A calamity of errors was too much for the Dallas Cowboys to overcome as they fell to the Arizona Cardinals 38-10 falling to 2-4 on the season. The first game without star quarterback Dak Prescott was a rough one with the offense turning the ball over four times resulting in 24 Cardinal points. They lead the league in points off turnovers allowed with 84.
Quarterback Andy Dalton made his first start of the season after coming off the bench last week. He looked rusty missing several easy passes finishing with 266 yards and 2 interceptions. With the passing game struggling the ground game faired no better as running back Ezekiel Elliott fumbled twice on his first eight touches leading to 14 Cardinal points. This marks the first time in his career that he’s fumbled twice in the same game. He finished with 49 yards on 12 carries.
Neither got much from the offensive line as guard/tackle Zach Martin went down at the 5:07 mark in the first quarter with a concussion leaving Connor Williams as the only regular starter left. As a result, Dalton was sacked four times and rarely had a clean pocket to operate from. Out wide, rookie CeeDee Lamb continues to impress tying for the lead in catches with seven for 64 yards. Fellow receiver Amari Cooper led in yards with 79 and a score on seven catches.
Defensively the Cowboys lucked out that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray had an off day going 9-of-24 for 188 yards and two touchdowns while adding 74 yards and a score on 10 carries. With the win, he moves to 7-0 inside Cowboys Stadium. Despite the win, he missed several deep shots to Deandre Hopkins but still hit him for a big 60-yard catch and run. Receiver Christian Kirk led with 86 yards on two catches both resulting in touchdowns. On the day the unit allowed 438 yards and 22 first downs including a whopping 261 on the ground.
The star of the game was undoubtedly Cardinals safety Budda Baker the highest-paid safety in the league. While he didn’t lead the team in tackles he made the biggest impact notching seven tackles, a forced fumble, and his first career interception in 51 career games. Donovan Wilson and Jaylon Smith led the Cowboys with nine tackles each while Anthony Brown notched the units only sack.
After a scoreless first quarter that saw the Cowboys gain just 29 yards on their first four drives, the Cardinals took over the second scoring 21 straight points with 14 coming off turnovers. A 34-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 10 seconds left in the half made it 21-3 at the break. The second half was more of the same as Murray ran it from a yard out for the only score of the third quarter. Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez hit a 26-yard field goal for the Cards first score of the quarter.
Dallas finally found the end zone with 2:52 left when Dalton found Cooper for a one-yard touchdown capping off a penalty riddled 18 play drive that took over six minutes. Arizona capped off their monster performance as running back Kenyan Drake darted 69-yards into the end zone with 1:49 left. He had his best game of the season finishing with 164 yards and two scores on 20 carries.
Dallas hits the road next week as they travel to face the 1-5 Washington Football Team.