It’s going to be a long week for Cowboys fans.
BY THE NUMBERS
Prescott finished the game 25-for-40 with 249 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
Pollard had 23 carries for 122 yards.
The Cowboys are 56-35-1 all-time against the Cardinals. The first game played between the teams was on Oct. 23, 1960, a 12-10 St. Louis win.
The Cardinals won the first six games played between the two teams between 1960 and 1963. Dallas’ first win came on Dec. 15, 1963, a 28-24 win at St. Louis.
Dallas’ record against the Cardinals since the team moved to Arizona is 24-17. The Cowboys are 10-11 against the Cardinals on the road.
Dallas was 14-11-1 in games played against the Cardinals in St. Louis and 18-7 at Texas Stadium and the Cotton Bowl.
Dallas has now lost their last three games overall against Arizona. The last Dallas win came in 2017, a 28-17 victory at Arizona.
The Cowboys have lost the last three games against the Cardinals played in Arlington.
The last time Dallas defeated Arizona at home was a 34-13 victory at Texas Stadium on Oct. 30, 2005.
The Cardinals were the better team on Sunday, but the Cowboys could not get out of their own way.
Micah Parsons finally closed out the third quarter with a ferocious sack of Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs (and his new signature celebration, which the linebacker has named “The Doomsday Death Crawl”), and Cowboys fans had hope it was a sign of the fourth-quarter rally to come.
But more poor play calls in the red zone kept the Cowboys in neutral and settling for field goals, while the Cards put the pedal to the metal. Dobbs connected with Michael Wilson for a 69-yard explosive in which the Dallas secondary was completely lost, and Arizona punched the ball into the end zone shortly thereafter. Down by two scores with seven minutes to play, Prescott drove the offense into the red zone, but he then threw his first interception of the season to effectively shut the door on any sort of comeback effort.
The Cowboys ended with a staggering 13 penalties and gave up 222 rushing yards. That- and Prescott’s crunch-time pick at the goal line- will be the talk all week in Big D.
If you are a glutton for punishment and want to re-live that game, here is a summary of Sunday’s action.
Unfortunately, the Dallas defense still couldn’t figure out the Arizona offense as the home side continued to add to its point total. And again, the Cardinals did so with help from Cowboys penalties and their own big plays.
A defensive holding penalty provided Arizona a first down after failing to move the chains itself on third-and-11. That was followed two plays later by wideout Rondale Moore taking the handoff and dashing up the middle 45 yards to the goal line. The Cardinals were unable to convert the two-point conversion once more, but still bumped their lead up to double-digits.
Slowly but surely, though, Prescott and company were finding their offensive legs. The quarterback engineered a 13-play drive that ate up nearly seven minutes of clock. Pollard ran the ball five times for 34 yards with Prescott eventually capping the series with a screen pass to running back Rico Dowdle, who then exploded down the right seam to pay dirt and the Cowboys’ first touchdown.
However, it was more of the same on the other side of the ball as the Cardinals finished the half with two more field goals, earning points on each of their first five possessions. Arizona kicker Matt Prater was first good from 43 yards, and then after the Cowboys went three-and-out, narrowly booted a 62-yarder over the crossbar to give his team a 21-10 lead at the break.
Instead of takeaways, what nightmares came to fruition against the Cardinals?
1. Can’t stop the run
The Cowboys have come a long way against the run. We’ll give them that. That can be attributed to improved personnel in the trenches, but also a commitment from Dan Quinn and the entire defense to change the narrative.
On Sunday, those struggled returned in the worst way.
In the first half alone, the Cardinals compiled 182 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11.4 yards per carry.
The Cowboys gave up 64 rushing yards against the Jets in Week 2 and 108 yards (on 3.9 yards per attempt) vs the Giants to open the season, so they allowed more rushing yards in one half vs Arizona as they did in Weeks 1 and 2 combined. The Cards finished with 222 yards on just under 7.5 yards per carry.
Were the Cowboys to quick to crown themselves? Did the Arizona coaching staff uncover a weakness in the defense reviewing film this week? Did Dallas make the fatal mistake of overlooking the home underdog?
Whatever is to blame, the Cowboys run D needs to fix up because every team left on the schedule has more talent than this Cardinals team.
Dallas Cowboys ‘Out-Coached’ in Loss at Cardinals: ‘That Starts With Me!’ - Mike McCarthy - Mike Fisher, Sports Illustrated
Mike McCarthy is saying what every fan is thinking.
“I gotta do a better job,’’ McCarthy said. “”That starts with me.’’
Sure. Fine. McCarthy is speaking the truth. But “predictable’’? That’s a lie.
You told me that Dallas sometimes struggles with the Cardinals, and indeed, weirdly, the Cowboys have now lost six of the last seven to that bunch.
But that’s not “predictable.’’ That’s “odd.’’ And you didn’t predict a Dallas loss.
Nor did you predict that Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs (17-of-21 for 189 yards and a touchdown) would be better than Dallas’ Dak Prescott, who with three minutes to play tossed interception in the end zone from the six-yard line to end any comeback hopes.
Seriously, you predicted Dobbs would pick up his first career victory as a starter in this game? No, you didn’t.
Nor did you predict that Dallas’ “Doomsday’’ defense would fold in the clutch, as was the case in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys needed a stop. But a blown coverage by coordinator Dan Quinn’s guys meant Dobbs finding a wide-open Michael Wilson for 69 yards to set up Marquise Brown for a two-yard touchdown giving the Cardinals a comfy cushion.
There will be a lot of finger-pointing in the coming week.
Cowboys to blame for Cardinals loss, No. 1: The Back Seven
When Trevon Diggs tore his ACL in practice leading into Week 3, there were people who surmised that the pass defense could take a step back. And admittedly, Dallas did commit some costly errors in coverage in this game. However, the back seven is taking blame here not just for their work in the passing game, but for their complete haplessness against the run.
The Cowboys gave up 7.5 yards per play in this game. Credit to Arizona, they did an overall solid job of keeping Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence at least somewhat limited. But on top of that, the group behind the defensive front was caught out of possession or fooled consistently. That’s why Josh Dobbs averaged 7.7 yards per pass (dwarfing Dallas’ own average of 5.5) and also averaged 7.4 yards per carry.
In fact, the Dallas defense gave up 184 rushing yards in the first half of this game to the Cardinals. That was the most that a Cowboys defense has given up in one half in over 30 years, since 1991 to be exact. That’s pretty emblematic of the effort that we saw on the field in Arizona.
For a group that was deservedly getting tons of flowers for their performance over the first two weeks of the 2023 season, they didn’t deliver against an offense playing without Kyler Murray, without any top-tier playmakers, and with an average-at-best offensive line. That’s not going to get it done and that was a poor, poor effort from the back seven both in coverage and against the run.
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