Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/3/11
When you think of tough road trips for the Cowboys, lots of places come to mind. None of them are usually Arizona. Yet the Cardinals have had remarkable success against the Cowboys in the desert. Dating back to 1999, Arizona is 6-1 against the Cowboys at home, whether it be Sun Devil Stadium or the current University of Phoenix Stadium. That's the kind of home streak you'd expect to see at Lambeau Field or in Philadelphia. Not Arizona. Sure, the Cardinals made a Super Bowl run in 2008. And the Cowboys haven't exactly been a dynasty the last 12 years, but still Then you factor in that when the Cowboys play in Arizona, there's always a huge throng of fans wearing Cowboys jerseys and rooting for the guys in metallic blue and silver. The Cowboys were Arizona's adopted team before the Cardinals moved there from St. Louis. Plus, it's an easy trip for Cowboys fans, especially those that live in the West. The Cardinals have even taken steps in the past to limit the number of Cowboys fans at the games in Glendale. They required fans who purchased tickets for the Cowboys' visit to also buy tickets to a Cardinals preseason game. And what have the Cowboys done to reward their loyal fans in the desert? Not much in the last seven visits. The Cowboys' last seven trips to Arizona have mostly been unpleasant: 1999 L 13-9 2000 L 32-31 2001 L 17-10 2002 L 9-6 OT 2006 W 27-10 2008 L 30-24 OT 2010 L 27-26 The last two trips to Arizona have been particularly painful for the Cowboys. In 2008, not only did the Cardinals win on a blocked punt in overtime, 30-24, they lost quarterback Tony Romo for three games to a broken pinkie, punter Mat McBriar broke his foot on the block, and then-rookie running back Felix Jones partially tore a hamstring. While rehabbing the hamstring, Jones suffered a toe injury that required season-ending surgery. The Romo injury was how we found out Brad Johnson couldn't throw a football anymore. The Cowboys, 4-1 before heading to Arizona, went 1-2 while waiting for Romo's pinkie to heal. Johnson was so bad, he was benched in the second half of the last game in favor of Brooks Bollinger. Last year, the Cowboys' season was already in the dumpster when the Cowboys went to Arizona for the next-to-last game of the season. Jon Kitna, starting in place of an already-injured Romo, suffered a hip injury in mid-game. Third-string quarterback Stephen McGee appeared to lead the Cowboys to victory with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin with under two minutes to play. However, David Buehler missed the extra point attempt, which meant Jay Feely's 48-yard field goal with five seconds left was the game-winner, 27-26. This year, the Cowboys travel to Arizona on a roll. They've won their last four games, which have come during the so-called soft part of the schedule. The Arizona game is considered part of that cushy stretch of games. The Cardinals are a mere 4-7, but they've won three of their last four. Those wins have come against the self-destructing Eagles and twice against the lowly Rams. It's a similar scenario as the Cowboys' last opponent, the 3-8 Dolphins, who had won three in a row prior to the Thanksgiving visit to Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys didn't exactly dominant the Dolphins. They won, 20-19, on a last-second field goal. That's pretty much been the way the Cowboys have played their weaker opponents this season. The only real romp was 34-7 over the Rams. A 44-7 blowout of the sinking Bills could be put in that category, but at the time the Bills were 5-3. So if the Cowboys play the Cardinals close, it should be no surprise. And if the Cardinals win, it should be no surprise to anyone familiar with the Cowboys' recent history of defeat in the desert. Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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