Atop the NFL, some Cowboys aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on November 2, 2014 – 6:01 pm

If the fact that fullback Ron Wolfley got a carry for the Cardinals the last time the franchise had gone to Dallas and won a regular-season game doesn’t grab you, the fact 22 players on the current roster weren’t even born the last time the Cards won there catches the attention.

Of course, all those “last times” don’t mean much right now, since this current Cardinals team took care of the Cowboys at Jerry’s World and don’t care about much of anything except what’s right in front of them. Again, Sunday’s game wasn’t one you’d bronze. There were a lot of good things, but some divots, especially offensively. But it doesn’t matter after yet another win, and a 7-1 record that stands as the best of not only the NFC but the NFL after the Broncos were knocked around in New England.

No, Tony Romo didn’t play. To that, the Cardinals basically said, so? “We don’t really want to hear the excuses right now,” locker-room sage Frostee Rucker said. (The Cardinals have done the play-with-the-backup-quarterbacks thing. They made it work.)

“It’s just a great day to be a Cardinal,” Rucker said.

— The Cardinals stopped DeMarco Murray from reaching 100 yards, the first team to do so this season. It wasn’t as if Murray was ineffective, with 79 yards on 19 carries. But it was a goal to end his streak, and certainly, that fourth-down stand was the game in a microcosm – stop Murray, and you stop the Cowboys. Especially with Brandon Weeden as QB.

— Meanwhile, Andre Ellington outplayed Murray. If it wasn’t for the goal of getting Marion Grice some work, Ellington (95 yards on 21 carries) would have had his first 100-yard game. I thought Ellington battled for extra yards even better Sunday as well. He’s having an excellent season.

— Ellington did get his eyes checked during the game. Bruce Arians said he feared Ellington might be out with a concussion, but Ellington said his helmet came down over his eyes and blurred his vision for a moment.

— Red-zone troubles? No red-zone troubles here. When the Cardinals got there Sunday, they cashed in. Four trips inside the Dallas 20, and Chandler Catanzaro only came on the field for extra points. Even better, all four scores – three of them on Carson Palmer passes – were converted on third down.

— The Cardinals swept the NFC East. After sweeping the AFC South last year.

— Frostee was a little frosty on the sideline at the end of the game, hacked off that he and his teammates couldn’t stop the final Dez Bryant touchdown. It was meaningless, except it wasn’t.

“Me and (Darnell) Dockett were just talking about it, that’s the stuff you look back when the season is over and that’s the difference in being number one in something or being number three,” Rucker said. “Don’t give that up. Don’t give them anything.

“But I’m happy with the performance of all the guys. The team won this game today.”

— With John Carlson, Jaron Brown and Marion Grice all scoring Sunday, the Cardinals have had 12 different players score for them already this season though eight games.

— It was not a good day for the AT&T Stadium press box announcer. The Honey Badger as “Tyson Mathersly”? But it was worse for Cantanzaro, who was a couple of things – “Chancer Catanzaria” for one – before the guy gave up and just said, “Number 7 on to try the extra point.”

— Mathieu gets his first interception. He is certainly doing Honey Badger things again.

— Nose tackle Dan Williams was excellent, beyond his first sack of the season. “I would probably say it’s my best game,” Williams said. “I think I’ve been playing well thus far, doing the things coaches ask of me and make sure we get upfield. I think I actually played like I do each week, it’s just that the guys were cutting back into me, I made a few tackles. Today, I was pretty much just the clean-up man.”

— Larry Fitzgerald with another quietly solid game, with five catches for 70 yards. He fell short of surpassing Michael Irvin on the all-time yardage list, but more important was the touchdowns and a step toward better offensive production.

“We were able to score a little more consistent today,” Fitzgerald said. “But we are still finding out what we are capable of. We took a little bit of a step today. We pride ourselves on being a very smart, intelligent football team.”

— Not great were the five drops, three coming from tight end John Carlson. Carlson did have a touchdown catch, but combined with a holding penalty, it wasn’t his best game.

— This time, all the players earned a Victory Monday. Even the young guys.

— Your walk-off quote, courtesy of Arians: “Having been 1-7 before, 7-1 feels a lot better.”


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Posted in Blog | 48 Comments »

48 Responses to “Atop the NFL, some Cowboys aftermath”

  1. By Big Ken on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Ah There’s nothing like good ol Texas barbeque.

  2. By Nick Pepe on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    This is as good as it gets. So far. My oldest brother is a Cowboy fan, and the middle brother a Skin fan. I don’t even want to mention the Eagles friends/fans=It was NFC East battles growing up. And the Cards sweep the East. Pretty cool.

