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Cowboys aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 26, 2010 – 1:33 am

The penalty flag was thrown, and suddenly, I thought of Leonard Davis. No, not because big Len was on the other sideline for the Cowboys. Because I remember a sweaty September day at Sun Devil Stadium in 2005, when the Cards had reached the Rams’ 5-yard line down five points in the waning seconds. A comeback win was within reach – except Davis was called for a false start with seven seconds left. The Cards had no timeouts left, and by rule, that meant a 10-second runoff. It meant a very difficult way to lose a chance to win.

So that’s what I was thinking when the flag came out Saturday night, when the Cards had finally made it to the Dallas 25-yard line down two points. A spike, a penalty, oh God. I wasn’t the only one. Players were headed to the locker room, for goodness sake.

QB John Skelton said he didn’t know what was going on, deferring to center Lyle Sendlein, who was already barking at the officials. Sendlein said he didn’t have anything to offer other than insist there were more than the 10 seconds that were displayed on the stadium clock. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was planning to argue the same.

You can’t hear anything down on the field, although I did hear “10-second runoff.” Turns out all the ref was saying was that there would not be a runoff. Since all the players were set on the illegal formation (and not, in Davis’ long-ago case, a false start) it just cost the Cards five yards. The runoff is to prevent a team from having a penalty in order to stop the clock. Since the Cards did pull off a proper spike – again, with everyone set, even if they weren’t in the right spots – it didn’t cost them time.

And for Jay Feely, what’s another five yards?

– Holder Ben Graham did a great job pulling down a slightly high snap on the game-winning field goal.

– If you would’ve told me the Cards would win when Larry Fitzgerald would have one catch and Steve Breaston none, I’d have laughed. Fitz insisted he wasn’t frustrated. Hmmm. I am going to guess he was trying to be nice when he said that. That said, I know he was thrilled to get the win and the frustration eased considerably when Feely’s field goal split the uprights.

– Watching the replay of the game right now, the most amazing part of Fitz’s late catch is that he was drilled – helmet to helmet? – on a first-down incompletion three plays earlier and cameras caught Fitz blinking his eyes and shaking his head, as if to clear cobwebs.

– In terms of Breaston, a very odd situation. I thought there was a chance he was hurt at some point, enough so that they limited his snaps. But no. Whisenhunt said he used rookie Andre Roberts more because of blocking schemes and “we try to spell (Breaston)” more, but again, it was odd to see Breaston on the sideline and Roberts in. Roberts had a very good game, but again, just struck me as odd. The free-agent-to-be didn’t have one pass thrown his way.

– The Cardinals had a season-high five sacks, getting a decent amount of pressure when they just rushed four. For a second straight game, they used a lot of four-down linemen. It was generally effective. I’m sure it was in part because Joey Porter was out and the team didn’t have a plethora of trustworthy linebackers for a 3-4 alignment, so they tinkered. But it worked.

– Here’s a stat I heard on the radio on the way home tonight: Since 2008, there had been 75 pass plays in the NFL on fourth down needing at least 15 yards for a first down. The number of conversions? Eight. Kinda glad John Skelton didn’t know that before throwing the dart to Fitz.

– I mentioned this a couple of times on Twitter, but given the grief running back Beanie Wells has gotten for his blocking, the excellent blitz pickup he provided on the 74-yard TD pass from Skelton to Roberts was key.

– That was the Cards’ ninth TD pass. They have nine non-offensive return TDs. The battle will go down to the final game.

– DRC and Greg Toler get Pick-6s. Amazing. It’s been simple this year really. Five wins – at St. Louis, Oakland, New Orleans, Denver, Dallas. Except for the Rams game, and in that one the defense forced a bunch of turnovers, the Cards win because of those return TDs.

That’s enough. It’s 1:30 a.m. I’ve outlasted Christmas. But what a Christmas for the Cards.


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Posted in Blog | 89 Comments »


89 Responses to “Cowboys aftermath”

  1. By smoothcardga on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren

    Any idea why Coach Whiz seems to deviate from the run game every game regardless of the situation? I love Coach Whiz but he preached bring that physical style of football and drafted players as such to do that, (RB, TE, OLine) And yet if we’re up by 3 scores and we are trying to pass even though we’d been having success running the football? Then we have games where we were down 10 and we “Have to pass”? Why are we still doing that even though we have a rookie QB. Even Bradford needs a run game to help him. We’ve had the least amount of rushing attempts in the league since Whiz got here. When will that change? I don’t think this team should be a run first offense nor a pass first offense. IT should be a balanced offense because we’ve got the weapon to do it!

  2. By Chris on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    I went to the game and I thought there was some b .s calls but it was a great game.

