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The Lions especially enjoyed Johnson being the late-game star because earlier this week Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Johnson would only be Dallas' third-best receiver.
"He got a lot of respect for him for not being the best receiver on their team," said Stafford, who finished 21 of 43 for 240 yards. "(Ryan) throws a couple of guys on him here and there."
Johnson caught eight passes for 96 yards, and tied Cris Carter's NFL record of catching two TDs in four straight games. He already was the first player in NFL history to do it in the first three games of a season, so he stretched that mark, too.
Romo finished 34 of 47 for 331 yards, with three touchdowns. He wore a protective vest and needed a painkilling injection, but did just fine the first 2 1/2 quarters.
He was on a roll of completing 13 of 14 passes, the only incompletion a clock-stopping spike, when his good buddy Bobby Carpenter made a leaping interception and a weaving 35-yard return for a touchdown. The Lions were still down 27-10, so it seemed harmless -- except that it gave Detroit's players hope. Cornerback Chris Houston provided more when he returned an interception 56 yards for a touchdown on the next series.
"The key play of the game was Bobby Carpenter," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "We had no juice before that. It wasn't the game-winner, it didn't turn the tide completely, but it did give us the spark and got things going a little bit."
Dez Bryant was among the early stars for Dallas, catching two touchdown passes before Johnson even had a single grab, and Laurent Robinson had seven catches for 116 yards.
Bryant's only big moment in the second half was a diving catch overturned on a challenge by Schwartz. Schwartz appeared to curse at Bryant after the play.
NOTES: Dallas' Sean Lissemore, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive lineman, returned the opening kickoff of the second half 38 yards for the Cowboys' longest return this season. ... Schwartz dedicated the win to Mike Heimerdinger, his former colleague in Tennessee. Heimerdinger died Friday of cancer at age 58. ... Dallas safety Gerald Sensabaugh left with a concussion, while Detroit safety Amari Spievey left with a hamstring problem and his backup Erik Coleman hurt his left ankle.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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