After the way they started the season, it was fair to expect the Dallas Cowboys to roll into Arizona over the weekend and run roughshod through the Arizona Cardinals.
That’s not exactly how things panned out, and perhaps it’s a fair reminder to Dallas that any team can sneak up on them.
Led by Josh Dobbs at quarterback, the Cardinals put up 28 points on the Cowboys defense en route to a 28-16 win. It was Dallas’ first game without Trevon Diggs, who tore his ACL in practice last week, and the Cowboys also were without three starting offensive linemen in Tyron Smith, Tyler Biadasz and Zack Martin.
Regardless, the Cowboys didn’t get the job done against a team most bona fide contenders shouldn't have a huge problem with.
“It’s always a tough pill to swallow, especially when you were thinking you had a good shot to win it," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday in his weekly appearance on The K&C Masterpiece. "You’ve just got to get in there and grind through, do all the things we need to do to get better. I think it’s a really good wake-up call for us, and you’ve got to put it in the rear-view mirror come Tuesday and Wednesday. …
“We’ve just got to really take a look at the film and learn from it and go from there. Hats off to the Cardinals, they were really prepared – obviously their coach has a lot of experience with us, hats off to him. His team had a really good game plan for us and executed and kicked our butts. …
“We did things that get you beat. We gave up big plays, and when we did give up big plays, unfortunately we didn’t respond,” Jones later said. “… We just didn’t do what it took to win the ballgame.”
Jones lamented, in particular, penalties and the lack of execution in the red zone. The Cowboys had just one touchdown on five trips to the red zone, and racked up 13 flags for 107 yards.