  3. By eazy e on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Merry Christmas first and foremost and then second wayyyy down there would be WHAT A GAME!!! We struggled mightily offensively but got it done at the end. Skelton made some throws and especially at the end. At first, we couldn’t do anything at all. Running game had some bright spots in beanie and some hightower. Fitz got that huge 26-yarder WOW, what a catch! We have to get fitz the ball early and often and never forget he’s our go-to-guy and our best player. Andre Roberts had a big game with 5 catches and 110 yards and that 74 yard td deep ball. Offensive Line played a game, skelton didn’t get much pressure other than the great demarcus ware, but other than him, wasn’t too much pressure. Defense played big, getting five sacks and definitely dockett’s best game without question, a couple sacks and penetrating in the backfield. Calais is playing at the level everybody expected him to play at, a sack and penetration in the backfield as well and a number of qb pressures overall for our defense. Great job for our OLBs, to be undermanned and to play that well, clark haggans got a sack and congratulations to o’brien with his first nfl sack. Secondary played extremely well, DRC and Toler with pick sixes and both set the tone. Kerry Rhodes and A-WIL had good games, knocking down passes and just ballin. Feely Feely Feely!!! GW Kick, dude has been an awesome addition to the team and special teams, I was glad we got him instead of rackers in march because rackers we all know probably would have choked and missed it. Ben Graham also did a good job placing the ball in bad field position. Andre also did ok returning kicks and punts but his receiving overshadowed it though. What a win, cardinals be living on the edge though, but they pulled that thang out!

  4. By TARL SAMPSON on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Chaaaa! OOO ya baby!!!! Not in our house!!!!! Wimper on home lil puppies,,, :O)

  5. By cardsalltheway on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    If AZ Cardinal followers are so unlucky that they are forced to put up with the depressing and stuborn(rules for so-called everyone, always, and for each and every team year after year) Ken W. another year, how about doing so with Jason Garret as offensive coordinator?

  6. By cardsalltheway on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    When called out on player reactions during the game Ken W. says…”Uhhh I don’t, know I’d have to look at the film” i.e. D. Anderson laughing with Lutui on the sideline. Yet, he tells players in the locker room that they “NEVER” got down. How does Ken W. know that? Listen to the Kanye West song called “Runaway” and you’ll hear how best to describe Ken W.

  7. By Old Man Riva on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Ok…I’m going to break my vow of no negativity. Not against the Big Red who made Christmas this year a little more special…but I can’t stand the NFL Network televised games. I was getting ready to sit down in front of the tube with some southern style egg nog and enjoy a game between the teams that have a long history of playing exciting games (even when they don’t mean much) and what happens…I don’t get to watch one down. I don’t get to see the spectacular picks and returns, a couple great completions as well as a long TD pass (!!) by the rookie QB from Fordham (??) and Mr. Feely coming through once again to keep the season from tumbling too quickly into the dumper. I guess next time I should check the tv guide so I don’t get disappointed. Great job Big Red and BOO to the NFL Network. Great job Darren and GO BIG RED!

  8. By RowlanCard on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    was thinkin the same thing about breaston. during crunch time i saw him on the sidelines. did he get into coaches dog house or something? it was a very pleasing win, but the coaching questions didn’t go away in my mind. 3rd down conversions are still a problem in game 15, and i blame play calling just as much as Ken blames execution. told my dad 4 years ago i hoped Whiz was our coach for the next decade. not so sure anymore. as the game slipped away last night, it seemed so did he. good job players, that win belongs to you!!!!!

  9. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!

    Actually Skelton seemed very poised and his passes were accurate when needed. Too bad he didn’t start earlier in the year.

    Darren, if you find out why Fitz and Breaston weren’t really used would you post it here.

    Also do you think Breaston will get the “Franchise Tag” for next season?

  10. By Mark on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    We need to win out the seasons. Don’t care about draft picks. There are a lot of great players in the draft. We have great rookies now. We need to keep both Fitz and Breaston period. What ever it takes Bidwells!! ARE YOU LISTENING?? We need new offensive linemen that can protect our QB and some YOUNGER defensive linemen. DRC is a bust. Let him go and get a better Veteran to take his place. GO CARDS!!!

  11. By Nathan on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you Cardinals for a wonderful Christmas present!

    Now it’s time to BEAT THE 49ERS!

  12. By jdcrow59 on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren: I think the Cards have found a QB. Bring in a solid vet as a back-up. Commit to a running game and let the kid take his lumps next season. It could pay huge dividends down the line.

  13. By Catcher Freeman on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, is it possible that the touchdown between Skelton and Roberts was the longest TD pass from two rookies drafted in the 3rd round or later?

  14. By Jesse Robles on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    All I can say is, Skelton is the man. He may run funny (which makes me laugh every time), and do rookie mistakes, but he doesn’t make mistakes when it counts. I love this kid. I say TRADE our draft pick for a Veteran Lineman and take who ever’s draft pick, and pick Von Miller or Akeem Ayers at OLB to make our LB core even better, get Mcnabb to help Skelton figure the Game out more as he exits like Mark Brunell with Sanchez. Sad to say but Breaston might not even be here next season, or whenever the next season is. Andre Roberts has easily taken over for Doucet, and another offseason with Fitz and Stephen Williams will be great too. This is what I wanted to see, a tryout for next season so we don’t waste a First Round Draft Pick on a QB if not needed like the one we wasted on Leinart. Not putting anyone on a pedestal but they played good TODAY! Sad to say, but all the crap I talk about him, but i got a DRC all red jersey for christmas and he had a pick six first? Weird… I love Toler too, we needed this one just for pride, I hope we do the same next week, keep it up boys. Thanks Darren, all your work is greatly appreciated, Merry Christmas to you and your Family.

