We got the answer on Monday Night Football and it wasn’t pretty. The Arizona Cardinals (4-2) rolled over the Dallas Cowboys (2-4) 38-10, in a game that wasn’t even close.
The Cowboys are off to their worst start since 2015, when they had to start four different quarterbacks because of a twice broken right collarbone suffered by Tony Romo. They finished that season 4-12 overall. For coach Mike McCarthy, the 2-4 start is tied for the worst in his coaching career. The Green Bay Packers were 2-4 in 2006, his first season, on their way to an 8-8 finish.
It was an ugly game for Kyler Murray, completing just nine of his 24 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. In his second game as a Cowboy, Andy Dalton was 34-55 for 266 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Ezekiel Elliott was a complete nonfactor for the Cowboys, rushing for just 49 yards on 12 carries. Tony Pollard was not much better, rushing for 31 yards on 12 carries.
Arizona was slow out of the gate
The Cardinals first three drives resulted in punts. Murray did not look sharp at all, over or under throwing DeAndre Hopkins and Andy Isabella on multiple occasions.
The Cardinals found life when Budda Baker punched the ball out of Ezekiel Elliott’s hand, forcing his first fumble of the night. Murray would drive down the field in 11 plays, throwing a six-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk to take a 7-0 lead to start the second quarter.
On the ensuing drive Jordan Phillips would force Elliott to fumble again, this time deep in Cowboys territory. Murray would connect with Larry Fitzgerald to keep the drive alive on third down. A taunting penalty on the next play would pin the Cardinals on the one-yard line. Kenyan Drake would score on the next play for a 14-0 Cardinal lead.
Arizona would get the ball back once again following the third Cowboys punt of the half. On the very first play, Murray threw an 80-yard bomb to Kirk for his second score of the half, extending the lead to 21.
The Cowboys would finally get on the score board right before halftime on a Greg Zuerlein 34-yard field goal.
All Cardinals in the second half
Cowboys started the second half with some kind of rhythm. Andy Dalton completed three passes for 30-yards, getting the ball to the Cardinals 42-yard line. Dre Kirkpatrick would put a halt to the Cowboys rhythm, earning his first interception as a Cardinal. It did appear that Kirkpatrick grabbed CeeDee Lamb just before the interception, but there was no call.
The Cardinals would capitalize on the interception, driving down the field on nine plays for a Kyler Murray touchdown run.
After a missed field goal, the Cowboys would force the Cardinals to punt after six plays. Budda Baker would record his first interception of his career on a pass intended for Amari Cooper. Baker would return the interception for 51 yards. After reviewing the play, the officials ruled that Baker was down by contact, pinning the ball back at the Cardinals 10-yard line.
Following the interception, Arizona concluded a nine-play drive with a Zane Gonzalez 26-yard field goal extending the lead by 28 points. Dallas would finally score on a Dalton pass to Amari Cooper, with the score now 31-10.
The Cardinals put the final stamp of the game on a 69-yard touchdown run from Kenyan Drake for his second touchdown of the night. Drake finished the game with 164 yards on 20 carries.
Injuries continue to pile up for Dallas
Since the season started, the Cowboys' offense has lost Prescott (ankle), tackles Tyron Smith (neck) and La'el Collins (hip) and tight end Blake Jarwin (knee) for the season. Center Joe Looney is on injured reserve because of a knee injury but is expected to return.
With 5:07 left in the first quarter, Cowboys Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin suffered a concussion and did not return to the game.
The starting offensive line for the Cowboys now features two undrafted rookies at tackle (Brandon Knight, 2019, Terence Steele, 2020), a rookie center (Tyler Biadasz), a second-year player (Connor McGovern) with two offensive snaps of experience prior to Monday and a third-year guard coming off knee surgery (Connor Williams).
Arizona have a date with the Seattle Seahawks (5-0) for their first showdown of the season. Following their game against the Seahawks the Cardinals go on their bye week.
Dallas will take on the Washington Football Club (1-5) next Sunday on the road.