Cardinals jump on Cowboys before pace slows in first half

Sep 25, 2017, 6:46 PM | Updated: 10:05 pm
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) dives for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals cornerback J...
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) dives for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) and strong safety Antoine Bethea, rear, defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Arizona Cardinals had a 3rd-and-5 just outside the Dallas Cowboys’ 10-yard line to begin the second quarter.

They had a 7-0 lead as well after a dominating the first quarter Monday night by allowing three total yards to the Cowboys. They’d put up 140 yards of their own, but the pace slowed and the fast start wouldn’t lead to more points.

After a flipping of field position and Dallas’ Dak Prescott’s flip into the end zone, the game was tied, 7-7, at halftime of the Cardinals’ 2017 home opener.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was the heart of the fast start, leading Arizona to eight first downs and completing 12-of-13 passes for 135 of those yards. Six of those completions were to Larry Fitzgerald, who recorded a career-high in receptions for a first quarter. Palmer’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown capped the first possession, an eight-play, 82-yard drive.

Meanwhile, Dallas had run just three plays. The Cowboys possessed the ball 1:54 to the Cardinals’ 13:06, but the second quarter turned the tide — if only for a bit.

Arizona began with a holding penalty on right tackle Jared Veldheer, saw Palmer get taken down at the line of scrimmage, and then kicker Phil Dawson miss a 36-yard field goal, his third miss in three games, which matched his total number of misses for all of 2016.

The Cowboys scored with just more than a minute to play in the first half on a 10-yard scramble by Prescott. That capped a three-play, 33-yard drive that started after Arizona’s Andy Lee punted out of Arizona’s own end zone.

Pass protection hurt Arizona in the second quarter, as Palmer took two sacks and completed just 10 more yards through the air and 12 total yards.

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