  15. By Wayne on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    I thought the Leonard Davis flase start was at UofP. Our 1st year there.

  16. By aaaaudio on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    My wife and I had a great time at the game yesterday. The crowd seemed like it was 50/50 Cowpie fans vs Cards fans. Lots of fights in our section. Skelton looks to have an enormous upside if players can hang on to the ball when thrown to. His pcoket presence is awesome. His throws look pretty good as well. WAAAAAY better than Anderson.
    Darren,
    I was wondering if you knwo of any player contracts that include team win bonus’s? So if your team wins you get paid more than if your team loses?

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Franchise tag

    I’m not sure on Breaston and the tag. I would doubt it, but I don’t know.

  18. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Catcher —

    RE: TD pass

    Now that’s a stat I don’t know if we’re going to know.

  19. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Wayne —

    RE: Davis play

    Game was in 2005, last year in Sun Devil Stadium.

  20. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    aaaaudio —

    RE: Incentives

    Actually, I don’t believe they can have those kinds of incentives in a contract, for straight wins.

  21. By Peter in Canada on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    I realize Skelton’s numbers are underwhelming but for someone so obviously raw he shows courage and composure under fire. Apart from the final march, I was most impressed the way he saved possession on the fumbled snap by batting it away from the Dallas player to Breaston who recovered. He also seems to have a pocket presence beyond his experience. I think with more experience he can become a good NFL QB. I think he should be the number 2 next year so he can continue to learn rather than withering away on the inactive list. Would you not agree Darren?

  22. By Don't Take Losses on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Crowd was not nearly half Boys fans as “reported”.

    If Cards (DC and Head Coach) had recognized/acknowledged/acted after getting punked/gashed by SD that our D depth/strength was at DL and we were weak LB, a complete mismatch for a 3/4 D, maybe SF & others wouldn’t have just run over us, maybe we win 2 more games, play for divisional title next week as expected.

    Perhaps Whiz wanted to find out about Roberts/Komar as Doucet has multiple issues.

  23. By Don't Take Losses on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Urb: Notice how many drops Dray and Spach have? As bad as Doucet.

    Chris Wells: bravo on blitz block, also bravo on running lower as promised.

    Excellent pass/catch/run to/by FB Maui’a for 10 yards. Perfect execution on well defensed play.

  24. By Justin Wheeler on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    I didn’t get to watch the game (no NFL Network). I saw the two returns by Toler and DRC, but not much more of the Dallas passing attack. How did our secondary play against Austin and the rest of a talented Cowboy receiving group?

  25. By Catcher Freeman on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Old Man Riva, the game was shown on free tv also, channel 45.

  26. By kauaicardsfan on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    What a great Christmas present!!!
    BTW Darren, I read that the cards DB coach got into an accident prior to the game? Any word on his condition and what happened?
    I know the DB’s stepped up big time last night!!!
    Merry Christmas Darren and all the Cards Die Hard Fans!!!

  27. By SteveDCO on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Do we know if Fitz is going to have to go for concusion testing? He looked bad after that hit.

    Going to be intresting to see the fines given out. The forearem to Skelton on his slide. The helmet to helmet on Fitz and Calais’s HtH on Jones (but might have been in the pocket)

    Not sure if you can comment on this or not, but do the Cards open up the playbook in practice more and let Skelton go? Just curious if he can handle the 2009 playbook. As good and as bad as he looks at times, its hard to have an opinion of Skelton since he have seen him do so little.

    That said his pockect pressense is great. As bad as Dallas’s D is there pash rush has been solid and Skelton got out of several sacks. In some ways he won the game or at least didn’t loose it by avoiding sacks late.

  28. By JohnnyV on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    How impressed are the coaches with Obrien Schofield? The kid misses all of camp and half the season is already playing at a pretty high level for a rookie. He had a monster sack last night as well as the hit that knocked Kitna out of the game. Could he be securing a starting spot for next year already? I mean just think about his potential with a full off season of work and conditioning.

  29. By Cards Fan for 43 Years on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    I actually got to watch a Cardinal game here in Fort Worth! I could really do without the Cardiac Cardinal games like in the 70s. However, I was really pleased with how the team held together, didn’t give up and won the game. What really pleased me was that we didn’t have any turnovers! I held my breath all game long. I love to watch Wells and Hightower run, but always cringe and hope they hang onto the ball. I’m glad Skelton and the offense were able to settle down on the last drive and get the winning score. Still question some of the offensive play calling. I think we are trying to pass too much still, and need to rely more on the running game. Looks like we have something to build upon next year!