    It wasn’t pretty. They got pressure on CP . We dropped some passes. A lot of passes. The D was outstanding. But what I noticed most, we miss Zasty. We, wisely, got conservative on some third and longs and failed to pin them back and once gave up a lengthy return. Zasty would have pinned them back. That, and catch the ball-otherwise it’s an A-

    Rams will present a challenge, stay grounded!

    7-1. Doesn’t suck. And I am off tomorrow.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member ’70-72

  3. By Peterincanada on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Cards were by far the better team today. It was only the drops, the penalties and the pick six that stopped it from being a real beating. Glad Dan Williams got a mention. He is playing like a number one pick.

  4. By Oscar on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Didn’t we beat the Cowboys with Kevin Kolb at Dallas?

  5. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Oscar —

    RE: Kolb

    Cardinals hadn’t played in Dallas since 2005.

  6. By italycardfan on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    From tonight, 7 is not just a number. This is the number of our victories, and yet, tonight, we gave another demonstration of power and compactness. We do not want to be a team for the statistics, I’m not interested, we have demonstrated, once again, to have the skills to confront and defeat anyone, the talents and skills of a great team. All players, all, without exception, have contributed to this victory. The demerits of Dallas, in my opinion, are our own merits, with the strength to stay focused until the end. I do not know what will happen tomorrow, I only know that the scoreboard says 7-1, the only team in the NFL, and I’m happy. UOW !!! I am very happy!
    Greetings from Italy.
    GO CARDS !!!

  7. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Darren- What is up with Ta’mau? Is he having a slow time recovering?

  8. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Ta’amu

    Was behind early, and now he’s not in the mix.

  9. By CreditCard on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Some of the Cardinal rookies are playing like veterans, Buchannan, Stinson, and John Brown.

    Offensive line did a decent job against the Cowboys. I think next week’s game against the Rams will be the ultimate test for the O-line.

    Fitz had another good game, tough catches in big situations. The guy is good.

  10. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Another win coupled with a Niner loss !!!!! The Rams are going to be tough. I’m a little worried about their pass rush, but I still think we will get the W in the end.

  11. By Hammy on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Winning never gets old, after years of being a losing franchise. Very proud to be a Cardinals fan! All Cardinals fans who suffered through the “hard times” understand how big of a deal being 7-1 atop the NFC and with the best record in the league is. Go Cardinals!

  12. By rod on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Peterson has lost a step. I can’t believe he couldn’t return that blocked FG to the house. He was gassed after the run too…he’s definitely not the player he used to be.

    I’m still glad he’s on our team.

    Great game!

  13. By krehbieo14 on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    It’s interesting how some in the media or fans will excuse the performance of teams based on their injured or league punished players. I don’t want to hear about the “Romo-less” Cowboys, etc. We had several weeks of “Palmerless” Cardinals and made things work. No excuses. We would have beaten the Cowboys regardless of Romo’ s presence. Great victory!

  14. By Infitzwetrust on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    We have the best team in the NFC.

    Super Bowl prediction:

    Cards vs Pats/Broncos

    Cards win 35-17

  15. By Dre on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Great team win play hard to end at home in February

  16. By Steve on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: I know we are only halfway through the season but up to this point how would you compare this Cards team to the one that went to the Super Bowl? Any noticeable differences that you have seen so far?

  17. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: vs. 2008

    That team won in the playoffs, so we will see. But this team is much more balanced. And the defense is much more consistent.

  18. By Bishop on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Darren- I don’t know if you seen Dockett’s tweet about him and Washington coming back, but would it be even possible fr Dockett or Washington eligible to return this season, like during the playoffs per league rules?

  19. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Bishop —

    RE: Dockett/Washington

    Neither can come back this season. Period.

  20. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    My son had a baseball tournament today. Was trying to avoid hearing the score but EVERYONE was talking about the Cardinals. I don’t remember this much excitement about a regular season game ever. So I gave up and watched the play by play on my phone.

    Now that I’ve watched the replay, the game reminded me a bit of last week vs. the Eagles… not so much the styles of the teams, but just the way the game turned on a few key plays deep in our territory. Just like the Eagles had the INT in our end zone and fumble inside the five, today we had an INT deep in our territory, a 4th and 1 stop, and a blocked FG.

    Our D makes huge plays. Listening to the Fox crew talk about our “worst in the league” pass defense at halftime was a joke. OK, they’ve given up a lot of yards, but now are tied for the league lead in INT’s. I’d say an extra 5 or so INT’s above the league average is worth 30-40 yards a game, wouldn’t you? And the average yards per game came down quite a bit too today… it’s basically just two games (vs. Manning and Foles) that make that number look bad. Manning is Manning, and Foles threw 62 passes. Let’s please stop this nonsense about AZ’s pass defense being among the league’s worst.

    I also saw some idiot analysts taking to Twitter after the pick 6 saying things like “That’s the Carson Palmer I remember,” and stuff like that. 3 TD’s and a QB of 100+ later and what are those people saying?

