Nov 3, 2014 4:28 AM
Palmer recovers, Cards top Romo-less Cowboys 28-17
The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Carson Palmer gave the Dallas Cowboys just the gift they needed early in a game without Tony Romo throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Palmer didn't make any other big mistakes, and Romo backup Brandon Weeden had a hard time avoiding the miscues that landed him in Dallas in the first place.
Palmer stayed perfect as Arizona's starter this season, throwing three touchdown passes, while Weeden couldn't get the Cowboys into the end zone until the game was out of reach in the Cardinals' 28-17 victory Sunday.
The Cardinals (7-1) rallied from a 10-0 deficit for their fourth straight win, including back-to-back victories over the top two teams in the NFC East. This is the latest they've had sole possession of the best record in the NFC since 1974.
"We are a scrappy group," said Palmer, 5-0 this season after missing two games because of a shoulder injury. "We have a great fight and mindset about us. Nothing is too big to overcome."
Romo was out with his third back injury in 18 months, and Weeden threw two interceptions and had several other misfires as the Cowboys (6-3) dropped their second straight. He finished 18 of 33 for 183 yards with a meaningless late touchdown to Dez Bryant.
"I was inconsistent," said Weeden, who was dumped by Cleveland just two years after getting drafted in the first round in 2012 and now has 25 touchdown passes and 28 interceptions in his career. "One thing I keep coming back to is the turnovers. Those are on me."
Things to consider after the Cardinals won a regular-season game in Dallas for the first time since 1989 (14 consecutive losses, not counting a playoff victory in the 1998 season).
ROMO'S GOING TO LONDON: Romo was relegated to headset-wearing sideline duty because of fractures of two small bones in the back. The injury is unrelated to a herniated disk sustained last year and to offseason surgery to remove a cyst earlier in 2013.
The Cowboys said Romo would make the long flight to London on Monday for next weekend's game against Jacksonville even though staying home would essentially give the 34-year-old a month between games because of a bye the following week.
Dallas is optimistic he will play.
"He's definitely on the flight and will be in one of those chairs you can stretch out in," owner Jerry Jones said. "We're betting on him playing. If we didn't think he could play, he wouldn't be on that long plane ride."
MURRAY'S STREAK ENDS: NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray's record streak of eight straight 100-yard games to start the season for Dallas ended against a defense that didn't allow a back over the century mark for the 18th consecutive time.
Murray, who ran for 79 yards on 19 carries, was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 34 with the Cardinals leading 14-10 in the fourth quarter. Palmer took the Cardinals the other way for the last of his three scoring tosses, a 1-yarder to Andre Ellington.
"That was the turning point in the game," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "It wasn't a time to sit back. We had to continue to attack and we got ourselves some good, favorable plays and Carson made some good decisions."
Ellington outgained Murray on the ground with 95 yards and added another 39 receiving.
"You know we always want to outrush the opponent," Ellington said. "It's a credit to our defense for shutting him down and giving me a chance to get out there on the field and get more carries and get more yards."
PALMER'S RECOVERY: Palmer put his team in a 7-0 hole when undrafted Dallas rookie Tyler Patmon ducked under a route, made an over-the-head catch and ran untouched down the Arizona sideline, with some nice blocking from defensive end Anthony Spencer.
Palmer was efficient otherwise, though, finishing 22 of 34 for 249 yards with touchdowns of 7 yards to John Carlson, 11 to Jaron Brown and the short one to Ellington. All three TDs came on third down, with the Cardinals converting 9 of 15 in that situation.
RECEIVING STREAKS: Bryant, blanketed by Arizona's Patrick Peterson a week after Peterson sustained a concussion against Philadelphia, was in danger of a 56-game catch streak ending before two inconsequential grabs in the final 2 minutes, including a 3-yarder for a score.
Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald had no trouble extending the longest active catch streak to 157 games. He had a 31-yarder on third down on Arizona's first scoring drive and led the Cardinals with five catches for 70 yards.
WEEDEN'S WOES: Weeden's first interception, by Tyrann Mathieu, came with Dallas in scoring range early in the second half. The second wiped out any hope of a comeback when Antonio Cromartie stepped in front of Terrance Williams after the Cardinals had gone up 21-10 in the fourth quarter.
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