  30. By WNYcardsfan on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Great win, what a great surprise. They did look good (again can’t watch them, but stats and highlights looked decent). Someone else said they did have issues with offense again which is still scary going forward. What’s even more scary is neither breaston nor Fitz getting much in the game. We’ve got to get to those playmakers, and if they don’t get it, I’m worried about where they go in the future. Running game is still a mystery on why we don’t use it more, POUND THEM. Skelton looked good, much better than others have. DEF finally came alive, YEAH. and Feely, what more can you say about that guy

  31. By Amanda on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    That game had me on my feet and had my heart pounding the whole time, especially during that last drive. I was disappointed Fitzgerald and Breaston did not get the ball more though. Larry is clearly the go-to guy and like someone said before, good things happen when you throw to #11. They really needed to give him the ball earlier in the game, and it was very disappointing that his streak for having multiple catches in a game came to an end just like that. I was just glad he had the key catch and was part of the win. And it was nice to see him smile again.

  32. By Haggis Bob on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Merry Christmas Phoenix! What a game, what a win. I told my buddy a couple weeks ago that I don’t care about Carolina and San Fran, we gotta beat the cowgirls xmas night. Thank you Santa, Coach Whiz and mom and dad.

  33. By Pheenic Cromartie on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Hey, Cardsalltheway, get off Coach Whiz’s back. You obviously know nothing of football if you think we should fire him. You see, in the NFL, it’s kind of hard to get a good Coach. I think you need to go look up “Arizona Cardinals” on Wikipedia. You’ll soon realize that Coach Whiz is one of the best Coaches the Cardinals have ever had.

    If we fire Coach Whiz, Fitz will leave for sure. You have to think about that too. Coach Whiz and Fitz are really good friends, and they’re both used to Coach Whiz’s playing style now. You fire Coach Whiz, you’re basically telling Fitz, “We don’t want to improve”. So how about, instead of insulting Coach Whiz for every single thing he does, you think about the fact that he was the one who brought us out being a doormat. You sound like such a bandwagon fan. When thing’s are going good, you don’t complain about Coach Whiz at all, but the one bad season we have under him, it’s “Fire him! Fire him!”. That’s not how the NFL works.

    On a side note, this victory was awesome. Go Cardinals!

  34. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Peter —

    RE: Skelton in 2011

    I want to see what the rest of the position looks like first.

  35. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Justin —

    RE: Secondary

    Thought DRC had one of his better games, but with Kitna hurt, Dallas didn’t throw enough for anyone to say the Cards were necessarily great.

  36. By georgiebird on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    Another game that shows the narrow margin between winning and losing in the NFL. Skelton looks very poised for a rookie from a super small school- can’t understand what Whiz has been talking about all year.
    Darren, this season really boils down to the following question- Do you feel the Cardinals would have won the West (or contested until week #17) if Whiz had properly evaluated Skelton as a more ready QB than Hall?

  37. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    SteveDCO —

    The Cards are giving Skelton more and more, but it’s not like they do everything during the week and then scale back for the game. They practice what they want to have available.

  38. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    JohnnyV —

    RE: OB

    I think their is hope for his potential. Don’t know if I’d say he’s playing at a “pretty high level.” He has done well from where he started though.

  39. By MikeG on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Merry Xmas! Great win by the Cards yesterday. Nice pressure by the front four in the first half and the 2 pick TD returns were great. I did wish when we had the big early lead we could of established a better run game. Our time of possesion was not very good. Really an exciting 4qtr by the 2 young QB’S. Again Feely is just kicking with confidence. Thanks for clearing up the Breaston stuation–I was wondering where he was. Was that Marion Barber TD celebration ridiculous or what????? I don’t get it. These celebrations are really a turn-off for the traditional NFL fan. Can’t these coaches control it to some degree?? Fines??? Limited playing time??? D you like it???What do you think???

  40. By Eric on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks NFL Network for talking about the Cowboys on and on and on, interviewing the worst thing that ever happened to the NFL, Jerry Jones in our house, and mentioning in passing that they were playing our beloved Cards. I would have thought before, during, and even after the game, Dallas played an inter squad preseason game. Way to go with your biased coverage.

    Sorry to screw it up with a Cards victory, but how about a little respect!!!!!!! We never get coverage even Singleterry and Carrol get. BS!!!!!!! Oh well, lets draft well, sign some solid FA’s, get some new coordinators, AND TAKE THIS DIVISION OVER!!!!!!!!!!! GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. By BLOOD RED on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah baby!Thats what i’m talkin bout.Sign Fitz and Breaston long term whatever it takes.(I will start a fundraiser if I have to)DRC has also got to be extended.Keep all thes guys and put these young studs out there with them.Congrats to SKELTON thoough not the greatest game he showed us he will not get rattled on the BIG stage.That is huge for us.Maybe still grab Mcnabb if we can to come in and futher groom this kid but he bleeds Cardinal Red baby!! ,and that is what we want.Huge upside on this kid!!!Even with a losing season I love the direction we are going.I have been diehard Card fan since 1988 when I was 14 and I know what Michael Bidwill has done with finally spending the money to put the right people in place!That is what really has made all this possible and I THANK YOU MICHAEL!!!I am raising little Cardinal fans and they are proud.They don’t know what i have been through with this team but you do.Good job I believe in what you are doing!!!ROCK N ROLL REDBIRDS!!!!P.S Let’s draft a good tightend.PLEASE!

