When Arizona's Patrick Peterson covered Dez Bryant, Dallas stayed away

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Patrick Peterson had one job to do Monday night: Stop Dez Bryant.

Mission accomplished.

Peterson, who shadowed the Dallas Cowboys' star receiver for the large majority of the game, wasn't targeted at all while covering Bryant, according to Pro Football Focus.

Bryant finished with two catches for 12 yards -- tied for the fifth fewest yards in his career -- and a touchdown.

That touchdown, however, wasn't on Peterson’s watch.

Peterson lined up across from Bryant on that play -- first-and-10 from the Arizona 15 with 8:42 left in the third quarter -- but the Cardinals were playing zone. So when Bryant cut inside off the line of scrimmage, Peterson let him go. But Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was running a wheel route, so Peterson had to help cover Witten. Once Bryant had the ball and was barreling toward the end zone, Peterson ran over to try to make an open-field tackle but missed Bryant, who carried several Arizona Cardinals into the end zone.

Peterson, who devised his own game plan to defend Bryant, is the top cornerback in the NFL statistically, according to PFF. He leads the league in coverage snaps per target (15), yards allowed per coverage snap (.21) and coverage snaps per reception (35).