ARLINGTON, Texas – Unlike last week, when the Cowboys scored 42 points in the first half, they couldn't get out of their own way in the first half of this one and for most of the third quarter as well. By the time the offense picked it up, it was too late and they saw a four-game winning streak come to an end Sunday.
But there are always a few plays that can go unnoticed but still play a factor in the outcome. Here are a handful from Sunday's game at AT&T Stadium.
False start on Biadasz – On the Cowboys' second drive, already down 3-0, the offense was on the move with a third-and-4 from the 20-yard line. But center Tyler Biadasz was flagged for a false start, which not only moved them back 5 yards for a third-down conversion that wasn't successful, but the ensuing field goal attempt by Greg Zuerlein was hooked no good as well. Those 5 yards seemed costly in two areas, especially considering the Cowboys lost the game by 3.
Murray to Edmonds out of end zone – In the second quarter, the Cowboys were down 3-0 but had the Cards backed up with a third-and-8 from their 11-yard line. It appeared the pressure was about to get Kyler Murray for a sack or a throw-away, but he was able to flip the ball back to the middle to Chase Edmonds for a 17-yard gain. That gave them new life, and the Cardinals picked up three more first downs, including a fake punt near midfield to eventually score a touchdown on another fourth down play for a 10-0 lead.
Taking 5-yard penalty in 3rd – The Cowboys are big on using analytics to help during the game, but in the third quarter, after a penalty on Arizona, they chose to accept it, giving the Cardinals first-and-15 instead of second-and-10. Even with 5 more yards, stopping Murray three times was a big challenge. Arizona picked up the first down, and then two more to drive the field for a touchdown and a 19-7 lead.
Kearse drops an interception – Although the Cardinals were already in complete control, leading 19-7 in the third quarter, a third-down pass by Murray in the end zone to avoid a sack was floating in the air. Both Trevon Diggs and Jayron Kearse seemed to have a chance for the pick, but Kearse flew over and got his hands on the ball, only to drop it. The Cardinals kicked a field goal on the next play for a 22-7 lead.
Cardinals trick Cowboys into timeout – Late in the third quarter, Arizona really had no intentions of going for it on fourth-and-5 from the 8-yard line. But by leaving the offense on the field, Arizona hoped the Cowboys would be confused and have to burn a timeout to get the right guys on the field. The Cowboys called that timeout, and the Cardinals promptly kicked the field goal for a 22-7 lead. Later in the game, the Cowboys couldn't even challenge a call on a potential fumble because they were out of timeouts.