In a playoff encounter, the Cardinals defeat the Cowboys 25-22.
Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals were having some issues, but it wasn’t anything that a trip to the star quarterback’s favourite stadium couldn’t remedy.
They might return for a wild-card game in two weeks.
Murray tossed two touchdown passes to Antoine Wesley as the Cardinals upset the Dallas Cowboys 25-22 in a showdown of postseason contenders on Sunday.
The conclusion had little impact on the NFC’s No. 1 seed or the NFC West competition, but it did leave the Cowboys and Cardinals with identical 11-5 records after Arizona snapped a three-game losing run and halted the NFC East champion’s four-game winning streak.
The clubs enter the playoffs as the fourth and fifth seeds, which would entail a first-round matchup at AT&T Stadium for the first time since Dallas won its division. Both clubs will play in the wild-card round after Green Bay’s 37-10 victory over Minnesota on Sunday night eliminated them from contention for the NFC’s first-round bye.
Murray went to 8-0 as a starter at Cowboys Stadium. The majority of those triumphs came as a Dallas-area high school playoff hero, but the last two have come as a pro after last season’s 38-10 blowout.
“I can’t afford to lose coming home,” Murray remarked. “That’s exactly how I’m feeling.” I’m not concerned about the next two weeks. The Seahawks are coming to town next week for a divisional matchup. The boys are going to show up ready to play.”
In 2020, the Cardinals beat the Cowboys for the first time since Dak Prescott’s season-ending ankle injury. The impact of the star quarterback was felt in a fourth-quarter rally that fell short after early misfires, similar to how the offence looked for weeks after Prescott’s calf issue in Week 6.
With five minutes left, Prescott’s third touchdown throw, a 4-yarder to Amari Cooper, and a 2-point conversion pass to Cedrick Wilson put Dallas within three points.
Murray rushed for a first down and then tossed for another, forcing Dallas to utilise its last timeout with an 11-yard run by Chase Edmonds.
On the following play, Edmonds was called down after losing the ball at the conclusion of a 6-yard run. Dallas’ Osa Odighizuwa recovered the ball on the sideline.
The Cowboys couldn’t argue because they were out of timeouts, even though the video suggested the call may have been reversed. As a consequence, Murray completed a turnover-free performance against the NFL’s #1 takeaway team.
“I’m playing against the referees once again, as is customary. Dallas defensive end Randy Gregory stated, “It seems like it happens every week.” “All we have to do now is tune it out and cope with it.” That’s an excellent group. We’ll see them in the playoffs, hopefully.”
For the second time in seven games, the Cardinals scored 25 points, this time inspired by a brilliant fake punt in the second quarter, when Jonathan Ward made an incredible grab of upback Chris Banjo’s toss. It would have been a first down anyhow if there had been a pass interference penalty.
Murray’s 1-yard pass to Wesley on fourth down was the result of the deception and another interference call on third down. In the third quarter, they struck again from 19 yards for a 19-7 advantage in yet another game without star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was hurt. James Conner, the running back, was unable to participate due to a heel injury.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury stated, “They’ve been resilient this whole time, no matter what’s been said or believed outside of our building.” “Those guys have put in a lot of effort and saw what we’re capable of, and we just have to keep battling.”
The Cowboys entered the game in the best shape of the season, but receiver Michael Gallup suffered a left knee injury on his 21-yard touchdown reception late in the first half, ending his season. Gallup is out for the playoffs, according to owner Jerry Jones, due to what seems to be an anterior cruciate ligament damage.
When the Cowboys were down eight early in the fourth quarter, Murray was 26 of 38 for 263 yards and two touchdowns, while Prescott was 24 of 38 for 226 yards and a lost fumble.
Prescott’s turnover led up a quick drive that resulted in the fourth of Matt Prater’s four field goals, giving the Cowboys a 25-14 lead.
GETTING THE WORD OUT
Wesley had four receptions for 30 yards, matching his total from the previous three Arizona touchdowns dating back to last week’s defeat to Indianapolis. A.J. Green (42) and Christian Kirk (43 yards) both made big catches to set up touchdowns. Kirk had six receptions for 79 yards, while Green had three for 74 yards.
HALT ON THE GROUND
Ezekiel Elliott was held to 16 yards on nine runs by the Cardinals, who shut down the faltering Dallas rushing attack. With 20 yards on the ground, Prescott led the Dallas rushers.
HOLDING THINGS IN PLACE
Dallas was called for four holding penalties, two of which resulted in third-down conversion runs being wiped away. Both possessions resulted in punts. The Cowboys had ten penalties for 88 yards, their fourth game this season with at least ten.
“I believe the timing of the penalties was the most important thing for us offensively,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “That was a major source of conflict.”