Stephens-Howling leads Cards past Cowboys in OT
GLENDALE, Ariz.—Add another excruciating loss for the Dallas Cowboys in the desert.
LaRod Stephens-Howling caught a short pass from Kevin Kolb and zipped 52 yards for a touchdown in overtime to give the Arizona Cardinals a 19-13 victory Sunday, snapping the Cowboys' four-game winning streak.
It marked the third time since 2008 that the Cowboys have lost in Arizona in heartbreaking fashion. What made it worse was that Dallas should have won it, but the Cowboys called a timeout just before Dan Bailey's 49-yard field goal sailed through the uprights at the end of regulation.
Bailey's next try was short and to the left, sending the game to overtime. Bailey, who also missed a 53-yarder, came in with one miss all season.
Last Christmas, Arizona beat Dallas 27-26 on Jay Feely's 48-yard field goal with 5 seconds to play. In 2008, the Cardinals won in overtime 30-24 on a blocked punt.
Stephens-Howling dodged a host of would-be Cowboys tacklers to scamper in with the score. Kolb completed 16 of 25 passes for 247 yards in his first game in five weeks.
Tony Romo was 28 for 42 for 299 yards for the Cowboys.
Arizona (5-7), which has won four of five, beat a team with a winning record for the first time this season. The Cowboys (7-5) remained alone in first in the NFC East because the New York Giants (6-6) lost to undefeated Green Bay.
Each quarterback was sacked five times.
The Cardinals won the toss and got the ball for the first and only possession in overtime.
Kolb's 16-yard pass to Andre Roberts, who had six catches for 111 yards, advanced the ball to the Dallas 47, but a false start penalty moved it back to the Arizona 48.
On first-and-15, Kolb threw a short swing pass to the 5-foot-7 Stephens-Howling. The play easily got the first down, but the diminutive back stayed on his feet, avoided would-be tacklers and made a couple of nifty cuts en route to the end zone.
Kolb, out with turf toe and bruise on the side of his right foot since Oct. 30, was rusty early, but after halftime, he was 9 of 14 for 203 yards.
Bryant had eight catches for 86 yards but DeMarco Murray managed just 38 yards on 12 carries. Beanie Wells gained 67 yards on 20 attempts, including a 5-yard touchdown run.
Kolb directed a quick six-play, 79-yard touchdown drive early in the fourth quarter to tie it at 13. The big plays were his passes of 40 and 22 yards to Andre Roberts. Wells' TD run up the middle tied it with 13:08 remaining.
The Cardinals had to punt from the end zone late in the game after Early Doucet dropped a third-down pass that would have given Arizona a first down. Bryant returned the punt to the 22, but an illegal block in the back penalty against Orlando Scandrick pushed it back to the Dallas 40. On third-and-11 from the Cardinals 46, Romo threw 15 yards to Bryant to the Arizona 31 as time slipped away. That set up Bailey's missed field goal.
As usual, there was a huge contingent of white-jerseyed Dallas fans, a fact apparent not only from the color of their apparel but from the loudness of the cheering when the Cowboys did something good.
But the team could not cash in on early opportunities.
The Cowboys were in Arizona territory six of the seven times they had the ball in the first half, yet led only 10-3 at the half.
On Dallas' second possession, Bailey tried a 53-yarder, his longest since coming to the NFL, but was wide right, just his second miss in 28 attempts this season. Later in the first half, Bailey's 50-yard attempt bounced off the right upright and through to tie it at 3.
Arizona, meanwhile, was mired in awful field position most of the first half.
An exception came after Dallas' missed field goal. The Cardinals got the ball on their 43. Kolb threw 15 yards to Roberts, then Stephens-Howling ran 15 yards to set Jay Feely's 48-yard field goal that put Arizona up 3-0 with 4:13 left in the third quarter.
Dallas finally got the game's first touchdown late in the first half. DeMarcus Ware's 15th sack of the season pinned the Cardinals at their own 2 and Bryant's 14-yard punt return put Dallas at Arizona's 33. Romo found Jason Witten over the middle for 28 yards to the Arizona 5, then Romo threw to a wide-open Bryant for the touchdown. That put Dallas up for good, 10-3 with 3:09 to go.
Each team mounted long drives that resulted in field goals in the third quarter.
Arizona took the second-half kickoff and went 74 yards in 12 plays. Kolb's 3-yard run made it fourth-and-goal inches from the goal line and the Cardinals were going to go for it, but a false start penalty on Brandon Keith moved the ball back to the 6, and Feely's 23-yarder cut it to 10-6.
Dallas followed with a 13-play, 65-yard drive. With the Cowboys having first down on the Arizona 17, Romo was sacked for the fourth time for a 7-yard loss. That led to Bailey's 37-yard field goal that boosted the lead to 13-6 with 34 seconds left in the third quarter.