  42. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    MikeG —

    RE: Celebrations

    The penalties are in place. Not sure there is anything else that can/should be done.

  43. By Cardiaccard420 on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    How many QB’s are the Cards allowed to have on the field for training camp?
    They should definetly keep Skelton and get rid of the other two. What do you think?

  44. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Cardiac —

    RE: QBs

    For camp, I’d expect them to have four. Who the four will be, I have no idea. Skelton will be one. The rest? TBD.

  45. By Lone-Eagle on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Well I was really hoping that the 9ers were going to beat the Rams so that the Cards could go into Candlestick next week and ruin their playoff hopes, but the Rams took care of that this week!! I am also laughing about the fact that Jed York guaranteed the 9ers would win the division. Apparently the Rams forgot listen as well as the Seahawks, but I think the Rams are going to win the division this year. Like other fans have said in earlier blogs, imagine if we had started Skelton alot sooner, but I’ll guess we will never know. One other thing I would like to say about McNabb. If we bring him in, he is going to expect to start, he is not going to come in as a back-up. I believe with more reps, more practice in the off-season, Skelton following Fitz to Minnesota and working with Skelton to get down the timing and get completely on the same page, they will make an excellent combo. However I also think Breaston needs to jion them as well as Roberts so Fitz has someone on the other side that can take away the double teams. I know alot of fans think that bringing in McNabb is the best solution, but I really don’t think it is. McNabb is not Warner, not even close. Yes McNabb had a great career in Philly, but that is over. Bring in a proven veteran that is willing to be a back-up, but at the same time will push Skelton to be a better QB. Also, Whiz just needs to decide on a QB early and get rid of all this QB competition nonsense! Name one person the QB, and leave it at that. If that QB doesn’t do the job, then switch, but for now, name a starting QB and go with it.I look forward to the Draft. First round O-Lineman, Second round, CB, Third round, possibly QB. Lookin forward to next week. C’mon Cards, let’s end the season on a good note and beat the 9ers!!!

  46. By Peter in Canada on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Pheenic – I agree. The constant bashing of Whiz after every game is becoming tiresome.

    Georgie bird – I think we have to go with the coach’s decision that as of week 5 Hall was more ready than Skelton. I agree with you however that since neither was NFL ready, we were not going to the playoffs with either of them so we should have stayed with Anderson, giving the better long-term prospect which was obviously Skelton(they drafted him after all) the number 2 spot and worked him in with garbage time and more practice reps. However, hindsight is 20/20.

  47. By tRiGiDy22 on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    What a game Bigred!!

    Loved seeing are Player jumping, like we won the Superbowl..

    It always feels great beating the Cowboys!

  48. By Peter in Canada on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Mike G – Paul Brown had it right about celebrations. He wouldn’t let his players do it because he wanted them to look like it wasn’t the first touchdown they’d ever scored.

  49. By AndyStandsUp on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    For those griping about winning vs. the Poopkickers guarantees the Cards sliding in the draft(Bickley)- IF Az loses next week and Buffalo and Cincinnatti win on the road,only Carolina will have a higher draft choice due to strength of schedule tiebreaker.
    That being said, even if Cards win(and against the 69ers how could you not want that) Arizona is going to get a top 5 pick.
    Hopefully at that time there IS a NFL draft and rookie salary cap.

  50. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Draft

    Regardless of the lockout, there will be a draft in April.

  51. By Phoenixraven1 on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Really don’t know why we worry about draft status…I’d rather win. Look at the score we got in Dan Williams! With what the 26th pick! You pick best player available (hopefully) unless you have a stocked position…for us that would be RB but otherwise if at our pick the best guy is a tackle you take him…picking for need does not work…!!! Examples: Detroit lions last five years plus of drafts! Or need a closer example: Levi Brown…

  52. By AndyStandsUp on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, the CBA expires March 5th, so how can teams sign draft picks?
    Is there an inclusion that teams must use the previous agreement with the same rules and no rookie cap?
    Now I’m more confused more than Mike Singletary deciding on which QB is going to get him fired quicker.

  53. By SteveDCO on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Here is my bold prediction for 2011.

    The Cards will sign a veteran QB and not draft one in the 1st round. The job will be Skelton’s to win.

    Darren, you keep asking the question are you sure about Skelton and if the answer is no you draft a QB.

    No one is sure but I feel better about Skelton than any QB except Luck and he won’t be around at 5 or 10 (the spots we could draft depending on AF game).

    Skelton has some things that can’t be taught, pcoket pressence and he is calm under pressure. Getting to watch a lot of games today since the Cards were off, there aren’t a lot of QBs who have those.

