TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Kurt Warner showed coach Dennis Green what
he wanted to see out of Arizona's rebuilt offense. The Cardinals'
defense showed up as well Saturday night -- as long as the regulars
It added up to a 13-11 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
But Warner fired up a unit that was 27th last year behind
quarterbacks Josh McCown, Shaun King and John Navarre. He completed
14 of 19 passes for 151 yards and a 31-yard touchdown strike to
Larry Fitzgerald, leading the Cardinals to a 10-0 lead before
leaving the game after a punt with 6:17 left in the second quarter.
"It felt like a uniform to me," Warner said about his debut in
red after playing for the blue-jerseyed St. Louis Rams and New York
Giants. "I'm just excited about what we've got. I think we have a
"I wish we'd scored more, but he played a quarter and a half,"
Green said. "It was about what we expected."
Warner, a two-time NFL MVP and the MVP of the 2000 Super Bowl,
wasn't Arizona's only important addition through free agency.
Dallas, 0-3 against the Cardinals in exhibition games but
53-27-1 in the regular season, had to be content with Billy
Cundiff's field goals of 47 and 34 yards and a 33-yarder by Jose
Cortez, partly because of penalties. The Cowboys committed 12 for
91 yards -- the most costly a false start that negated a 48-yard,
potential winning field goal by Cundiff.
The ball was moved back 5 yards, and Cundiff missed wide left
with 1:03 remaining.
Arizona defensive end Calvin Pace also had two sacks in the
fourth quarter -- the second moving Dallas beyond chip-shot range.
"It kind of seemed like we'd get something going and then we'd
have a negative play," Bledsoe said. "But we tip our caps to
them. There were a number of times when we'd have a play called,
and they'd have a good defense called for it."
Drew Henson rallied the Cowboys to eight points in the fourth
Tyson Thompson, who had 64 yards in 10 carries, started Dallas'
last scoring drive with an 18-yard run. Nine plays later, Cundiff
made it 13-9 with 4:10 to go.
Then the Cardinals stalled behind Navarre, and Scott Player came
in to punt from his own 24. But Tom Crowder broke through and
blocked the punt, and Player kicked the ball out the back of the
end zone with 3:02 remaining.
That led to Dallas' wild final drive that ended in frustration.
"Pretty sloppy first outing," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells
said. "We're not going to be able to overcome a lot of the things
we did. You know, we had five holding penalties and an illegal
motion on that last field goal."
Navarre directed a short drive in the fourth quarter, and Matt
Fordyce sent Arizona to a 13-6 lead with a 33-yard field goal with
J.R. Redmond, a free-agency pickup from Oakland and a local
favorite because he played at Arizona State, set up the late
scoring drive with a 48-yard kickoff return after Cortez made his
only field-goal attempt with 11:24 left in the game.
Redmond, one of three candidates to replace 2004 returner Karl
Williams, also set up Arizona's first score when he broke two
tackles on his way to a 22-yard punt return to near midfield with
8:36 left in the first quarter.
Three plays later, the Cardinals made the game's first first
down -- a 20-yard pass from Warner to Bryant Johnson -- and Neil
Rackers kicked a 41-yard field goal with 5:52 left after the
offense sputtered again against Dallas' new 3-4 defense.
Green left the first unit to start the second quarter, and
Warner began to find his rhythm.
In a seven-play drive, he completed passes of 20 yards to
Fitzgerald, 18 yards to rookie Adam Bergen, 12 yards to Johnson and
the TD to Fitzgerald, a gem that the second-year receiver sprawled
full-length to catch off the grass, got up and lunged into the end
"Actually, it was kind of a broken play," Warner said. "I
kind of let the ball go a little early, and Fitzgerald made a great
play just to make the catch, but then to have the awareness to get
up and get into the end zone."