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Friday before the Cowboys – in Dallas this time

Posted by Darren Urban on October 31, 2014 – 4:03 pm

The Cardinals used to go to Dallas every year when they shared a division address. But it’s been almost a decade since the Cardinals visited the Cowboys – all the way back to 2005, when only two current Cardinals were on the team: Larry Fitzgerald and the sidelined Darnell Dockett.

“That was a long time ago,” Fitzgerald said.

Indeed. Those were the days of Marcel Shipp and Josh McCown and Leonard Davis, the Arizona version. Those were the Dallas days of Keyshawn Johnson and Drew Bledsoe and Marion Barber. (The Cards, by the way, were drilled, 34-13, that day.)

Much has changed, not the least of which the venue, gaudy AT&T Stadium with its gigantic videoboard and 100,000-plus seats.  “You can watch it from the sidelines,” Fitz said. “It’ll be fun to watch our defense flying around out there.”

That figures to be the key, doesn’t it? No, not the videoboard but the Cards’ defense. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is questionable after skipping practice all week and you’d have to think that makes it unlikely he’d play. But whether it’s a less-than-mobile Romo or a been-sitting-around-and-not-as-good Brandon Weeden, the Cardinals should be able to generate some opportunities. It’ll start by how they handle DeMarco Murray, of course. If Murray dominates, Dez Bryant might be able to be the QB and the Cowboys would be OK. But if the Cards can have some kind of Murray control and force it back into the QB’s hands, then the Cards will be in the game they wanted to dictate.

— Fitzgerald, on following up his stellar seven-reception, 160-yard performance against the Eagles: “A repeat performance all around wouldn’t be a bad thing on the road against the Cowboys,” Fitz said. “I know that much.”

I have a feeling the Cardinals know it too. It feels like Fitzgerald could have another nice outing.

— Fitz needs only 95 yards to surpass Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin in career receiving yards. It’d be kind of sweet to do it in Dallas.

— The Cowboys’ defense isn’t great. It has been good enough. It definitely took a hit with the season-ending biceps injury to linebacker Justin Durant, though. Durant was the Cowboys’ leading tackler.

— The last three times the Cardinals have played the Cowboys, the Cardinals have won on the final play of the game. In 2008, it was Sean Morey’s blocked punt recovered by Monty Beisel in the end zone in OT. In 2010, it was Jay Feely’s 48-yard field goal as the clock ran out. In 2011, it was a 52-yard screen pass to the Hyphen – LaRod Stephens-Howling – from quarterback Kevin Kolb for a touchdown.

— For those asking – for a road game, even! – the Cardinals are wearing red Sunday. The Cowboys almost always wear white at home.

— I’d expect Marion Grice to get at least a carry or two Sunday now that Stepfan Taylor is sidelined. Bruce Arians said Grice was ready, although he said Friday he was happy with Grice “until he dropped that handoff today.”

— Safety Deone Bucannon was not fined for the helmet-to-helmet hit on Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin, the one that caused the Patrick Peterson concussion. Cornerback Jerraud Powers was fined, $16,537 for his horse collar tackle in the same game. Eagles defensive lineman Trent Cole was dinged $22,050 for hitting Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer in the helmet.

— Arians said Peterson will cover Dez Bryant some of the time Sunday, but Peterson will not exclusively be on the Pro Bowl wide receiver.

— Punter Drew Butler has played at “JerryWorld” before, having punted for the Steelers in a 2012 overtime loss to the Cowboys. Did he hit the videoboard with any punts?

“Of course you try in pregame,” Butler said. “It’s a little ego boost there. I hit it a few times.”

Butler said hitting it in-game isn’t an issue because it’s inside the hashmarks and kicks are almost always angled outside the hashmarks. A bigger issue, he said, is because it gets dark higher up, sometimes the gunners have a hard time picking up the ball as it drops from the sky.

— Arians had his own description on playing in the Cowboys’ Dallas palace.

