Kyzir White didn't think Dak Prescott was going to throw the ball and he didn't want to drop it when he did throw it. He didn't want to blow a chance to win a game for himself and the Cardinals on Sunday, and he didn't want to lose a chance to get Jonathan Gannon – his head coach who was his defensive coordinator in Philadelphia last season and brought the linebacker to Arizona as a free agent – his first victory.
"He put his face on the line for me," White said after the Cardinals' win. "I don't want to let him down.
"To seal the deal and him get his first win, that felt good."
White's interception was the exclamation point on an interesting defensive performance. The Cardinals didn't shut down the Cowboys Sunday by any stretch. But they didn't give up touchdowns and they stopped Dallas when they needed – and that was already with out the on-IR Budda Baker, L.J. Collier and Carlos Watkins, and then losing starting linebackers Zaven Collins (eye) and Krys Barnes (hand) during the game.
A lot of that was because of White, who has been Pro Bowl-worthy through three weeks both with his play and his leadership. He had 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed as well as his pick on Sunday and hasn't let Gannon or the Cardinals down.
"He's a captain for a reason," Gannon said. "He wears the green dot. He keeps those guys composed even when it doesn't look like it's going good but what I'm proud of is not just Kyzir, but really all the captains and the entire team is the fight. They've got to keep punching."
White made the plays. The Cardinals got the win. And his smile was only growing postgame as he noted that he has a lot of family who roots for the Cowboys.
"I wanted to upset some family members who were going against me," White said. "I'm going to talk trash right after I get out of here."
-- It's a small sample size, OK, with just three games. But it sure looks like Gannon, offensive coordinator Drew Petzing and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis all should do well in their current jobs despite having no experience in them prior. The Cardinals could be 3-0, and yes, Bill Parcells, you are what your record says you are but no one was predicting the Cards to play this well or this sound.
-- The Cardinals need Zaven Collins to be OK. Gannon said he thinks he's OK after the eye poke, but they need him on the field.
-- Joshua Dobbs had less than 200 yards passing, and 69 came on one play, but again, he looked comfortable in the pocket and actually felt like he was more productive than that passing the ball. Some of that is the Petzing effect, but the offense has been good two straight weeks.
-- Dobbs called it a full-circle moment, since his first NFL start had come against the Cowboys (on a Thursday night last season for Tennessee.)
-- Rondale Moore is dangerous with the ball in his hands. So the Cardinals did something different Sunday, using him as a straight running back for the first time. He took the handoff on an outside zone play – there was no trickery involved – and he streaked to the end zone.
"I was hoping he wouldn't get caught by the linebacker because he wouldn't have been able to live that one down," Dobbs joked, although no one was going to get the speedy Moore.
-- Matt Prater now has 1,702 points in his NFL career, in part because he crushed a 62-yard field goal right before the half, tying his own franchise record. It was a low line drive and replay showed he even kicked it with the laces facing him – usually a death knell for a longer kick.
"Anytime you're back that far, you hope it stays straight," Prater said. "You basically swing to try and get it there. Fortunately it went straight. When I first hit it I didn't think it was going to get there because it didn't feel good off my foot. I couldn't even see it go over until the refs put their hands up, and I was like, 'Oh, sh .. Oh, yeah.'"
-- The reality is that if you are a Cardinals fan – or even if you are invested in their draft potential, like GM Monti Ossenfort – you have reason to watch the Texans outcome each week closely. But Houston went to Jacksonville and handled the Jaguars surprisingly easily on Sunday, 37-17. With the Cardinals playing well, what the Texans do (and where that first-round pick of theirs that the Cardinals own lands) is a big part of the 2024 story.
-- Uh, yeah, also not Cardinals but the Dolphins and their 70 points – only the fourth team to score that many in NFL history, and third in the regular season – and 726 total yards. Only the 1951 had more yards in a game (735). A rough day for new Broncos coach Sean Payton (and DC Vance Joseph.)
-- Ken Griffey Jr. was on hand taking photos during the game. Like fellow baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, Griffey Jr. has found a love for it. And his son, Trey, a former University of Arizona wide receiver, also happens to work for the Cardinals in the community relations department.
-- The Cardinals scored on their first four possessions of a game for the first time since in Cleveland Oct. 17, 2021, the infamous game in which Kliff Kingsbury was diagnosed with Covid on Friday and the Cardinals had to go without their head coach.
-- The Cowboys had 11 penalties total in their first two games. They had 13 on Sunday.
-- The officials picked up a pass interference flag on Marco Wilson in the end zone on the Cowboys' last drive, a few plays before the White interception. If the penalty had stood, who knows how it would've changed things.
-- James Conner another 98 yards rushing (and 7.0 yards a carry) and it basically got overlooked with everything else going on. The man just produces.
That's enough for tonight.