    I watched Bradford on every snap and he looks good but makes a lot of bone headed plays and he has 15 starts under his belt. He still panics in the pocket, something I have yet to see Skelton do.

    The risk of drafting a QB is too great especially given the lock out potential. Whiz is a great coach and the best ever in Phx and one of the best in franchise history but even he can’t risk another bad season and with the potential of no preseason or OTAs to help get a new QB ready, he has to look elsewhere on the board.

    Our defense has potential. We have a good D-line, we have a good 2ndary, we just need LBs. (Thus the reason for the 4-3 a lot the last 2 games).

    I also predict no coach will be let go in the off season.

    Darren – On a serious note, any update on Donnie Henderson?

  54. By andres on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    darren,

    i noticed that max hall wasn’t in the program for the game in our roster section was he released and if he was did you report but i didn’t see it or what.

  55. By blake on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren I remember that Leonard Davis penalty ( urggghh ) I think his big fat thigh flinched and if i am not mistaken the Cards/ he had one a few years before that one to end a game , but i may be mistaken , i will have to go back and watch those ANCIENT tapes of the games , any ways it was getting a little difficult to watch John Skelton ( although i thought he looked good most of the game ) continually throw to Andre Roberts when Larry was getting open and your right WHAT happened to Steve Breaston ? He has done nothing but PERFORM since he has been here he has made so many CLUTCH receptions during his time and come on i know it seems like an eternity but remember the hustle during the first game to strip that ball against the Rams ? any ways it was an exciting win , but going into the off season we have so many QUESTION MARKS , but thats another post .
    Happy Holidays Everyone

  56. By joe again on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Pheenic, Peter — I agree. These guys that nitpick every little thing that Whiz says or does just in order to bash him, you can tell they dont really understand the game of football.

    Like accusing coach of an ego trip for keeping Breaston on the sideline — you know Steve has been toughing it out all year long with a bum knee, and neither him nor coach would ever want to announce to the world how it really feels, but at this point in the season, Steve could actually be needing less game time just to keep playing. We dont know everything that goes into these decisions, and theres no reason to just keep filling in the blanks with negative stuff.

  57. By TARL SAMPSON on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    McNabb and Alex Smith would be two great options to have in training camp…

  58. By georgiebird on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    to Peter in Canada-

    Why do you say “we were not going to the playoffs” if Hall or Skelton had to play. If the Cardinals had won the home game against St Louis (and they would have with Skelton), the Cardinals would be probably be going to the playoffs with a win against SF next week-albeit probably on a one and out.
    I believe without a doubt Whiz cost the team the playoffs this year by not going to Skelton sooner.
    This is not Whiz bashing- Whiz did some good things with Andre Roberts, keeping OB eligible, getting Feely, but overall Whiz had a bad year.

  59. By tyman on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Lets finish strong Cards. Lets destroy the 49er’s next week. Destroy them CARDS…

  60. By SeeingRed on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    My 2 cents:

    Great effort by the Cards!

    TE position has to get better-way too many drops and other mistakes by them in this game.

    Skelton and Roberts seemed like they were dating as much as Skelton was throwing to him, At times it felt he was the only receiver on the field and even was forcing a few to him. Love the way Roberts has/is coming along but u gotta know that Breaston and Fitz are proven commodities right?? I don’t know if this is one of whiz’s cryptic messages being sent due to drop balls in recent games….

    Really like the progress I’m seeing out of John Skelton. His accuracy has already improved as has his reads etc…AND a mobile QB??? NICE

    Last note- really great win. Anytime u win against Dallas no matter the record, it is a winning season.. Some fans need to chill on the negativity. We didn’t get embarrassed on national tv on Xmas and the Cards came to play even with nothing (team-wise) at stake. We also got to see where we are with some of young guys..and again, I like what i see from the young guys…no need to be extra critical-I don’t think it’s lost on Coach Whiz (and staff) and the enitre Org, that this has been a very disappointing season and some changes will be in order.

  61. By Chuck 1 on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    As much as I would like the Cards to win all the regular season games, all playoff games and the Super Bowl game in 2011/12, I don’t believe that they can even win the Division or make the playoffs for the following reasons:
    #1. The Bidwills will not spend the money necessary to sign players who are good enough to do that (see this season).
    #2: Graves, Whiz and the Scouting Staff won’t make good personnel decisions (see this season e.g. Faneca (what a joke that he’s been selected for the Pro Bowl), Porter, trading Wells etc..
    #3. Whiz’s offensive game plan philosophy won’t change even if he gives up his OC job e.g. pass vs. the run..
    #4. The Rams are a team on the rise.

  62. By sharon smith on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Could be rumorsville, but my daughter heard from someone who is up close and very personal with Fitz, get my drift…and word is Fitz is looking to not re-sign with the Cards and head to the Vikings when his contract is over. Heard anything about this?

  63. By gregg smith on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Is anyone as sick as I am of seeing Mike Singletary’s face constantly in front of the camera?