“It’s different,” Arians said. “It’s all those fans when you come in, like you’re walking out of a nightclub. It’s got an unbelievable gladiator feeling to it because you’re walking through the fans and they’re throwing (expletive) at you.”

On to Dallas.

FITZGERALD WILLIAMS NEWMAN DAVIS


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Posted in Blog | 22 Comments »


22 Responses to “Friday before the Cowboys – in Dallas this time”

  1. By T.Stone on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    Does the top open on that AT&T stadium? Is GOD going to be watching? I hope so because he is in for a show. 31- 21 Cardinals.

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    that picture is the definition of forcing a ball to Larry.

  3. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    On to Dallas. Just another week. I think we have a good change against the Cowboys. Murray is a beast but our run defense is fierce. Their defense is not all that and our offense is starting to click. Just have to be careful, the Cowgirlz are looking to bounce back from last weeks upset loss.

  4. By Scott H on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    Last Sunday against the Eagles showed that Fitz is still the horse to ride in this offense. I say we saddle him up again and let him outta the barn! Seriously, that horse is ready to pull this wagon. Giddy-up!

    No, I’m not suggesting that we start “forcing” the offense to go through Fitzgerald, period. But we’ve only been seeing how good things happen when we get him the ball for….what, the past 10 years or so? And we’re gonna stop NOW? No. I see getting the ball to Fitz a little more as the best way to open up the offense for everyone. Spreading the ball around is fine. But your playmakers need chances to make plays. You got a guy who can step around a few defenders around your 40-yard line and then outrun the rest of the defense all the way to the endzone? Then get that man the ball. I think that 160-yard performance last week was JUST what opposing defenses needed to be reminded that Fitz is alive and well.

    But…enough. This is about the Cardinals against the Cowboys, 11 guys on each side of the ball on every play. Last Sunday, we blitzed practically all day and never got to Nick Foles once. Not once. Given that we KNOW Romo is physically limited going into this one, getting to him is absolutely mandatory. The defense HAS to get there a few times on Sunday. Making him move is one thing, but we’ve seen how Romo CAN make spectacular plays on the move. We NEED a few good hits on him to get him in some physical discomfort to the point where that becomes a distraction for him.. As long as we can force the ball into his hands by stopping the run and keeping the score close, there is a good chance that good things will happen. And those few good hits we need to get on him? The sooner, the better.

    I know I’ve been banging the drum for more offense, more offense, more offense. And I know BA is going to dial up the big plays during the game. We’re gonna take our shots for the big plays. Hopefully, we hit on a few. But, honestly, I don’t care if we win this one 13-10. As long as we WIN. Just win this one and come back home for the next two.

  5. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    Growing up a fan of the Cardinals in the 1970s and early 1980s, there was no team I hated more than Dallas.

  6. By Dynosoar on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    “Fitz needs only 95 yards to surpass Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin in career receiving yards. It’d be kind of sweet to do it in Dallas.”

    Yes. Yes it would.

  7. By infitzwetrust on Oct 31, 2014 | Reply

    I guarantee we win this game.

    Thumbs up if you return to the posts to see how many thumbs up you have! LOL

  8. By shannon robinson on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    Pass Rush Specialist Coach Tom Pratt will unleash his good work with sacks from our Texas Longhorns, Okafor and Acho – what a return to Texas for them. Great chance to open some holes and run Ellington through their defense – wouldn’t it be excellent for Andre to outrush DeMarco? What a luxury to have Carson at QB in big games knowing that given time and protection he can hit big with BA’s calls. Minter the Centaur has his big game.

  9. By D on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    Cards 24 Dallas 10

  10. By clssylssy on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    @Otis Anderson fan…
    I grew up at Arrowhead and can assure you that Cards fans weren’t the only ones to hate the Cowboys coming to town. For the Chiefs and their fans, it wan’t so much the idea of playing a tough team but rather having to breath the same air as their obnoxious fans who, like some others, probably gave their team a bad rap based upon the personna their fans projected.
    Since being in Arizona and supporting the Cards, I have always been proud of the classy way our fans have behaved, being gracious winners, as well as, owning our shortcomings in loss.. I believe this is kinda like parenting, and starts at the top by the example set by the organization. While Dallas is suppose to be “America’s Team” (until recently dethrowned by Peyton Manning and the Broncos)
    I will always think of them as Jerry’s silk purse…as in, “You can’t make a silk purse out of an old cow’s ear” It seems some teams are just doomed because of their oranization!

