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October 29, 2013

Late holding penalty costly in Cowboys’ loss to Lions

Tyron Smith didn’t want to talk about it after Sunday’s game, and declined comment on it again Monday afternoon.

The Dallas Cowboys left tackle committed a penalty that played a key role in the 31-30 loss to the Lions on Sunday. But was it all his fault?

The answer to that, Jason Garrett alluded to, is no. The play called for running back Phillip Tanner to run up the middle, but he saw an opening and bounced to the outside. Tanner gained nine yards on the run, but it put Smith in a position where he committed the penalty.

“[Tanner] instinctively saw some daylight and green grass and bounced the thing all the way back,” Garrett said. “I think that contributed to the holding penalty.”

Instead of the clock running down, the penalty stopped it at 1:07. That proved to be more than enough time for the Lions to march down the field and complete a remarkable comeback.

“We probably would’ve been able to take the clock down to somewhere in the 20s before they would get it back and have to go 80 yards and score a touchdown with 20 or so seconds to go,” Garrett said. “I don’t want to be critical of a player right here, but the design of the play was to stick it up in there and get what you can get.”

-- Drew Davison

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