Kyler Murray, Cardinals Beat Dak Prescott, Cowboys to Keep NFC West Title Hopes Alive

Doric SamJanuary 3, 2022

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) warms up before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

The Arizona Cardinals ended a three-game losing streak with a 25-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Sunday. Kyler Murray threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns as Arizona improved to 11-5.

Arizona Cardinals @AZCardinals

TWEEZY BACK IN TEXAS ⬆️<a href="https://twitter.com/antoine_wesley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@antoine_wesley</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RedSea?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RedSea</a> <a href="https://t.co/UXrvq1Bcme">pic.twitter.com/UXrvq1Bcme</a>

With the win, the Cardinals kept their NFC West title hopes alive with one week left in the regular season.

The Cowboys are now 11-5 after having their four-game win streak come to an end. Dak Prescott led the way with 226 passing yards and three touchdowns in the loss.

Notable Stats

Kyler Murray, QB, ARZ: 26-of-38 for 263 YDS, 2 TD; 9 CAR for 44 YDS

Antoine Wesley, WR, ARZ: 4 REC for 30 YDS, 2 TD

Dak Prescott, QB, DAL: 24-of-38 for 226 YDS, 3 TD; 5 CAR for 20 YDS, lost fumble

Cardinals Offense Returns to Form in Victory

It wasn't always pretty for Arizona on Sunday, but, at times, the Cardinals offense looked as good as it did during its 7-1 start to the year.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

WHAT A CATCH 😱 <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/AZCardinals?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AZCardinals</a>)<a href="https://t.co/0EJHbWxF7F">pic.twitter.com/0EJHbWxF7F</a>

Murray and company played an efficient game, for the most part, scoring on five of their first six offensive drives. Both of Murray's touchdowns went to Antoine Wesley.

Arizona Cardinals @AZCardinals

TWEEEZY 🙌<a href="https://twitter.com/antoine_wesley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@antoine_wesley</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RedSea?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RedSea</a> <a href="https://t.co/oUkpNnZbl3">pic.twitter.com/oUkpNnZbl3</a>

The Cardinals did a great job of eating up the clock. Five of their possessions went for eight plays or more. Murray played a clean game and did a great job with his decision-making.

Darren Urban @Cardschatter

This is the Kyler from the first half of the season.

Todd Archer @toddarcher

Kliff Kingsbury has the Cowboys on a string at the moment. They have no answers on defense either.


Kyler so smooth with the option. <a href="https://twitter.com/K1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@K1</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AZvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AZvsDAL</a> on FOX<br>📱: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/0UGJYRpqxY">pic.twitter.com/0UGJYRpqxY</a>

The Cardinals finished the game with 399 total yards. It was a much-needed strong performance for Arizona to end its skid.

If the Cardinals can continue to play efficiently on offense and get timely stops on defense, they could make a deep run in the NFC playoffs.

Cowboys' Struggles on Offense Continue

It looks like last week's offensive explosion was just an anomaly for Dallas. Despite coming off a 56-14 win over the Washington Football Team and entering the game as six-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Cowboys quickly came back down to earth on Sunday.

Besides an 11-play drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown to Michael Gallup, Dallas struggled to get much going against Arizona's defense. It didn't help matters that Gallup was injured and ruled out for the game on his scoring play.


Cowboys score a TD on a Dak to Gallup connection, however Gallup was slow to get up after the play. <a href="https://t.co/oVYbt79wbX">pic.twitter.com/oVYbt79wbX</a>

The Cowboys opened the second half with back-to-back three-and-outs. Dallas was able to break through with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Dallas Cowboys @dallascowboys

.<a href="https://twitter.com/cedwilson95?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cedwilson95</a> with the moves 🕺<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AZvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AZvsDAL</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DallasCowboys?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DallasCowboys</a> <a href="https://t.co/5wL3CjQ00B">pic.twitter.com/5wL3CjQ00B</a>

But Prescott fumbled on the team's next possession. The Cardinals were able to extend their lead off the turnover with a 38-yard field goal.


Isaiah Simmons causes the turnover! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RedSea?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RedSea</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/isaiahsimmons25?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@isaiahsimmons25</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AZvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AZvsDAL</a> on FOX<br>📱: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/5cbnr6Snhn">pic.twitter.com/5cbnr6Snhn</a>

Dallas made things interesting with a touchdown and two-point conversion with a little over four minutes left in the game.


COOP!<br><br>The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DallasCowboys?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DallasCowboys</a> aren't done yet as they make it a 3-point deficit! <a href="https://t.co/HDtqtM9R9W">pic.twitter.com/HDtqtM9R9W</a>

Dallas also completely abandoned its rushing attack. Ezekiel Elliott finished with just 16 yards, his seventh time in the last eight games with less than 50 yards on the ground.

Outside of the win against Washington, Prescott's play has caused some concern of late. He had just three passing touchdowns with three interceptions combined in Weeks 13-15. 

It's a far cry from the high-powered Dallas offense that scored over 30 points in four of its first six games this season.

The Cowboys will have to get back to the balance on offense that carried them earlier this year. As evidenced by Sunday's loss, Dallas' defense will not always be able to bail the team out of trouble when the offense is struggling to put up points.

What's Next?

The Cardinals will end their regular season by hosting the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday. The Cowboys will travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles the same day.