    Nice job PP — one of the penalties was bogus, and you did a great job on Bryant.
    Let’s keep it up.

    If we win vs. St Louis next week and then beat the Lions, we will have a minimum 2-game edge on everyone for home field advantage. (Philly is only other team besides Detroit with 2 losses, but having beaten them, it’s like we’re 2 games ahead even though they’re currently only one game back.)

    Does it get any better than a day when the Cardinals win and 49ers lose? I guess Seattle losing would’ve been icing on the cake, but just having them struggle again (177 passing yards), at home, against a winless Raiders team, is good enough for me.

  21. By Dr. G. on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    Usually, I have 2 favorite teams, the Cards and whoever plays the Arlington Cowboys… today I had only 1 favorite double-dose team! NEXT…!!!

  22. By Berdj Rassam on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    The Cardinals are playing some really good football. They’re a top 5 defense, while their offense is more middle of the road. Still, good enough to be one of the better teams in the league.

  23. By Dynosoar on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    We Swept the NFC East!

    I’ve waited 37 years for this. (Well, probably only 30 as the first 7 or so I didn’t pay attention to things like sweeping the division.)

    Tennessee Vols won
    Cardinals won
    Cowboys opponents won
    Denver lost

    My weekend in football is complete. Did I mention…

    We Swept the NFC East! First time EVER!!! We Swept the NFC East!

    This team seems like the ’86 Bears, I mean they knew they could and would win against anyone. They believed this so much they made plays for “the Refrigerator” just to show everyone they couldn’t lose. Maybe we should have Big Dan Williams or Calais run it in for a touchdown. Big Dan has one touchdown in his career, why not give it to him on the three yard line.

    Our team knows they’ll win any game they want to win for the rest of this year.

    Oh and by the way, We Swept the NFC East!

  24. By T.Stone on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    @Cardschatter My crystal ball is awesome.

  25. By Anna Birdgang Rodriguez on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    I’m very Proud of our Arizona Cardinals! Much Love and Respect always

  26. By Judy Reeves (Kingman,Az) on Nov 2, 2014 | Reply

    So very much proud of this team we call our CARDINALS. They played hard and we’re glad for that but to be on top of the NFL. Let’s just look forward and get the next job done.

  27. By carlo milano on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    sorry darren but can i ask u why 2 mediocre guards like fanaika and especially larsen stay ahead of cooper?
    does he look so bad cooper ?

  28. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Carlo —

    RE: Guards

    The coaches disagree with your assessment of the starters.

  29. By Marlin on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    I’m in Beijing on business. Great to hear about the Cards win! Did J. Cooper see any significant game action against the Cowboys?

  30. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Cooper

    No he did not.

  31. By Chris on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    at the sequence of the Locker Room Speech, BA said that he will se the young guys on monday for practice. You wrote everyone would have a victory monday. Did he change up his mind?

  32. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Victory Monday

    Yes he did.

  33. By LadyBird04 on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Couple of quick thoughts –

    Ellington had a 6 yd. run called back by a penalty (that would have given him 100 yds on the ground)

    Peterson shouldn’t have waited for blockers and slowed down – he had the speed to get a td on the blocked fg…too bad he thought too much. (Arians has already been giving him grief)

    I counted 5 dropped passes – come on guys.

    REfs didn’t call too many penalties but they seemed to increase as the game went on. Last week’s game was a flag festival so I’m glad these refs let the game mostly play out.

    Had a great time watching us win in Jerry’s World. I wouldn’t want to climb up to the rafter seats…hope there are plenty of elevators/escalators or you could get a coronary.

  34. By clssylssy on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Good defensive game that I watched with some Redskin/Chief/Viking/Steeler friends and wasn’t really sure how it was going to go to begin with; I too, had to go out for air after the rocky beginning for some deep breaths! It was probably the best game on TV yesterday but it seems rather than getting props. all the newscasters were making excuses for the Cowboys as if the Cards hadn’t been in the Cowboys shoes all season and persevered winning with the next man up rather than whining! The important thing is not to listen to the news but just stay focused on winning the next game.
    While it’s great to celebrate our victory and position in the league, we have only played one division game and have a hard road ahead that will surely be tested when playing the much underrated Rams next week who are 2-1 in the division. We are really going to need to clean up our game offensively with some extra work on catching the ball without dropping it —five drops???–penalties–mental mistakes and we can’t let off the gas until the final whistle is blown
    I’m really glad to see BA working the tightends in more and believe they could really help in taking some of the pressure off Ellington but was also impressed by the new guy, Grice. As much as our fans like to gripe about Housler, he really hasn’t been developed (initially due to injury)as we have always been a pass happy team that only last year really had a rb corp that was effective enough to be considered a weapon. I’m hoping that with Nicklas and Carpenter we have a new dimension that other teams won’t be expecting, Our special teams continue to be amazing and our secondary is only getting more dangerous with the return of Tyran Mathieu and both Peterson and Cromartie playing in top form (would have been a TD by Peterson if not for the blown coverage on Weeden) .It’s too bad Zasty is not in on this as he really makes a difference in giving us good field position. Was happy for Dan Williams and felt this was a more complete team win than any previously but it seemed we abandoned the passing game when it was evident Brown wasn’t having a good day. ON TO VICTORY OVER THE RAMS &

  35. By Big Ken on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Each week John Carlson finds new ways to disappoint and I know the guy made a touchdown.

