Well. The first big test for the Dallas Cowboys headed into the playoffs has arrived and it isn’t going the way the Cowboys wanted it to. Dallas is down 13-7 heading into halftime.
Yes. The defense did make some big plays in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. But overall, this isn’t the dominating team we saw against an injured, COVID-riddled, and frustrated Washington Football Team.
In the last four games, the Cowboys have faced quarterbacks with talent that pales in comparison to the type of quarterbacks they are going to see in the playoffs: Taysom Hill (Saints), Taylor Heinicke (WFT), Kyle Allen, (WFT), Mike Glennon (Giants), and Jake Fromm (Giants). Kyler Murray and the Cardinals walked into AT&T Stadium to prove that maybe the Cowboys aren’t on a hot streak… they’re just on a streak of playing terrible teams.
A ridiculous, highlight-of-the-year type play for Arizona proves just that.
Cardinals’ Jonathan Ward with potentially the “Catch of the Year” play on a fake punt shows the Cowboys struggles in the first half
After lining up to punt on 4th and 2, Chris Banjo threw up a pass to running back Jonathan Ward. Not only did Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright blatantly not turn around (committing pass interference), but Ward somehow ended up catching the ball anyway on Wright’s helmet. This eventually led to the Cardinals being up 10-0.
Whether you are a Cardinals fan or not, you can admit this was impressive. But for Cowboys fans, this is just one part of a frustrating afternoon. As we said, the Cowboys are finally being tested. The offense is struggling to convert on third down. Even though the defense is keeping the team in the game, there have been multiple flags that have given Arizona continued possession.
To put it simply, this isn’t the lights-out squad we have seen in the last four weeks.
Then, while trying to come back and show the offense can make plays happen, the only highlight of this half came with an even worse lowlight. Michael Gallup made a beautiful spinning touchdown grab, but came down and looked to hurt his knee. Gallup had to be helped off by the medical staff and was being evaluated with just over a minute to go in the half.
The acrobatic receiver ended up being ruled out for the rest of the game. We hope that Gallup is okay and that the Cowboys’ offense, defense, and special teams can turn things around in the second half.