Leighton Vander Esch: We’re playing more against the refs than we are other teams -Charean Williams, PFT
Cowboys players and fans were upset by the blown call on a fumble at the end of the game.
“It was totally a fumble,” Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch said. “I just don’t understand how with the technology that we have today, even if we don’t have timeouts, or whatever it may be, to . . . [not be able to] challenge it. It’s so obvious. Certain things are so obvious in games that refs are messing up. Why aren’t they fixing it? It doesn’t make any sense to me. To me, we’re playing more against the refs than we are other teams.”
Fans and media have called for the NFL to fix its officiating all season. Vander Esch echoed that, wondering why a billion dollar company can’t get it right.
“If you look around the league, this isn’t just the first time it’s happened,” Vander Esch said. “There’s other guys around the league that have been dictated from, I don’t know if it’s incompetence or what it is. Doesn’t make sense to me, and it feels like it’s not hard to fix that.
“If it’s so blatant on the field and so obvious, why the [referee in the replay booth] isn’t radioing down, ‘Hey, get this right.’ That’s not hard. That’s the ethics of the game. Getting it right. ‘Hey, you made a mistake, here; get it right. Here is the right call.’”
Mike McCarthy’s timeout disaster robs Cowboys of massive fumble challenge- Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat
In what could have been a game-changing review, the Cowboys were unable to get a second look at the play.
Let’s take you back to one of the instances in which McCarthy decided to use a timeout. Back in the third quarter, the Cardinals had 4th & 5 on the Cowboys’ eight-yard line. This is where Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury proved his coaching prowess — or simply created chaos.
Kingsbury sent out both kicker Matt Prater and quarterback Kyler Murray in order to confuse the Cowboys as to whether they were kicking a field goal or not. With Dallas’ defense in clear disarray, McCarthy called a soft timeout. That was one timeout down the drain for the second half.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter, and McCarthy’s team has clawed its way back to be in a situation to stage a comeback. His defense makes a play to potentially get them the ball back to win the game and the head coach can’t even throw a challenge flag.
Since coaches must have a timeout to challenge a play, the Cowboys were left with zero options. Sure. There’s no saying Dallas would have won if they get the ball back, but the defense at least went out there and made a play to give the offense a chance. But to no avail.
Cowboys had no timeouts left. A coach must have at least one timeout in order to challenge. Mike McCarthy ineligible to throw red flag. And the would-be fumble happened just before two-minute warning, so no automatic review.
All the Cardinals had to do after the “non-fumble” was get a first down and take a knee, which they easily did. The Cowboys fell to a formidable NFC opponent 25-22. This inability to challenge was far from the only reason the Cowboys lost this game, but it did seem to be the final dagger. The Cowboys now drop to the No. 4 seed in the NFC standings, and Murray remains undefeated in AT&T Stadium.
We still wait for an official diagnosis, but it is safe to assume the Cowboys will not have their deep-ball wide receiver for the postseason.
Wide Receiver Michael Gallup left the Cowboys’ loss against the Arizona Cardinals following a first-half touchdown catch and did not return due to a knee injury. In postgame comments, Jerry Jones shared that Dallas fears Gallup’s season is over due to a torn ACL but await an MRI tomorrow to confirm.
Gallup twisted in midair to grab Dak Prescott’s pass and give Dallas its first touchdown of the game. But he came down awkwardly and immediately clutched his knee after the play, eventually having to be helped to the sideline by trainers.
Even if the injury isn’t a typical season ender, missing just a few games could knock Gallup out of the Cowboys’ remaining action. There is only one regular-season game left before the playoffs.
This injury is especially unfortunate for Michael as an impending free agent. His rookie contract is up after 2021 and there’s already been much speculation that Gallup will be too pricey for Dallas to retain next year.
Here is how the disappointing loss played out.
The Cowboys finally caught a break just before the third quarter ended. With Arizona forced to punt from its own end zone, CeeDee Lamb took the return 17 yards to the Cardinals 31-yard line. As the clock ticked over into the final frame, Dallas then faced a fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 10-yard line.
There Prescott kept it himself, diving forward for the fresh set of downs, and three plays later the Cowboys were across the goal line. This time the quarterback found receiver C.J. Wilson streaking in the back of the end zone for the touchdown, the deficit now narrowed to eight.
But just when Dallas seemed to have all of the momentum, a 26-yard strike to Lamb jumpstarting the team’s next series, Prescott had the ball knocked loose on a scramble. The fumble was recovered by Arizona linebacker Dennis Gardeck at the Cowboys 44-yard line, and while the Dallas defense held, Prater was good on his 38-yard field goal to push the score back to a two-possession lead.
The Cowboys weren’t done yet, though, as Dallas came right back with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that took only 3:50 off the clock. Amari Cooper got the scoring honors, hauling in a 4-yard pass from Prescott, but Wilson did the bulk of the work getting there.
Grading the Cowboys: Too little, too late for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense vs. Cardinals- Jean-Jacques Talor, DMN
After an A+ performance, the Cowboys follow it up with... not an A+ performance.
Penalties in the run game prevented the Cowboys from establishing any kind of rhythm, and the Cowboys were whipped up front. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard were non-factors, combining for just 25 yards on 12 carries. Prescott, who led the Cowboys with 20 yards rushing, lost a fumble that set up Arizona’s final field goal.
For the first three quarters, Prescott looked like the dude who has been struggling for much of the last two months. Too often he was inaccurate, missed open receivers or had passes deflected at the line of scrimmage. Amari Cooper returned to being an afterthought in the offense with three catches for 18 yards and a touchdown.
Kyler Murray did damage, even though he didn’t hit the Cowboys for a big play — his longest gain was 15 yards — but on their final drive that clinched the game he made a nice play with a third down run and perfect execution on an option pitch. Then Murray finished the Cowboys off with another option run. The Cardinals ran for 130 yards and a 4.5 average.
Murray passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns. He had two completions of more than 40 yards and spread the ball around. Four different players had at least four receptions. The Cowboys had just one sack and hit him only four times. DeMarcus Lawrence did not register a quarterback hit, which was a problem.
Cowboys’ Dak Prescott Says He’s ‘Damn Sure Not Discouraged’ After Loss to Cardinals- Doric Sam, Bleacher Report
At least the QB1 isn’t fazed.
The Dallas Cowboys had their four-game win streak come to an end Sunday after falling to the Arizona Cardinals at home. But Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott won’t let the loss affect his team’s morale.
“Damn sure not discouraged. I know the team that we have,” Prescott told reporters after the game.
Prescott and the Cowboys played from behind for the entire game in their 25-22 loss. Dallas’ offense struggled throughout most of the game before making things interesting with a couple of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
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