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Notes from the Nest: Cardinals vs. Cowboys

Game over

Kolb hits Stephens-Howling, who races 52 yards for the
score. Kolb was rather excellent in the second half and
the Cardinals improve to 5-7.


12:37 left in overtime

Cards get bailed out by a pass interference on a play that
would have set up a 3d and 19, and Kolb is taking
advantage. The QB looks good, finding Andre Roberts, and
the Cards are at midfield. Wait, no, a false start on Levi
Brown pushes them back five. To be fair, he was due.


15:00 left in overtime

Cards will start at their own 20. Kevin Kolb has never
played in an overtime game in the NFL. First time for
everything, right?


Start of overtime

The Cardinals win the toss to begin overtime and will
start with the football. Will they give Dallas another
shot?


:02 left in fourth quarter

No block, but it didn’t matter. Bailey misses the kick and
we’re heading to overtime.


:07 left in fourth quarter

Pass to Bryant gets the ball to the Arizona 31, which is
where the Cowboys will attempt the game-winning field goal
from. It’s a 48-yarder, so no chip shot. The Cards have
blocked their fare share of kicks this year, do they have
another in them?


1:15 left in fourth quarter

Cowboys look like they got the first down, though the refs
are reviewing just to make sure. The defense must come up
with a big play here — a sack, an interception,
something. Dallas is nearing field goal range.


2:00 left in fourth quarter

Tony Romo runs around in the backfield forever, finally
finding Jason Witten for a loss of one. Anyway, it’s 2nd
and 11 from the Dallas 44. Big play coming up here, Cards
would do well to make it third and long.


3:09 left in fourth quarter

Oops.

Cards go three-and-out after a GREAT play by Kolb is
wasted on a Doucet drop. Cards kicking from their own end
zone, great Dez Bryant return is nullified by a block in
the back. That’s fortunate.

Still, Dallas has the ball at their own 32. Plenty of time
to get into field goal range — if not more.


3:59 left in fourth quarter

They are indeed, as the drive stalls and Arizona forces a
punt. Unfortunately the ball dies at the five, which is
where Arizona will start their drive. This could be a game
winner, but at the very least the Cards can’t afford a
quick three-and-out.


6:27 left in fourth quarter

Cardinals offense fails to really get much going, as the
pass rush proves to be too much. Punt lands in the end
zone and the Cowboys will have the ball with a chance to
possibly win the game on this drive. Is Arizona’s defense
up to the challenge? They’ve been good today…


9:51 left in fourth quarter

A well-rested Cards defense comes up big, and a third down
sack leads to a Dallas punt. Cardinals will have the ball
at their own 20, and Kevin Kolb has a chance to put
together a game-winning drive for the first time
since…umm….


13:08 left in fourth quarter

Kolb looked good on that series.

Some nice throws lead to a first and goal situation, which
Beanie Wells converts for a touchdown. We’re all knotted
up here at University of Phoenix Stadium.


End of third quarter

Beanie Wells runs for six and that’s how the third quarter
will end. The last 15 minutes were pretty much a waste, as
all the teams did was trade field goals. Arizona still
down seven.


:28 left in third quarter

Cards will start drive from their own 21, can the offense
build off what it did the last time it had the ball?


:34 left in third quarter

Dallas drive stalls, Bailey hits a 37-yard field goal to
push the lead back to seven. Long drive, defense did well
to keep this a one score game.

It’s not a good football game, but it is a game.


2:06 left in third quarter

Dallas faces a second and 17 after a sack, though they are
moving the ball fairly well. Ball is at the Arizona 24, as
this third quarter is just flying by. Amazing what happens
when offenses move the chains.


8:13 left in third quarter

Nice kick coverage pins the Cowboys at their own 16 to
begin this drive. Dallas’ offense showed signs of life
late in the first half, will it carry over?


8:18 left in third quarter

A nice mix of passes to Fitzgerald and solid runs puts the
Cards in the red zone, but a fourth-and-goal attempt from
the one is ruined by a false start from Brandon Keith.
Feely kicks a field goal, Cards trail 10-6. Better, but
not good enough.


Start of third quarter

Cardinals will get the ball to start, down 10-3. Halftime
was solid, as I went to get some apple cobbler. Seeing how
they were out of whipped cream, I audibled to grabbing a
vanilla ice cream cup. A couple scoops later, my cobbler
is ala mode.

In other news, the Cardinals REALLY need to get something
going on offense. Run, pass, whatever — just move the
ball.


