DeMarcus Lawrence nearly grew horns Sunday night.
The Dallas Cowboys' rookie defensive end erred dangerously close to goat status (of the Steve Bartman variety) at AT&T Stadium after coughing up a game-ensuring fumble recovery against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Round.
Lawrence, a rookie defensive end out of Boise State, snapped up a Matthew Stafford fumble in the final two minutes of the game only to have the ball immediately ripped from his grasp. The Lions recovered the ensuing fumble, wiping out the Cowboys' chance to ice the game and giving Stafford and company another chance to score in the waning moments.
Redemption would come for Lawrence, however.
The Cowboys lineman stayed in the game and made a pivotal play on a 4th-and-short situation for the Lions offense. Penetrating the line, Lawrence slipped around Lions tackle Riley Reiff and ripped down on Stafford's throwing arm, causing a fumble. Having learned his lesson, Lawrence grabbed the loose ball and remained on the ground.
Vine user @Cvbg22 uploaded video of Lawrence's game-clinching strip sack. Sometimes, it pays not to be a hero.
The Cowboys held on to secure a 24-20 victory over Detroit. After the game, Lawrence told reporters he learned from his mistake and appreciated receiving a chance to redeem himself.
"I can't let my teammates down," Lawrence told reporters. "Coach Leon Lett gave me another chance to go out there and capitalize on the opportunity, and it happened."
"I grew up a Cowboys fan," Lawrence said. "I remember that play. It's just me as a rookie. It's just a big lesson learned. Two minutes on the clock and you have to stay down."
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