Last Christmas game for Arizona Cardinals was a dramatic one

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Jay Feely
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Jay Feely /

The 2010 season was one to forget for the Arizona Cardinals, but their last win of the campaign lives on as one of the more exhilarating in franchise history.

How good is your memory of the Arizona Cardinals 2010 season? No shame if the memory has been wiped from that abysmal year. However, on Christmas night of that season, the Cardinals pulled some dramatic moves and distributed a gift to the team’s fan base that everyone loves by beating the Dallas Cowboys.

So how did they do it? First, we have to go back and talk about the quarterback matchup in this one, as it’s an all-time trivia question. John Skelton and Stephen McGee walked into the then-University of Phoenix Stadium and had the duel of their careers.

Skelton helped the Cardinals to take a 21-3 lead into halftime by means of a 74-yard touchdown bomb to Andre Roberts. But it was Arizona’s defense that started the scoring. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Greg Toler both pick-sixed McGee and got the place rocking.

Second half saw the Dallas Cowboys chip away at the Arizona Cardinals lead

The third quarter saw the Cowboys add a field goal by kicker David Buehler and then a rushing score by Marion Barber to cut Arizona’s lead to just one point heading into the fourth quarter. A Jay Feely field goal with just under four minutes to play then helped extend the Cardinals’ lead to four and put them up 24-20.

Dallas responded by quickly driving down the field, capped with a 37-yard touchdown strike from McGee to wide receiver Miles Austin. But then, as fate would have, Buehler would miss the extra point from the two-yard line.

With the clock at 1:41 in the fourth quarter and one timeout remaining for Arizona, the mission was clear. All that was needed to win was a field goal.

After a sack on second down by Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware, Arizona called its last timeout with 1:23 left.  An incomplete pass to running back Tim Hightower forced a 4th-and-15. Skelton would then deliver an incredibly clutch 26-yard pass to move the sticks and keep the drive alive.

A few plays later, Skelton hit wide receiver Max Komar for a 19-yard gain to get the Cardinals down to the Cowboys’ 25-yard line. An illegal formation penalty by Arizona offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges pushed the ball five yards back.

With 10 seconds left on the clock and no timeouts, out came Feely to attempt a 48-yard kick to win the game, and he knocked it through the uprights.

There’s nothing better than beating the Cowboys. Let’s hope Arizona can do the same to Indianapolis on Saturday night.

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