  64. By R Robles on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    Darren REAL ? Whats Up With The Re Signing Of Our Players I Know Its A Long List Any Word?

  65. By cheesebeef on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    if this team loses ANOTHER key member of the Super Bowl teams in Breaston because it’s more interested in stuffing it’s pockets (ala the 30 million dollar discrepency between this year’s 85 million dollar in salaries v. last year’s 115 million), then… hell, I don’t know what I’ll do… hope LA finally gets a team so I can root for a team with owners who give a damn?

    All we heard from homers from this team was that we shouldn’t worry about that 30 million dollar gap because we’re going to be signing our own to extensions… yeah… cause that usually happens with key members of this team (Boldin/Dansby/Rolle/Pace ring a bell? Jesus… the talent right there that could have been on this team if it wasn’t so damn passive and reactive in how it deals with contracts. Hell, they even made Kurt Warner sweat out a new deal and go to our biggest rival before giving him what he deserved.

    Pathetic this FO.

  66. By Big Red on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    We have our QB of the future, for get the draft pick beening a QB. Skelton will be like Big Ben on the field. Just sign Fitz this year.

  67. By Big Red on Dec 26, 2010 | Reply

    On the next draft, pick the other Skelton we need a good tight end. Another product from that powerful school Fordham. His the sure thing.

  68. By Victor on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    I think Fitz will sign a 5yr deal . What do u think Darren do u think they will sign Fitz to a Long Term Huh ?

  69. By Alex on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren…. Is there any chance the Singletary will be pick up by the cardinals as a linebackers coach, Defensive coordinator, or even Offensive coordinator?

  70. By K-DUB on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    What are the chances we could get McDaniels and Singletary for Cordinator positions?

  71. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Wow! What a great win and a great game to build on for next year! Now all we need to do is beat those 49ers to finish the season. The only downside to that however, is that the 49ers would have just 5 wins to our 6 wins, and thus end up being slotted to pick ahead of us again in every stinking round of next year’s draft.

    Do you think the 49ers, with their bad QB situation are going to pass on Cam Newton? I don’t think so.

  72. By Paul L on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    AWESOME game Cardinals — very nice Christmas present! What made it even better was that my brother the Cowpie fanatic was watching it with me (he even has a dog named Emmett). As for the QB situation, what does everybody out there think of acquiring Donovan McNabb and letting Skelton learn from him in the #2 slot?

  73. By Scott H on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Ah, A VERY Merry Christmas, indeed! We deserved this one. Couldn’t believe it when we were flagged for pass interfernece on that 4th down play, and then they scored the TD. I mean, after the season we’ve endured…what a dagger through the heart, ya know? It’s bad enough that the entire pregame show was ALLLLL about the Cowboys…then, we play good enough to win the game and it looks like they are going to sneak away with it in the last minute??? Ugh. Looking at some of the Cowboys celebrating on the sidelines, it made me want to kick the TV in. Then 4th & 15??? Ah, but then the football gods – and Larry Fitzgerald – came through for us at our greatest moment of need! Then the penaly with 10 seconds left???? My gosh, what a great win for this team. And what a GREAT kicker we have in Jay Feely! That was exactly the kind of kick that Rackers never seemed to make when we needed it.

    Great game for Andre Roberts. Well, as a WR, anyway. He didn’t look so good on returns. But whatever. Don’t mean to throw dirt on Doucet’s grave prematurely, but…heck, just by staying healthy, Roberts moves ahead of him in my book.

    And even though Skelton isn’t setting the world on fire, isn’t it SOOOO much better to be seeing what may very well be our future at QB growing before our eyes instead of going down ( AGAIN ) with a stiff like Derek Anderson who offers nothing in the present OR the future? There is only one answer – HELL, YEAH!!! And it just makes me even more pissed at coach Whiz that we wasted so many weeks on Anderson ( and so un-necessarily ) when we should have been taking a look at Skelton. I said it then and I’ll say it again – Whiz did this team an incredible dis-service by sticking with Anderson and denying Skelton valuable playing time that he needs to grow and develop.

    And how cool was it to see a Cardinals QB making plays with his legs???? My god, when was the last time we saw THAT….Jake Plummer?

    After the humiliation we all suffered after the Monday Night loss to San Fran, I feel like we truly got some of our pride back this week. And that feels good. Not much this year has felt good, but…this does.

  74. By brad oneill on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    christmas games on nfl network are a freaking crime. just because us fans might own sunday ticket, nfl network, redzone etc. when we are forced to go to grandmas house for christmas we are stuck missing our beloved team because grandma doesn’t bother subscribing to anything other than the home shopping network.

  75. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Draft picks

    Until a new CBA is reached, draft picks cannot be signed. Same with free agents. Everyone is in limbo.

  76. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    SteveDCO —

    RE: Henderson

    Donnie is in his office working here Monday morning as we speak.

  77. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Andres —

    RE: Hall

    Hall is on injured reserve, which means he isn’t on the active roster.