Halftime

Cowboys put together a half-hearted drive, which ends with
a Calais Campbell sack.

Initial thoughts: Arizona’s defense has played well, the
offense not so much. Is Kolb rusty? Maybe, but this was
par for the course before he got hurt.

Either way something is going to have to change, otherwise
the defense will wear down and give up some more points.


2:00 left in second quarter

Third down pass is shorter than the sticks, so Cards will
be punting. Again. Dallas will have the ball with plenty
of time to make something happen, and you get the feeling
if they score here going into the half this game could get
ugly in the final 30 minutes.


2:54 left in second quarter

Cards start drive from their 20 and Kolb immediately hits
Fitzgerald for nine yards. First catch for Fitz, and
Arizona actually moves the ball forward. Nice.

Next play is a pass to Doucet for a loss of two. Yep,
sounds about right for today.


3:09 left in second quarter

That didn’t take long.

Romo finds Jason Witten for a nice gain, one play later he
hits Dez Bryant for a short touchdown. Cowboys take a 10-3
lead, and with the way Arizona’s offense looks it almost
seems insurmountable.

Almost.


4:19 left in second quarter

Kolb sacked again and then a third down pass falls
incomplete. Cards will be punting from their own end zone.
The offense stinks so far today.

Nice return on punt means Dallas starts from the Arizona
33. Great.


5:50 left in second quarter

Felix Jones forgets to look for the ball. Good break for
the Cardinals, as it saves a touchdown. Bailey comes in
and boots a 50-yard field goal off the upright and
through, so now the game is tied at 3.


9:54 left in second quarter

No bueno. Fitz almost makes an amazing catch on a bomb,
but the ball falls incomplete. Next play Kolb misses an
open Doucet, and Arizona punts from the four. Dallas
penalty is a break for the Cards, as the Cowboys will
start the drive from the 38.


11:03 left in second quarter

The answer is yes.

Dallas gets a big pass play but then the defense buckles
down, causing Murray to lose yards on runs and then a 3rd
down sack of Romo by Dockett.

Good punt, Cards will start from their own three.


13:30 left in second quarter

Sack, short run, sack lead to punt. Kolb looked not so
good on that series, holding the ball too long and just
staring down the rush. Gotta do something with it.

Punt puts the ball at the Dallas 28, can the defense keep
holding the ‘Boys down?


End of first quarter

Cardinals get a first down as Kolb finds Housler, big
play. Quarter ends with the Cards up 3-0.

Early thoughts on Kolb: he looks pretty good. Missed one
throw down the field, but has done a good job with the
short stuff. Good decision-making, hasn’t panicked in the
pocket. Will it keep up?


1:53 left in first quarter

Big kick return negated by a sack. Romo looks a bit off,
Cardinals force a punt. Nice job by the defense which so
far looks up to the challenge of stopping Dallas.

Punt is downed at the 10, Cards will go to work.


4:13 left in first quarter

Cards move the ball with some passes to Roberts, but a
sack, a false start lead to a third and long that sees
Kolb do everything right but make the throw. He stepped up
in the pocket and threw to a wide-open Robert Housler,
only the pass was low and too far in front of him.

Arizona settles for a Jay Feely field goal, a 3-0 lead,
and a flurry of “What does Kolb have against Housler”
tweets from the media.


7:21 left in first quarter

Romo throws incomplete on fourth and two but Dallas is
bailed out by calling a timeout just before the play.
Thinking better of it, looks like the Cowboys will attempt
a 53-yard field goal.

Kick is juuuuuuuuust a bit outside. Cardinals get a break
in the field position game.

Cards will start drive from their own 43, and it’d be nice
to see them at least get a first down. How rusty is Kolb?
We’ll soon find out.


9:55 left in first quarter

Decent Wells run, a quick pass to Roberts and a one-yard
loss on 3rd and 1 leads to a Cardinals punt. Not a good
start for the Cards’ offense, as they are losing the field
position game early. Oh, a fair catch interference penalty
won’t help things, either.

Cowboys will start their drive from the 44.


11:53 left in first quarter

Cowboys get the ball to midfield before Romo decides to
throw a couple balls out of bounds. Punt is fair caught at
the 11, Cardinals offense (led by Kevin Kolb) will go to
work.


15:00 left in first quarter

Cowboys will begin the game with the ball on their own 20.
Stadium isn’t at all full, but looks like a decent amount
of
visiting fans here. Arizona’s defense has a chance to set
the tone early against one of the NFL’s better offenses.