great chance to win that game and we didn’t do our part offensively.”
Ezekiel Elliott had two 1-run touchdown runs for Dallas, and Dak Prescott threw for a score in his return after missing five games with a fractured right thumb.
The Lions were tied for the fewest sacks allowed with seven coming in, but Goff went down five times against the club leading the NFL in sacks.
Goff and Campbell said both the fumbles on sacks were more a product of the quarterback trying to extend plays with the Lions down by double digits late.
Still, one of the NFL’s top offenses coming in was limited to 312 yards coming off Detroit’s bye, which followed a 29-0 loss to New England. As the defense has improved, the offense is regressing.
”Dan made it a point of emphasis for us this week and we didn’t execute when we have to,” Goff said. ”It starts with me and trickles all the way down. We had plenty of chances today.”
Campbell grew up on a ranch not far from the home of the Cowboys and attended Texas A&M before the New York Giants drafted him. The tight end finished his career with the Lions after a stint in Dallas.
Getting his first road win as Detroit coach in his home state wasn’t meant to be.
”It’s gut-wrenching,” Campbell said. ”Got to see my folks and my brother, and that was nice. I haven’t seen them in a while. Visited with some family before, but when you lose it stings, so that’s tough.”
He’ll have to look for the road win somewhere else.
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