Eric Hipple passed for one touchdown and ran for one, and the Lions forced five turnovers today as Detroit held off the Dallas Cowboys, 26-21.
Hipple, who completed 10 of 23 passes for 141 yards, threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Chadwick at 4:24 of the first quarter and ran one yard for a score at 2:33 of the third quarter.
James Jones scored the Lions' other touchdown on a one-yard run at 2:59 of the third quarter. Eddie Murray kicked field goals of 34 and 46 yards.
The Lions are 2-0 under first-year Coach Darryl Rogers. "There's a tremendous positive attitude on the team right now," said Hipple. "Coach expects a lot out of us. He tries to understand us and we try to understand him."
The Lions, who were up by 26-0 after the third quarter, needed the turnovers because the Cowboys had 554 yards total offense to 200 for Detroit.
"It's a tremendous thing for us to have this much success at this point," said Rogers, who came to the Lions from Arizona State last winter after Detroit fired Monte Clark following a 4-11 season. "Dallas came off a big Monday night (victory over the Washington Redskins), so we got them at the right time. Our defense played extremely well. We had interceptions every way possible. The defense made the offense look good because they got them such good field position."
The Cowboys (1-1) didn't score until the fourth quarter, when Gary Hogeboom replaced injured quarterback Danny White. White's injury was to the wrist and thumb of his passing hand. His thumb was discolored and he could not grip the football. He will be examined by team physicians Monday.
Hogeboom, who starred at Central Michigan University, threw touchdown passes of 11 and 44 yards to Tony Hill and ran two yards for a score with 20 seconds left.
Hogeboom completed 17 of 24 passes for 255 yards. White finished with 23 of 38 for 226 yards and three interceptions.
Hill finished with a personal-best 11 catches for 181 yards. His previous best was nine catches Oct. 14, 1984, against the Redskins. Dallas' Doug Cosbie caught 11 passes for 159 yards.
The Cowboys' Rafael Septien missed field goal attempts of 42 and 44 yards.
Defense set up the Lions' first two scores. On the second play of the game, White's screen pass was intercepted by defensive end William Gay and returned seven yards to the Cowboys' 20-yard line. Murray kicked a 34-yard field goal.
On the Cowboys' next possession, White tossed a short pass to Tony Dorsett, but nickle back Alvin Hall knocked the ball loose and Gay recovered on the Dallas 36. Three plays later, Hipple threw a 21-yard pass to Chadwick that put the Lions ahead, 10-0, with only 4:24 gone.
Septien was wide right from 42 yards out with 6:55 remaining in the second quarter. The Lions went 47 yards, keyed by a 23-yard pass from Hipple to Chadwick, to set up Murray's 46-yarder.
The Lions started the third quarter with touchdowns 26 seconds apart before the period was three minutes old. On the Cowboys' first snap of the half, White fumbled trying to hand off to Dorsett. Demetrious Johnson recovered for Detroit on the Cowboys' four and Hipple scored two plays later at 2:33.
Murray, forced to kick from the 25 because of a penalty, then missed his first extra point after making 157 in a row.
On the first play after the kickoff, White made an underhanded throw while being hit that was intercepted by linebacker James Harrell, who returned it 20 yards to the two-yard line. Jones dove in on the first snap at 2:59 and the Lions were ahead, 26-0.
Murray missed a 48-yard field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter and Hogeboom came on.
Hogeboom drove Dallas 70 yards in nine plays, capped by the 11-yard toss to Hill. After Detroit punted, Hogeboom took the Cowboys 73 yards in six plays, ending with the 44-yard pass to Hill.
The Cowboys final scoring drive covered 99 yards in 14 plays.