DAK Prescott threw two touchdown passes and flipped head over heels into the end zone on a 10-yard run for another as the Dallas Cowboys pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Arizona Cardinals 28-17 on Monday night (Tuesday AEST).
The Cowboys (2-1), bouncing back from a 42-17 pommeling in Denver, began the game kneeling at midfield with owner Jerry Jones in a show of unity that followed widespread protests across the NFL of critical comments by President Donald Trump over the weekend.
Jones has been a staunch supporter of President Trump, so the speculation was that he would not allow his players to kneel during the national anthem.
The Cowboys and their owner did kneel, though not during the anthem.
Following a weekend of kneeling and protesting across the NFL, the Cowboys and their owner displayed their own version of unity Monday night, kneeling on the field before rising as a group before the playing of the national anthem.
The Cowboys went into the locker room and returned to the field for the anthem, lining up between the sideline and the yard markers on the field.
Arm-in-arm, they dropped to a knee as a giant flag was carried onto the field, with Jones and his family in the middle near the 50-yard line.
Numerous boos rang out across University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cowboys knelt and continued as the players rose, still arm-in-arm, and stepped back to the sideline as the flag was unfurled across the field.
They remained connected as Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem.
The Arizona Cardinals had their own symbol of unity after a weekend of protests in the NFL, gathering along the goal line arm-in-arm during the national anthem.
They were joined by owner Michael Bidwell, his family and general manager Steve Keim.
More than 200 NFL players knelt, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after President Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.
In on-field action, Prescott — who threw for 13 of 18 for 183 yards — broke a 14-14 tie with a 37-yard scoring pass to Brice Butler with 11:52 to play.
Arizona, with a spectacular catch by Larry Fitzgerald for 24 yards on a third- and-18 play, moved downfield but the drive stalled.
Phil Dawson’s 37-yard field goal cut the lead to 21-17 with 6:35 left.
Ezekiel Elliott, who gained 8 yards in nine carries against Denver and drew criticism for not hustling after a couple of late interceptions, was bottled up much of the game, but still gained 80 yards on 22 attempts, 30 on one play. He ran 8 yards for the final Cowboys touchdown.
The Cardinals (1-2), in their home opener, got a big game from Fitzgerald, who caught 13 passes for 149 yards, in the process moving ahead of Marvin Harrison into eighth in career receiving yards.
Carson Palmer had a big first half, completed 15 of 18 for 145 yards and finished 29 of 48 for 325 yards and two scores. He was sacked six times, a career-high three by DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Cardinals dominated the first half statistically, but were deadlocked with the Cowboys at 7-7. Arizona had a 152-57 advantage in yards and dominated time of possession 19:34 to 9:41.