The Arizona Cardinals didn't pick up a pretty win and they couldn't even finish off their opponent in regulation but it took just :55 seconds of overtime for the Cardinals to pull off a dramatic overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys. The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead when JJ Arrington returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown but they'd find themselves down seven in the third quarter. After they rattled off 17 unanswered points, the game looked like it was completely over. The Cowboys wouldn't go quietly though as they'd add ten points in the final 1:17 to tie the game and send it into overtime. Dallas won the toss but after three unproductive plays they'd line up to punt and as they say, "the rest is history." Sean Morey raced in, practically untouched, and blocked the punt. Monty Beisel, aka 'Johnny on the spot' picked up the loose ball and tumbled into the end zone from just a couple yards out. All in all, it's awful hard to call this anything but a solid team win. Here's the guys that had great games (and I apologize to anyone that I leave out because there were quite a few):
Sean Morey and Monty Beisel: These guys only made one big huge colossal play, but I've got to list them first, in order to say that I was wrong about both of them. They combined for the play that won the game and I didn't want either of these guys on the roster at the end of camp. Who knows how the game would have played out if Dallas gets that punt off but Sean Morey made sure that we didn't have to find out. Belsel was there to scoop up the loose ball but he might have blocked it if Morey hadn't have gotten there first.
Defensive Pressure: Travis LaBoy, Darnell Dockett, Antonio Smith and Bertrand
Berry practically lived in the Cowboys backfield and they knocked down Tony Romo nearly 20 times. They were even better than the boxscore would indicate because they should have had at least one more sack (negated by tuck rule) and two more forced fumbles (one of which was recovered for a TD). Okeafor, Dockett and Berry recorded sacks and Okeafor and Berry's sacks led to Romo fumbles. If the Cowboys send three offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl, the Cardinals should send four defensive linemen.
Steve Breaston: If you haven't fallen in love with this kid during the past two games, what's wrong with you. Breaston finished with eight receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown and he's been the Cardinals leading receiver each of the past two games. With defenses focusing on Fitzgerald, Breaston has seized his opportunity and fights for every yard after the catch. He also had a pretty decent game returning punts with 45 yards on 5 returns (9.0 avg) with a long return of 15.
Run Defense: This should probably be the defense as a whole but the run defense was exceptional yesterday. The Cowboys were held to just 73 yards on 22 attempts (3.3 avg) and their long run was just 14 yards. The Dallas running game was ranked 7th in the league with just over 138 yards per game but they couldn't get anything going against the Cards. Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes both finished with six tackles and they were a big reason why Marion Barber and the running game could get going.
JJ Arrington: Why this guy was ever inactive, I'll never know. Arrington took the opening kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown and got the game and the crowd jumpstarted. His ability to change a game every time he touches the ball is something that you just can't coach. He added a reception for 10 yards (in which he made a nifty move to evade Zach Thomas) and a two yard rush.
Overall it feels like this win couldn't have come at a better time considering that we'll have two weeks to bask in it's glory. It's also a good time because I'm sure they're are more than a handful of guys who need a week off to rest up and get back to 100% health. It also feels like a win that many Cardinals teams of years past would have lost. After the Cowboys came back and forced overtime, many teams in that past would have simply rolled over and accepted defeat. This 2008 version of your Arizona Cardinals didn't accept anything though and instead they reloaded and did what they had to do to win. Only time will tell if this is just another game in a 16 game season or if it'll turn out to be a season defining win that leads to something special, but for now I'll just say that it feels amazing.