  78. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    RRobles —

    RE: Re-signing

    None that I know of.

  79. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Victor —

    RE: Fitz

    We will see.

  80. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    K-Dub —

    RE: Singletary/Coordinators

    I do not see them looking at Singletary. Doubt McDaniels.

  81. By Kevin on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Andy —

    You said even if the Cards win the final week, still a top 5 draft pick? That’s impossible. First, you seem to have forgotten Denver, another 4-11 team (in addition to BUF and CIN). If the Cards win their last game, they are guaranteed to be ahead of all of those teams (CAR, DEN, BUF, CIN), plus SF who would only have 5 wins. So that makes their pick #6 at best. Not only that, but assuming MIN doesn’t beat PHI on Tues (pretty good assumption), they will go into the final week with 5 wins. Since they play another 5 win team the last week, one of them will lose and only have 5 wins. And HOU (vs. JAX), DAL (vs. PHI, possibly playing for a bye) and CLE (vs. PIT playing for div championship and a bye) are all 5 win teams that are likely to lose the final week as well. So if AZ wins the last week, there is a good chance their pick will drop as low as #10.

  82. By SteveDCO on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    McDaniels would actually be a great fit here. He is a lot like Haley and willing to get in players faces.

    He will also be willing to challenge Whiz on play calling.

    He also fits into Whiz’s scheme of a passing offense.

    I don’t see it happeing bc Whiz likes Miller and McDaniels will cost a lot of money. He is the top OC out there right now.

    Big Mike needs to retire. He was a great player but a terrible coach. He has no buisness on a sideline except as a motivational speaker (pants on the ground)

  83. By tyman on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    I think the Cards need to keep the D quardinator we got. Its realy easy to get down on a guy when everything goes bad but really all that is needed is a change in philosiphy on the d side of the ball. I think for next season mixing things up and making the defence more unperdictible is the way to win on d. One thing also everyone is kind of down on joey for not producing big this year. I think guys like him need to be moved around given different pass rushing angles during the game. After the dallas game it seemed like the defence was being called much better. It was a game at home I know, but if our offence was better there would be less pressure for our d to be stout.

  84. By Scott H on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    One more thing about that penalty that almost ended the game with a 10 second run-off…thank god we were where we were on the field. Because Feely’s kick didn’t clear the cross-bar by much! If were any further back…that five yards might have still killed us. Man, there was so much drama late in that game! It really was an exciting game in that regard. Given that the Cardinals led all night until that TD pass to Austin, all I can say is thank god the Cardinals found a way to get it back. As Cardinals fans, we’ve certainly been on the losing end of enough of these games. Sorry, Cowboy fans, but you just didn’t deserve this one! Not as much as we did, anyway.

    And to the NFL Network – who completely ignored the Cardinals during their pre-game show – up yours! I’m pretty sure you were just dying for the Cowboys to win this one, so…again, up yours! Did anyone else want to strangle Deion Sanders for his NON-STOP claims that there were more Cowboy fans in the house than Cardinals fans??? I swear, he is an idiot and a jack ass. Maybe someone should have told him that that stadium has been sold out for EVERY SINGLE Cardinals home game since the day it opened several years ago. And I’m pretty sure the friggin’ Cowboys have had NOTHING to do with that!!! Way to be prepared, Deion. Your point was valid, like, 10 years ago when the Cardinals were a loser and playing in a concrete oven called Sun Devil Stadium. Times have changed, and maybe someone involved in that broadcast should have pulled Deion aside at some point and told him to just shut up if that was all he had. Seriously, didn’t anyone else notice this?

  85. By BLOOD RED on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Keep the team together and have a GOOD draft.Only change I could see being possibly needed is Bill Davis.We should be way better on d with all this talent.PLEEEEase don’t let FITZ go.He is the role model of team and nfl.Having and paying a guy like that attracts more like him and keeps all players in check.GOT TO BE DONE #1.ROCK N ROLL REDBIRDS!!!!P.S Please don’t forget to draft Jason Witten/Heath Miller type tightend!Darren Thanks for all your work.I know you love your job.You are one lucky bird;)

  86. By Anne Wilkinson on Dec 29, 2010 | Reply

    I think the Cards need to keep the D quardinator we got. Its realy easy to get down on a guy when everything goes bad but really all that is needed is a change in philosiphy on the d side of the ball. I think for next season mixing things up and making the defence more unperdictible is the way to win on d. One thing also everyone is kind of down on joey for not producing big this year. I think guys like him need to be moved around given different pass rushing angles during the game. After the dallas game it seemed like the defence was being called much better. It was a game at home I know, but if our offence was better there would be less pressure for our d to be stout.

  87. By Erik on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    I am a long time fan of Andre Roberts. I watched this kid for four years in college. I can tell you that folks will look back on this game as the coming out party for what will one day be a franchise player. His work ethic alone has been evidenced by his improvement this season. Go ahead and buy one of those Roberts jerseys. You’ll be able to say you were the first.

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