The Detroit Lions might want to play in their 1935 jerseys every week. The Dallas Cowboys ought to burn their 1960 version.
On "throwbacks" weekend, the Lions played Monday night in the uniforms of the 1935 NFL champions. The Cowboys competed in the uniforms of an expansion team that didn't win a game.The Lions ended the defending Super Bowl champions' 10-game winning streak with a 20-17 victory on a 44-yard field goal by Jason Hanson with 27 seconds left in overtime.
"We may never come out of these uniforms at all," Detroit coach Wayne Fontes said. "We seem to play well in these."
Dallas was impressed with the 1935, or rather, the 1994 Lions.
"We know that when teams come in to play us, they are going to play their best," Dallas safety James Washington said. "Anything can happen. When teams play us, they play like it is their Super Bowl."
Hanson had two late field-goal attempts blocked by Leon Lett, but still managed the game-winner.
"After all those kicks, I'm glad one of them went in," Hanson said. "I thought I hit a 52-yarder perfect, but Lett blocked it. I just thank the team for giving me all the chances."
The Cowboys thought Hanson would miss again.
"I thought he would miss it the way he had been kicking," said Dallas coach Barry Switzer, who felt the sting of his first NFL loss. "Sometimes the best team doesn't win. Sometimes you make too many mistakes."
Detroit quarterback Scott Mitchell said the win should help Detroit's confidence.
"This was a big game, and a big win," Mitchell said. "If we plan to get where we want to be, this is the type of game that we have to win. We have to prove that we can play with great teams like Dallas. We didn't win the Super Bowl. But it was a big win for the third game of the season."
It was the first loss for the Super Bowl champions since last Thanksgiving when a blunder by Lett allowed the Miami Dolphins to win in the snow at Texas Stadium. Lett touched a bouncing ball after a blocked field goal. The Dolphins recovered and kicked the winning field goal.
Hanson made his second overtime field goal of the season. He had a 37-yarder against Atlanta in the season-opener.
Fontes said, "Hanson was struggling, but you have to stick with the guy. You have to have faith in him."
Detroit got the ball back with 1:55 left in overtime when Broderick Thomas sacked Troy Aikman and recovered the fumble. After a 17-yard pass to Brett Perriman and three unsuccessful running plays, Hanson put the game-winner just inside the right goal post.
"I'm convinced Jason is among the very best in the league," Fontes said.
Barry Sanders rushed 40 times for 194 yards and Emmitt Smith carried 29 times for 143 yards in a matchup of two of the NFL's most prolific backs.
"Everybody has to have their bad days and this was one of our worst," Smith said. "We executed very poorly. We should know better. We just didn't have anything going."
Sanders said, "It's a long season, but this will be a game to remember."
At the end of regulation, Hanson's 57-yard attempt was blocked by Lett, and the lineman knocked down a 51-yard attempt 51/2 minutes into overtime. Lett couldn't pull it off a third time.
A tie game would have been the NFL's first since 1989, when Cleveland and Kansas City finished 10-10.
The Cowboys trailed for most of the game, but they overcame a 10-point deficit and tied it 17-17 with 4:09 to play on Smith's 6-yard touchdown run to cap 59-yard drive. The drive started at the Dallas 41 after Hanson missed a 51-yard attempt.
"I thought we might pull off a win," Aikman said. "But we made some stupid mistakes and it cost us. As bad as we played, we had every opportunity to win the game."
Mitchell threw touchdown passes to Brett Perriman and Herman Moore, and hit 13 of 27 passes for 174 yards. Aikman threw one touchdown pass and completed 26 of 39 passes for 223 yards.
"No overtime pay was necessary for this game," Sanders said. "It was a big win. But hopefully it won't be our biggest win of the year."
And, if Fontes has his way, it won't be the last in those funky 1935 uniforms with the high socks.