  36. By Kristin Heffern on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    7 -1….YES! Great game CARDS. AWESOME team effort.

  37. By Dave Chaney on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Since I have been a huge Cards fan since 1960, I do remember the last time we beat the ‘boys in their house but it is just as sweet, maybe sweeter since it’s Jerry’s house, to do it now. This team plays with a lot of heart and confidence and it is showing every weekend. On top of this lovely win, my 2nd favorite team, the Rams, beat the whiners in their house. What a beautiful Sunday it was. GO CARDS!

  38. By JohnnyBluenose on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Peterincanada…i don’t think i have seen one of your posts for quite awhile. Where have you been?

  39. By kauaicardsfan on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    You know in the past if we were in a 10-0 hole early it would have been game over, not with this team !!! All my years I have never seem the Cards as balanced on all phases. This is a TEAM in every sense of the word!!!

    Stay Humble and Continue to pound our opponents!!!

    GO CARDS!!!

  40. By superbowlcards on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Can’t ride Ellington’s as a feature back, just not built for it, no RB depth is a problem that will show itself in playoffs! Need togive Grice a chance to be the workhorse/feature back, AE is going to end up on season ending IR, need to slow his roll, rest him, do NOT give him ball 25 times a game every game, heck, pass the ball more if need be, just worried we are going to wear Ellington down to nothing, he gets injured, boom, gone!! Let him take a backseat for a while, get refreshed, rejuvenated!!
    On the bright side gents, we are 7-1 best in NFL, #1 in power poll (should be!) means absolutely nothing but nice to see it!! Still no national media coverage, all kinds of coverage on most other games, especially Patriots vs Broncos, and Steelers vs Ravens, not so much as a peep on the Cardinals!! Could be a good thing though, we have no issue with the media bias, continue to surprise teams, works for this old Hombre!!!
    Guess I should say, LADIES and Gents, seems this winning is bringing the fairer sex to do some posting!!Awesome to see that!!
    On to the Rams, wont be a Cakewalk, Rams 2nd best in the west, or at least playing that way, they have had some qtough games, just coming up short!! With the exception of their performance, or lack of at KC, Rams may play out and finish 2nd in NFC, a.few people, including me, had Rams to finish 22nd, as you all know record means nothing, This is an NFC BEST opponent. So records may as well be 0-0.
    Time to continue the roll to the Superbowl,

  41. By BirdsSTC on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    All you long time Cards fans will feel me on this one. It was an odd feeling to have, one I don’t recall ever having. After the pick 6 and then going down 10-0, I never felt any panic. I had supreme confidence that the boys would be fine and get it done. That is definitely something new for a long suffering Cards fan.

    PS – I see a lot of people commenting on how much we miss Zasty… spot on boys, I was thinking the same thing during the game yesterday.

  42. By Peterincanada on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    JohnnyBluenose England

  43. By Travis on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Nice tie btw. Saw you on the sideline

  44. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    The confidence and attitude that this team is reveling in now all starts with one man – Bruce Arians. I wish he could have arrived a couple of years earlier, but everything happens for a reason. I’m just ticked-to-death that Steve Keim waited for his man to become available (and for Michael Bidwill for going with Keim).

    I feel better about this team than I did our Super Bowl 43 team, which is to say I feel better about the Cardinals and their future now than I have in anytime in the past 37 years I’ve been following the team.

  45. By michael s. doughty on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    I happen to live in Dallas area , you should hear the cowboy cryers, there is the Romo excuse, and everything else under the sun. they just cant bring themselves to say, hey we got beat by a better team, no excuses. The cards beat them in the last four games, whats the excuse for Romo then. Its hard to live here and be a Cardinals fan, I hope they make it back to the Super Bowl and win it this time. So I can wear the tee shirt right in front of their faces. they will not like that, I dont care. I closing I do like Tony Romo I think he is a good person, he deservs a better team than the cowboys. Success for the cardinals in 2014 and 2015, Go Cards

  46. By Brenda Freeman on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Go Cards…

  47. By Brenda Freeman on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    I love the teamwork ends with success playbook…

  48. By JohnnyBluenose on Nov 3, 2014 | Reply

    Peterincanada…nice. me, sedona.

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