Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Cards hold off Cowboys 25-22 in matchup of playoff teams | Ap

The problems for Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals were nothing a trip to the star quarterback’s favorite stadium couldn’t fix.

You could be back for a wildcard game in two weeks.

Murray threw two touchdown passes at Antoine Wesley and the Cardinals held on Sunday to beat the Dallas Cowboys 25:22 in a playoff team matchup.

The result didn’t change much about the # 1 NFC Seed or NFC West races, but it left the Cowboys and Cardinals with matching 11-5 records after Arizona finished a three-game slip and the NFC East Champion had stopped winning streak of four games.

The teams are fourth and fifth seeded in the playoffs last weekend, which would mean a first-round meeting – again at AT&T Stadium since Dallas won its division. The wildcard round is guaranteed for both teams, as Green Bay’s 37:10 win over Minnesota on Sunday evening gave them no chance to receive the NFC’s first-round bye.

Murray improved to 8-0 as a starter in the Cowboys’ home game. Most of these wins were as a Texas high school playoff star in the Dallas area, but the last two were after last season’s 38-10 win as a pro.

“When I get home, I can’t lose coming home,” said Murray. “That’s exactly how I feel. In two weeks I won’t worry. We have Seahawks next week, a home game. The boys will come ready to play. “

The Cardinals’ 2020 win over Dallas marked the first game after Dak Prescott’s ankle injury at the end of the season. The star quarterback’s presence was felt on a fourth quarter comeback that was brief after early misfires, much like the week 6 offensive looked like for weeks after Prescott’s calf strain.

Prescott’s third TD pass, a 4-yarder to Amari Cooper, and a 2-point conversion throw to Cedrick Wilson pulled Dallas back in three minutes with five minutes left.

Murray ran for one first down and passed for another before Chase Edmonds went 11 yards to force Dallas to use his final time out.

On the next play, Edmonds lost the ball at the end of a 6-yard run but was disfellowshipped when Dallas’ Osa Odighizuwa recovered right on the sideline.

With the cowboys running out of timeouts, they couldn’t challenge, although the repetition made it appear that the call might have been lifted. As a result, Murray ended a no-sales game against the NFL’s leading team on upcoming takeaways.

“Playing against the referees again and again. It seems like a weekly event, ”said Randy Gregory, the defensive end of Dallas. “We just have to hide it and just deal with it. It’s a good team. Hopefully we’ll see them in the playoffs. “

The Cardinals reached 25 points for the second time in seven games, this time triggered by a successful fake punt in the second quarter when Jonathan Ward was unlikely to get upback Chris Banjo’s throw. A pass interference penalty would have been a first down anyway.

The trickery and another flag of interference on the third down resulted in Murray’s 1-yard throw against Wesley on the fourth down. The pair scored again in the third quarter from 19 yards for a 19-7 lead in another game without the injured top receiver DeAndre Hopkins. When James Conner (heel) ran back, he couldn’t walk either.

“They were resilient the whole time, no matter what was said or thought outside of our building,” said Kliff Kingsbury coach. “These guys have worked their way out and understand what we can be and we just have to keep fighting.”

The Cowboys were the healthiest they have had in the entire season, but lost receiver Michael Gallup to a left knee injury on his 21-yard TD catch for their opening points towards the end of the first half. Owner Jerry Jones said Gallup was out of the playoffs due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

263 yards and two touchdowns, while Prescott finished 24 of 38 for 226 yards with a losing fumble when the Cowboys were eight times behind early in the fourth quarter.

Prescott’s fumble made a quick drive to the last of Matt Prater’s four field goals to take a 25-14 lead.

Wesley, who has scored three touchdowns in Arizona since losing to Indianapolis last week, had four catches for 30 yards. Christian Kirk (43 yards) and AJ Green (42) each had a long catch to score points. Kirk finished 79 yards on six catches and Green had three for 74.

The Cardinals ended the ailing Dallas running game, holding Ezekiel Elliott at nine carries to 16 yards. Prescott was the leading Dallas rusher with 20 yards.

Dallas had four holding penalties, two of which nullified third-down conversion runs. Both possessions ended in punts. The Cowboys handed down 10 penalties for 88 yards, their fourth game of 10 or more this season.

“I think the most important thing for us offensively was the timing of the shoot-out,” said coach Mike McCarthy. “That was a big part of the fight.”

The Arizona regular season final will take place at home against Seattle on Sunday, while Dallas will be visiting Philadelphia for a game on Saturday night.

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