ARLINGTON, Texas — There have been times this season where the Dallas Cowboys looked good enough, played well enough and looked complete enough to convince many to believe that this team might be different.
Different from the last 26 teams who have donned the star and failed repeatedly to reach the promised land of a sixth Super Bowl championship. Different from the teams that at times looked to be good enough to make history, only to disappoint, time and again
The belief was building. This team was supposed to be different. Guess not, reports ABC affiliate WFAA.
In the biggest game the Cowboys had played in over a month -- a game that they had themselves termed a statement game in the week leading up -- the Cowboys made a statement. That they're not ready to compete with the league's elite.
The Cowboys made an effort to come back on Sunday and showed some legitimate heart, when it otherwise looked like they were cooked. But it was too little, too late as Kyler Murray and the Cardinals played keep away in the waning minutes.
And right when it looked like Dallas' defense had made a play to turn the tide one final time, creating a possible fumble by Chase Edmonds on the sideline, the Cowboys couldn't challenge the ruling because they were out of timeouts.
Perhaps if they'd been more organized on their two-point conversion try, earlier in the half, and didn't have to waste a timeout. Instead, no challenge, the Cardinals kept the football, and they exhausted the clock with three kneel downs.
Cardinals 25, Cowboys 22.
The Cowboys win streak was snapped by a team that came limping in AT&T Stadium, both literally and figuratively. The Cardinals had lost three straight, including a puzzling, disastrous loss to the Detroit Lions. And Arizona was banged up all over their roster.
The Cowboys were as healthy as they've been all season. Rolling in off a 56-point performance against Washington. And winners of four straight.
And they laid an egg.
The Cowboys drop from the #2 seed in the NFC to the #4 seed. They'll need a loss from Tampa Bay or the Los Angeles Rams in the final week of the season to have a chance to change that fact. And if they don't -- it's a rematch with the Cardinals, right back here at AT&T Stadium, two weeks from now.
Same ol' Cowboys.