  11. By Dynosoar on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    D,

    I think that that score is a little pessimistic.

    Cardinals 35 Cowboys 10

    2 for Fitzgerald (95+ yards), 1 for Floyd, 1 for J. Brown (take your pick which J.) and 1 for Ellington or Carlson.

    I hope Romo doesn’t play, I fear he’ll be seriously injured if he does, let him rest because they lose this game whoever’s behind center for them. BA and Bowels have there number, stop the run and we will.

    We’ll see if my crystal ball works as well as T. Stones.

  12. By Dynosoar on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    Ottis Anderson Fan,

    What you said. When growing up in those same decades, the Cowboys were the top of my crumb list. They were the bottom of my crumb list. In fact, they were every crumb in between.

    (The list eventually included the Raiders who I felt were thugs – the Steelers, too arrogant, especialy with Green Bay winning 13 championships and they only have six – the Bears, couldn’t stand the Super Bowl shuffle or the Saturday Night Live sketches that year – the Giants and Redskins with there also beating us every year.)

    The list is shortened, the Cowboys – Steelers – Seahawks – 49ers and Giants. I’ve worked hard to eliminate a crumb list, give me a few more years and it may be down some more… it may be. Haha!

    Let’s make history and sweep the NFC East. 4-0 against the East!

  13. By Scott H on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Agreed. I have also seen quite a few plays over the years where the ball was “forced” to Larry and it worked out pretty well for us. This has gone both ways.

    What was it that Todd Haley told Warner going into the NFC title game back in 2008….stay with Fitz a little longer and don’t be afraid to go to there even if it looks like he is covered? That comes pretty close to an OC TELLING his QB to force the ball to a specific player. And it certainly was the right thing to do that day. And on other days as well when we had Warner playing as well as he was.

    My point is not that forcing the ball to Fitz IS a good idea or that it SHOULD be done. My point is that there ARE always those players who you can “force” it to on some occesions when you might otherwise not do so because they CAN make plays in those situations that most others cannot. Fitz IS one of those guys.

  14. By Dynosoar on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    I liked the article “Cardinals Not Cards – Dallas preview.” (It’s actually Note Cards, instead of Not Cards, but the not Cards got my attention, wondering what was the hidden pun in the headline.)

    This is the kind of info-graphic that appeals to me. I didn’t realize how many records our players could set on Sunday.

  15. By Rugbymuffin on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    How on earth does Emmitt Smith’s homecoming, ending with a dislocated shoulder not get a mention ?

  16. By clssylssy on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    @Dynosoar…
    My take on that was the Cards were not “cards” as in jokers…could be wrong, probably am, I’m sure someone will set me straight!.
    Seems everyone has their “crumb” list which usually include teams in your division. As I have gotten older and have more of an appreciation for the way the game is played and the exceptional men who play it, I find that it’s the fans who bring the negativity usually and while I can relate to your feelings about the Raiders (being in the AFC West) again, it’s the fans who project the “thug” personna and I actually found myself buying a Gannon jersey for a SB party pne year because I am a fan of the players and the game rather than the other stuff. I would hate to see Fitz go to the Broncos…that would be a VERY bitter pill and even more difficult that when Plummer went to them! Let’s hope the Cards can work that one out for all of our sakes!
    As for Romo playing, I really wish the NFL took player safety more seriously and hope it doesn’t take a serious spinal injury (and lawsuit) to wake the NFL brain trust up to the fact that paralysis is as life altering and serious as concussions. It would seem that since Weeden has been taking reps with the first team all week the smart thing would be to keep Romo out given we are heading into the home stretch however, who knows if his back is really injured of if it’s just more hystrionics from the drama queen Cowgirls?

