Matt Prater’s 47-yard discipline goal as time expired despatched the Arizona Cardinals to a 19-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Friday night time in their preseason opener at State Farm Stadium.
Prater made all four of his kicks and passe Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin scored on a 6-yard touchdown bustle in the Cardinals’ first preseason recreation in nearly two years. Benjamin, a seventh-spherical draft opt in 2020 who wasn’t active for any games final season, had a 35-yard kickoff return in the first half and, after starting the 2nd half, broke off a 38-yard bustle to station up a Cardinals discipline goal. He totaled 50 speeding yards.
The most titillating crowd (59,954 fans) to glance a Cardinals recreation since the 2019 frequent season seen the home team play with out a series of stars and regulars, including quarterback Kyler Murray, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, linebacker Chandler Jones and security Budda Baker.
No extra than 4,200 fans seen a Cardinals recreation final season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Great to expertise the fans. It sounds like football is traditional again,” stated quarterback Colt McCoy, who acquired the start rather than Murray.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury wasn’t completely conservative on offense, calling a insist snap to running back Poke Edmonds and a deep gallop from McCoy to Christian Kirk in the first quarter.
The Cardinals went to rookie 2nd-spherical draft opt Rondale Moore most incessantly early in the recreation, with short passes and end-arounds designed to procure the speedster out into the open discipline.
Moore’s yardage on the 2nd possession of the recreation for the Cardinals station up a 33-yard Prater discipline goal.
Rookie Zaven Collins started at linebacker and played the first three defensive series for the Cardinals. The 2021 first-spherical opt tackled nicely and became once calling indicators in the huddle.
“It became once extra than what I idea it would possibly presumably well be. Must you are in the NFL, you are like, ‘Right here’s the most productive,’ ” Collins stated. “I felt moderately poised. I felt moderately chuffed inner our protection, with our schemes that we had drawn up.”
After cornerback Daryl Worley compelled a fumble midway by the 2nd quarter, Chris Streveler came in for McCoy at quarterback and ran up the center for a 23-yard reach, colliding with Cowboys security Israel Mukuamu rather than sliding or going down on his private.
That play energized the crowd, which roared when Benjamin scored to compose it 10-3 forward of halftime.
“The total lot about (Friday) night time felt great. Merely going out there with my teammates and being back right here in Arizona became once moreover another thing that made it somewhat of bit simpler as some distance suiting up for the night time,” Benjamin stated.
“It wasn’t too unprecedented for them,” Kingsbury stated of his young avid gamers. “I realize it is supreme a preseason recreation, however there’s fans in the stands and it is NFL football and it is taking half in the Dallas Cowboys. I idea they went out there and competed. It looked like the effort became once factual.”
Streveler’s 10 carries for 55 yards led the Cardinals in speeding for the recreation. He moreover done 12 of 24 passes for 107 yards. The Cardinals gave up four sacks however failed to sack the Cowboys QBs once.
Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan, a pair of rookie cornerbacks, confirmed nicely in their NFL preseason debuts. Wilson had four tackles and two gallop breakups.
Benjamin’s future in the third quarter station up another Prater discipline goal. But the Cardinals protection, made up of backups and roster hopefuls in the 2nd half, lost the lead in the fourth quarter forward of the offense rallied the team.
Streveler led a late-recreation force and acquired the Cardinals to the Dallas 25-yard line with 1: 55 to play. After a sack and pretend start penalty on fourth down, Arizona became once given another fourth-down play, and Prater booted a 48-yard discipline goal.
Then the Cardinals’ protection held, the offense acquired the ball back with 51 seconds left and Streveler engineered the winning force.
” ‘Strev,’ supreme very scrappy there at the end. Made play after play and became once getting knocked around and kept getting up and kept combating and discovered a manner at the end,” Kingsbury stated.
— There private been two launched accidents in the recreation for the Cardinals. RB Jonathan Ward left the recreation in the third quarter with an ankle wound, and S Chris Banjo moreover came out in the 2nd half with a hamstring wound.
— Kingsbury didn’t indicate that Murray, Hopkins, Jones and Baker private been injured. He renowned that they all had a factual week of observe and private been merely held out.
— The Cardinals left an empty seat in the State Farm Stadium press field, reserved and decorated with vegetation and framed photos for the late Pedro Gomez, a passe Arizona Republic sports activities writer who became once considered one of the nation’s leading baseball journalists forward of his death in February at age 58.