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ARI 38, DAL 10: Cowboys go From Bad to Worse in Andy Dalton’s 1st Start

Tonight was the Dallas Cowboys’ first game without Dak Prescott in the starting lineup since the 2015 season. They already miss him, looking helpless in a 38-10 drubbing from the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.

The two teams traded punts on five possessions to start the game but then Ezekiel Elliott had fumbles on the next two drives, both of which set up the Cardinals in good position to capitalize with touchdowns and take a 14-0 lead. Arizona would eventually go into halftime up 21-3.

There was nothing close to a real comeback attempt this week from Dallas. From protection to turnovers to a dropped touchdown pass before the half, the offense looked clearly lesser for not having Prescott out there.

Andy Dalton wasn’t even the biggest problem. While he did have some bad throws, Dalton mostly executed when his blocking and receivers did their part.

Elliott was the far greater disappointment, and tonight’s fumbles take him to five already for the season. He was briefly benched after the second turnover but wasn’t really effective even when he kept the ball secure.

The defense was looking okay early with the three forced punts but eventually Arizona found their rhythm. Kyler Murray only had 188 passing yards but did throw two touchdowns, and the rushing attack was on fire. The Cardinals had already put up nearly 200 yards on the ground before Kenyan Drake’s late 69-yard touchdown added to the embarrassment.

It’s hard to say where the Cowboys go from here.  But one thing is certain; finding ways to win with Dalton at QB are only going to make this season even more challenging. They definitely looked outclassed tonight by their competition.

Hopefully, upcoming games against the Eagles and the Football Team will give everyone a chance to regroup and find some confidence.

Other Notes

  • Zack Martin left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder issue but quickly returned. However, he almost immediately left again due to concussion concerns and was ruled out for the night. Martin’s exit left Connor Williams as the only preseason starting offensive lineman still playing for Dallas.
  • Leighton Vander Esch did return to action tonight but wasn’t very visible, registering just three tackles and no significant plays. Still, it’s good to see him back out there and hopefully he’ll get back up to speed in the coming weeks.
  • Dallas’ only sack of the game came from Anthony Brown, who tagged Kyler Murray after the QB had already tripped and fallen to the ground while scrambling.
  • The blowout gave QB Ben DiNucci and RB Rico Dowdle their first NFL snaps on the final drive. They weren’t memorable ones.
  • The Cowboys’ two victories are enough to stay on top of the NFC East right now, where everyone else has just a single win so far in 2020. Dallas will face Washington and Philadelphia over the next two weeks.

What do you think?


Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


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  1. This was a complete and total disaster on all fronts. At this point is it even worth trying to win this horrid division and get drubbed by the likes of CHI, GB, NO, TB, or the whole NFC West? Develop some younger guys and bite the bullet this year. Extend Dak and use a high draft pick on a blue chip Defender.

  2. Pretty much every phase of the game for the Cowboys was a mess. The defense did force two punts to start the game, but Kyler did not look sharp on either of those drives. The offense is nothing but consistent…early turn overs that lead to easy points…followed by a bunch of empty stats as they play catch up…just not as gaudy stats with Dak out. Elliott continues to show it was a huge mistake to give him a huge contract with lots of guaranteed money. Guaranteed contracts should never be a reality because performance going forward is never guaranteed. Elliott is going to be a boat anchor either on the team or in dead money off it for years to come. Jerry strikes out again with his recent coaching hire. McCarthy seems to have no answers for how to motivate, prepare or teach fundamentals. I have seen a lot of bad Cowboys teams over the years but this one is shaping up to be the most disastrous and snake bit of all of them.

  3. McCarthy’s game is obsoleto, what he achieve was behind Aaron Rodgers shoulders. Too much hype for months, Def coordinador sucks.

  4. Wow! That was a bad game for the Cowboys all around. If you have ever imagined what it would be like for a high school team to play a college team or a college team to play an NFL team, you found out it would look like last night.

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