A win, such a sweet thing to see over this stretch where the Cards have now won four of their last five after taking down the Dallas Cowboys in Overtime (Whenever Dallas comes to UofP there is always some crazy ending huh?). It is so nice to get a win like this over a team that the Cardinals fanbase hates a lot.
This was a complete team win where a ton of people played well, but there are a few guys who deserve extra recognition, along with one group who I am going to single out even though I should be basing this on individuals.
And last week, Beanie shockingly received 86% of the 212 votes after his game that put some new franchise records in the book.LaRod Stephens-Howling - two runs for 16 yards, 52 yard receiving touchdown
Why doesn't this guy get the ball more? Just get him the ball in open space and good things happen. This time, the good thing was on one of the few screen passes I have seen the Cardinals execute for positive yardage this season, and that positive yardage was 52 yards in Overtime for the game winning touchdown that sent the large number of Cowboys fans in attendance at the game home angry.
Kevin Kolb - 16 of 25 for 247 yards, TD, two carries for 20 yards
In his first game back after missing four weeks with a turf toe injury, and he was rusty to say the least in the first half, but after that he was nine of 14 for 203 yards. He did a good job running the offense, he didn't turn the ball over, and when it mattered he made some big throws in the passing game. He also almost scored a rushing touchdown on a quarterback draw he audibled to but came up just short on. He was also sacked five times, but unlike in previous games he wasn't bailing out of the pocket constantly, he was using his mobility to buy time in the pocket and this was probably the best I have seen him look pocket presence wise all year long.
Andre Roberts - Six catches, 111 yards
There is just something about the Cowboys for Andre, he had a big game against them last season in the Christmas game, and he did it again here. He has been criticized for dropping passes and not getting open this season (rightfully so), but he caught all six of the passes thrown his way, and he was able to get open several times and he was able to get extra yardage after the catch. Honestly, Early Doucet is the guy who struggled like Andre was for a good chunk of the season, especially with a late drop he had on a third down play where he would have converted on the catch and it looked like it was going to cost the Cards the game before the Cowboys iced their own kicker.
The Defense - 13 points allowed, 336 yards allowed, four of 12 conversions on 3rd down allowed, five sacks
I just cannot say enough times how well the defense has been playing in this stretch where the Cards have gone 4-1 since their 1-6 start. I know that I am supposed to go with individuals here, but I just have to go with the whole defense! The most telling stat here is that in the first seven games they gave up 26 points a game,but over the last five games they are only giving up 17 points. They have also been great on third down and in the red zone.
In this game, they held an explosive Cowboys offense to 13 points, and the touchdown they did allow came on a short field after Dez Bryant returned a punt to the Cardinals 33 yard line. Paris Lenon, Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, O'Brien Schofield, and Clark Haggans each recorded a sack on Tony Romo as well to go along with the five other quarterback hits, six pass deflections, and eight tackles for a loss by the defense. Daryl Washington continued to fly all over the field, Patrick Peterson made some great pass breakups and generally he was in good coverage, the run defense also held DeMarco Murray to 12 carries for 38 yards with a long of seven yards.
An honorable mention goes to Jason Garrett and the Cowboys coaching staff who decided to ice their own kicker which caused Dan Bailey to whiff on what would have been a game winning kick and give the Cards a chance to win the game in Overtime. Dave Zastudil was booming his punts all day long too, guess that is why the Cards decided to go with him over Ben Graham..