The Cowboys are missing three starting offensive linemen (LT Tyron Smith, C Tyler Biadasz and Zack Martin) and an All-Pro cornerback (Trevon Diggs). That doesn’t explain their inability to stop the Cardinals.
Arizona scored on all five possessions of the first half, taking an 21-10 lead into halftime.
The Cowboys made a commitment this offseason to shore up their run defense. It hasn’t helped today.
The Cardinals ran for 182 yards on 16 carries in the first half, more rushing yards than the Cowboys allowed in their first two games combined. That included 71 yards and a touchdown on seven carries by James Conner, 51 yards on two carries by quarterback Joshua Dobbs and a 45-yard touchdown run by receiver Rondale Moore.
Matt Prater kicked field goals of 39 and 43 yards before nailing a 62-yarder on the final play of the first half.
Dobbs went 12-of-15 for 85 yards.
The Cowboys 153 yards, including nine carries for 50 yards by Tony Pollard. Dak Prescott, under duress most of the game, 12-of-18 for 102 yards. He threw a 15-yard touchdown to running back Rico Dowdle, the first screen pass the Cowboys have scored on since 2019, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The Cowboys committed 10 penalties for 72 yards, the most first half penalties for Dallas in the Mike McCarthy era.
The Cardinals blew a 20-0 halftime lead last week, falling to the Giants 31-28.