IRVING – Observers wondered why the Cowboys had cornerback Terence Newman singled up against Calvin Johnson when the Lions wide receiver caught the winning touchdown Sunday.
It turns out the coverage was by design, according to coach Jason Garrett.
Detroit had first-and-goal at the 2 with 1:44 left after the officials whistled Dallas cornerback Frank Walker for holding Brandon Pettigrew. The Cowboys were without a timeout, making every second precious for Dallas, which was nursing a 30-27 lead.
Given that scenario, the Lions could have either run out the clock or left little time on the clock with three straight runs. Instead, Matthew Stafford spotted Johnson one on one with Newman and threw to the 6-foot-5 wideout for a 34-30 lead with 1:39 left.
“On the last play, what we wanted to do was have him by himself,” Garrett said of Johnson. “It’s a long discussion as to why, but you’re almost inviting them to throw that fade to allow (Newman) to defend it and hopefully defend it and the...