  17. By Scott H on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    Dynosaur –

    Hey, bro. Doesn’t matter to me what records they do or do not break on Sunday. I just want a WIN and a 7-1 record! Then, I want to sit back and wait to hear how long it’s been since the Cards started a season with that record. I LOVE that stuff!

    Probably not much chance of the Raiders going into Seattle and beating the Seahawks, so….it’s on us to keep a few games between us and the rest of the division. This game will also ( most likely ) be huge in terms of a tie-breaker situation down the road if the Cards & Cowboys are gonna keep going as they have. So, this one matters a ton. I’d rather not have to beat out one of 3, 4, 5 other teams for a wild card spot. That gets crazy. AND as we saw last year, that can result in better teams sitting at home while lesser teams get in by winning weak divisions. No thanks. Let’s win the division and start our playoff run at home. Hell, I might just have to come back for that!

    With the Cowboys, Lions, Seahawks ( 2X ) , and 49ers looming on our schedule, the Cardinals have ample opportunity to control their own destiny ( in either direction ). Can’t ask for better than that.

    One step at a time, fellas. One step at a time.

  18. By Chuck 1 on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    Dyno,

    The chance of the Cards scoring 35 points against anyone, including the Little Sisters of the Poor are slim and none. And, Slim just left town.

  19. By Eazy E on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    I definitely think it’ll be a good game but we have to stop Murray and break his streak of 8 consecutive 100-yard games to start the season! Our run defense is 3rd, so I think we’ll bring it. I’m glad Pat is ok, first because of his health and well-being and 2nd because we’ll need him for Dez. Now, the beautiful thing about having Cro too, is that we can put Cro on him some also. If Romo doesn’t play, we should probably blow them out, but if he does play and isn’t gimpy or hurt as bad as everybody thought, it’ll be good TV. If he is gimpy and hurt, then oh boy! I live in Dallas and with all their losses via free agency, I thought the Boys we’re gonna be pretty poor but they’ve shocked a lot of people! I hope for a Cards Win though. #No Cowboy Hater though #No Cowboy Hate

  20. By Dynosoar on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    Anytime in the last couple weeks I’ve talked of beating the Cowboys and sweeping the East I get thumbs down. Should I be giving a shout out to some Cowboys fans?

    Enjoy the game.

  21. By Dynosoar on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    clssylssy,

    I think you may be mostly right about the crumb list AND about other injuries. The NFL is taking concussions seriously, maybe they’ll look at others too. Then again, no ones going to pay $100+ to see flag football either.

    Scott H.

    I’m not concerned about records either, I just thought it was interesting how many we could actually break/set on Sunday. I wonder how many games are like that, certainly more when winning so many games.

    Although, it would be sweet if Fitzgerald broke Michael Irvins record IN Dallas, I guess it would be… poetic/fitting on some level.

    I also agree controlling our own destiny is a much more satisfying place to be.

    Chuck 1.

    Haha! The Slim just left town was a good one. So what will you say if they DO get 35 points? I get to say my crystal balls needs recharging.

    To all, enjoy the game. I’m so looking forward to 7-1 with 4-0 against the NFC East.

  22. By Dynosoar on Nov 1, 2014 | Reply

    I was getting some snacks at the grocery store and the cashier stuck out his hand, stated he’s an Eagles fan and congratulated me on our victory last week. He said it was one awesome game to watch.

    (I was wearing my Cardinals jersey and hat.) I also wonder why he’d congratulate me, as if I had anything to do with the win. Then again, maybe…

    ~Stop the run, score a lot, increase our turnover ratio on the plus side while lowering theirs even further in the negative. Win this game.~

    Anyway, since we were talking fans, I thought that was cool. I like that other people like other teams, otherwise they wouldn’t have any support and we’d be the only team and there’d be no one to play. It’d be nice if fans from all teams could realize while we want to win, we’re all in this together and should enjoy without being curmudgeons.

    Now, let’s go win and make it 7-1. Go Cardinals!

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