Final

Cardinals 13

(2-5, 0-3 away)

Cowboys 34

(5-3, 3-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 30, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 3 7 3 013
DAL 10 14 3 734

Top Performers

Passing: D. Bledsoe (DAL) - 220 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: M. Barber (DAL) - 27 CAR, 127 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: J. Witten (DAL) - 5 REC, 71 YDS

Rookie Barber punishes Cardinals in Cowboys' victory

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- All week, Bill Parcells stressed how important this game was for the Dallas Cowboys.

It was over when ...
Anthony Henry returned an interception 58 yards in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach for the hapless Cardinals.
Game ball goes to ...
Marion Barber, who ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in his first start
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen The Cowboys' win this week is one of those games that players are happy about immediately afterwards until they start thinking about the win that got away the week before. The Cowboys have the talent and coaching to be the class of the NFC East, but they seem to throw away games that are close. That's something that must stop if they want to make the playoffs and make a splash when they get there.
-- Eric Allen

They got the message.

Rookie Marion Barber rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns in his first start, and the Cowboys played one of their best all-around games. They scored in a variety of ways, didn't have any penalties and beat the Arizona Cardinals 34-13 on Sunday.

"Bill challenged us a little bit, that this week was a little bit different than the others," quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. "The fact that our team answered that challenge, I think, says something about us."

The Cowboys (5-3) stayed on pace in the jammed NFC East. They also had a good performance going into their bye week, which comes before they have to play three games in 11 days.

"I'm happy to get that one," Parcells said.

"We would have hated going into the bye at 4-4," defensive end Greg Ellis said. "It's a big swing for us, even though it's only one game."

For a change, the Cowboys didn't have anything to worry about in the final few minutes. Except for a 33-10 victory over Philadelphia, the team they play next on Nov. 14, every other Dallas game was determined in the closing minutes.

A week ago, Dallas lost 13-10 at Seattle after the Seahawks scored 10 points in the final 46 seconds. The week before that, the visiting New York Giants tied the game in the final minute before the Cowboys won in overtime.

Early Sunday, one fan held up a sign that said: "The game is 60 minutes long."

The final 20 or so in this one were used to savor a victory.

Anthony Henry's 58-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter, the first defensive score for Dallas since Oct. 19, 2003, eliminated any late drama.

The Cardinals (2-5) lost their 14th straight regular-season game at Texas Stadium since 1989.

"I was irritated with the outcome," Cardinals coach Dennis Green said. "We have to learn to play better, period."

Arizona had a 3-0 lead after Neil Rackers kicked a 52-yard field goal to end the opening drive. The Cardinals didn't lead long and never went ahead again.

Three plays and 80 yards later, Barber twisted his way through several defenders for a 28-yard TD. Barber had picked up 18 yards on the first play and Bledsoe's short pass to Jason Witten turned into a 34-yard gain.

Barber took over for Julius Jones, who was out for the third straight week with a sprained left ankle and has missed 11 of his 24 career games because of injuries. The rookie ran or 95 yards on 22 carries in Seattle.

"That kid will run, he will block and he will catch," Parcells said. "I don't know if he's going to be Gale Sayers, I kind of doubt that. But he is a complete back. ... I'm proud of him. There's a lot of pressure on him right now."

Barber put the Cowboys up 24-10 with his second TD, a 10-yarder just before halftime. He took a handoff to the left, cut back and once inside the 5 dived between three defenders, stretching into the end zone.

"Coach Parcells talked all week about how big this game would be," Barber said. "I'm just glad it turned out the way it did."

Josh McCown, still starting for Kurt Warner after winning two of the previous three games, completed 16-of-33 passes for 161 yards. He threw a 44-yard TD pass to Anquan Boldin to tie the game at 10 in the second quarter but also had two interceptions after halftime.

"We just lost our rhythm offensively," McCown said. "It's frustrating. At some point, we have to stack some wins together and get some momentum going."

Boldin will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his right knee injury that forced him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Green said he thought it was a torn meniscus, the same injury that forced the Pro Bowl receiver to miss six games last season.

"I think I'm OK. Hopefully, it's just a sprain," said Boldin, adding that the knee bothered him all week. "But it's bothering me to the point where I'm thinking about it when I play. For me, it's tough because I've been there before."

Shaun Suisham, a rookie signed off the practice squad after the Cowboys cut Jose Cortez this week, kicked a pair of 21-yard field goals. He also made all four extra points.

Game notes


Al Singleton broke his right collarbone, and Parcells said the linebacker could be done for the season. ... Rackers added a 47-yard field goal and has made all 22 field-goal attempts this season, the consecutive streak a Cardinals record. ... Opposing kickers are 13-for-13 in field goals against Dallas this season, with four 50-yarders.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARI
DAL
1st Downs1221
Passing 1st downs
712
Rushing 1st downs
56
1st downs from penalties
03
3rd down efficiency
7-175-11
4th down efficiency
1-20-0
Total Plays6159
Total Yards213348
Yards per play3.55.9
Total Drives1210
Passing142202
Comp-Att
16-3419-24
Yards per pass
3.87.5
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-193-18
Rushing71146
Rushing Attempts
2432
Yards per rush
3.04.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-4
Penalties8-560-0
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession27:1132:49

Passing Leaders

ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
McCown16/331614.9123-19
Boldin0/100.0000-0
DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bledsoe19/242209.2103-18

Rushing Leaders

ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Shipp12443.7012
McCown4164.009
DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Barber271274.7228
Thompson4194.808

Receiving Leaders

ARIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Boldin36923.0144
Fitzgerald4369.0011
DALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Witten57114.2034
Glenn36521.7032

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARIDAL
ariFG9:48Neil Rackers 44 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 43 yds, 5:07
30
dalTD8:44Marion Barber, 28 yd run (Brett Visintainer kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 80 yds, 0:59
37
dalFG3:01Shaun Suisham 13 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 54 yds, 4:36
310
SECOND QUARTERARIDAL
ariTD13:01Anquan Boldin, 44 yd pass from Josh McCown (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 77 yds, 10:10
1010
dalTD3:15Keyshawn Johnson, 5 yd pass from Drew Bledsoe (Shaun Suisham kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 75 yds, 6:24
1017
dalTD1:06Marion Barber, 10 yd run (Shaun Suisham kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 50 yds, 0:57
1024
THIRD QUARTERARIDAL
ariFG11:18Neil Rackers 39 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 9 yds, 1:57
1324
dalFG3:07Shaun Suisham 13 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 15 plays, 74 yds, 7:59
1327
FOURTH QUARTERARIDAL
dalTD12:09Anthony Henry, 58 yd interception return (Shaun Suisham kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 58 yds, 2:14
1334