REPORT CARD | DALLAS COWBOYS VS. ARIZONA CARDINALS
PASSING OFFENSE: C — Quarterback Tony Romo completed 28 of 42 passes for 299 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. However, he was sacked five times, and the Cowboys generated no big plays in the second half, or at least not enough to get the ball in the end zone.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D — The Cowboys rushed for just 75 yards in the game, but the biggest crime is that they ran it only 20 times, leading to an unbalanced attack. DeMarco Murray had 38 yards on just 12 carries.
PASS DEFENSE: D — The Cowboys allowed 247 passing yards and registered five sacks, but four of them came in the first half. They limited Arizona to 44 passing yards in the first half. After intermission, the Cardinals made adjustments and gashed the Cowboys for big plays. Andre Roberts had six catches for 111 yards, including a 40-yard catch against Terence Newman that led to a touchdown. Newman also had a pass-interference penalty that bailed the Cardinals out of a second-and-19 situation in overtime, and the Cowboys gave up a 52-yard, game-winning touchdown on a screen pass.
RUSH DEFENSE: B — The Cardinals gained 103 yards on 25 carries, 4.1 yards per carry, but the number is helped by a 17-yard scramble from quarterback Kevin Kolb.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D — Mat McBriar had a great day, putting four punts inside the 20 and preventing dangerous returner Patrick Peterson from having an impact. But this day will be remembered for Dan Bailey’s missed 49-yard field goal at the end of regulation. He also missed a 53-yarder in the first quarter.
COACHING: F — Coach Jason Garrett will wear this game like an albatross if he doesn’t get the Cowboys in the playoffs. He had two critical decisions at the end of the game that made him look dumb and dumber. First was the choice to not call a timeout and try to get a shorter field goal after the Cowboys got a first down at the Cardinals’ 31-yard line with 26 seconds left. He let the clock run down before Romo spiked the ball with eight seconds left to try the long field goal. Then there was the decision to call a timeout because the play clock was running down, essentially icing Bailey, who had apparently made a 49-yard game-winner. But the kick was nullified because of the Garrett timeout, Bailey missed the next kick, and the Cowboys lost in overtime.