Cardinals’ Jonathan Ward makes circus catch on fake punt vs. Cowboys
Jan 2, 2022, 3:40 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2022, 8:40 am
Jonathan Ward meet David Tyree.
The Arizona Cardinals knew they needed to throw some wrinkles into their game plan against the Dallas Cowboys with multiple key contributors sidelined due to injury or COVID-19.
They got that and more in the second quarter of a 25-22 win over the Cowboys.
Looking to extend their drive, the Cardinals pulled off some special teams trickery on a 4th-and-2 look.
With 10:33 left in the half, safety Chris Banjo took a direct snap and looked to the air.
On the other side of the fake punt was running back Jonathan Ward, who was covered like butter on bread.
In what started out as defensive pass interference turned into a whole lot more.
Like wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins says, “Better catch by I.”
Despite being smothered by a Cowboys defender, Ward somehow managed to make a miraculous one-handed catch with a little help from the opposition’s helmet. It marked just the second reception of the season for Ward, and quite possibly the catch of the year so far in the NFL.
Catch. Of. The. Year. 😳 pic.twitter.com/Y5zw0c0FQR
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 2, 2022
“(Special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers) had a great play design and that catch was unbelievable,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury told Cardinals sideline reporter Paul Calvisi on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station after the game. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I knew we were getting the PI (pass interference) either way but what a great catch and great design by Rodgers.”
The internet responded accordingly:
Jonathan Ward with one of the best catches you will EVER see
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) January 2, 2022
Dang the Jags should give a contract to Jonathan Ward as WR1
— Drew Copley (@DrewASJax) January 2, 2022
Jonathan Ward’s catch was more difficult than David Tyree’s helmet catch
— Steve Zinsmeister (@Steve_Zins) January 2, 2022
Jonathan Ward, welcome to the top 5 all-time best ever catch list. 😮 pic.twitter.com/cK4DqG2R3m
— Sam Erman (@FFBallAllDay) January 2, 2022
What a catch by Jonathan Ward!!!!
— Vince Marotta (@Vincemarotta) January 2, 2022
How in the heck did Jonathan Ward make that catch??
— Chuck Harris (@chuckh3) January 2, 2022
Let’s play Jonathan Ward more. Holy crap.
— Kropp (@KROPPTOP) January 2, 2022
— Mac Engel (@MacEngelProf) January 2, 2022
Arizona didn’t waste the big play, either, eventually cashing in on a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyler Murray to wide receiver Antoine Wesley.
At the half, the Cardinals lead the Cowboys 13-7.