It's Arizona Cardinals 38, Dallas Cowboys 10 ... and 10 'Whitty' observations on a Monday Night blowout
10. Can’t do a lot to change the secondary being overmatched in talent, the offensive line being decimated by injuries or, apparently, getting a penalty for too many men on the field every damn game.
The only potential remedy is for your good players to play great.
If Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Gallup put the ball on the ground, the Cowboys have zero chance. Zero. Zeke’s consecutive fumbles and Gallup’s dropped touchdown just before half popped this prime-time balloon.
9. At least on the 80-yard touchdown pass he surrendered to Christian Kirk, Cowboys’ cornerback Daryl Worley was being super safe. Socially distanced, six feet away. Way away.
And, strangely, wore a mask. No, really. He was. Under his helmet. (Sobering thought: Last offseason the Cowboys coveted Worley over Dre Kirkpatrick.)
8. Granted, with only 25,000(ish) fans in attendance any home-field advantage is mitigated. Nonetheless, the Cowboys have been embarrassingly awful at AT&T Stadium.
READ MORE: Cowboys Are A Division-Leading Disaster
In four home games they have trailed the Falcons 20-0, the Browns 31-14, the Giants 17-3 and the Cardinals 21-0. The NFC East leaders have been behind by 14+ points in five consecutive games. That’s right, at 2-4 the Cowboys are still a first-place team.
7. Somehow, bad teams attract bad calls – and non-calls – and it likely wouldn’t have mattered. But referees not flagging the Cardinals’ Kirkpatrick for literally tackling CeeDee Lamb on his way to an interception on Dallas’ first second-half drive was simply inexcusable. It was illegal use of hands. It was holding. It was interference.
It was everything.
Except, that is, it wasn’t called. (We’ve also seen the hit that sidelined Cedric Wilson penalized for a personal foul on a “defenseless receiver”, but … Oh, never mind.)
6. So, let me get this straight, Mike McCarthy’s precious “analytics” say when you’re down 25 points you should … try a 58-yard field goal?! Get the shi … stats outta here.
5. With Zack Martin injured (concussion) and in the locker room, the Cowboys’ offense lined up with …
QB Andy Dalton (Dak Prescott)
LT Brandon Knight (Tyron Smith)
LG Connor Williams
C Tyler Biadasz (Joe Looney)
RG Connor McGovern (Zack Martin)
RT Terence Steele (La’el Collins)
TE Dalton Schultz (Blake Jarwin)
WR Cedric Wilson (Amari Cooper)
The only scenario the Cowboys expected to see that group together on the field was the Blue-White Scrimmage in August. As ESPN’s Steve Levy surmised, injuries have left the Cowboys with a “helluva mess.”
It is, to be fair though, primo content for those “How It Started/How It’s Going” memes.
4. That's 24 quarters and 15 turnovers. Thankfully, Cardinals’ linebacker Jordan Hicks dropped an easy interception on Dallas’ second possession or else the turnover margin and the final score woulda been ugly. Er.
QB Andy Dalton was bad. Was harassed all night and got little help from his receivers. But still, bad. It was the Cowboys’ first time in 70 games – since Kellen Moore at the end of the 2015 season – to start a quarterback other than Dak Prescott.
Yikes. Without Dak or Tony Romo taking snaps, Cowboys over the last 15 years are now 10-24.
“There are some good things we can take away but there are a lot of areas that we need to improve,'' said Dalton afterward. "I think it’s one of those things where everyone has to look at themselves. I’ve got to be better. I got to do a better job of giving our guys chances.”
A 10-24 record isn't much of a chance.
3. It was cute that Jaylon Smith – and maybe his coaches – thought he was fast enough and athletic enough to “spy” on Kyler Murray. Embarrassing mismatch. At Allen High School, Oklahoma and now the Cardinals, Murray is undefeated at AT&T Stadium. He dominated the game despite completing just nine passes. Nine. Four Cowboys’ turnovers made it easy for Arizona.
2. Let’s face it, Zeke has the yips. A guy who fumbled only three times in 355 touches last season put it on the ground five times in his first 122 this season. The Cowboys lost a fumble on consecutive drives for the third time this year. No other team in the NFL has done it once.
Said coach Mike McCarthy: “At the end of the day, Zeke is our bell cow and we have to get it right. We have to take care of the ball.”
Oh, it feels like "the end of the day,'' alright.
1. Squinting long and hard for a silver lining. How’s this? In 1970, the Cowboys lost to the Cardinals, 38-0, at the Cotton Bowl on Monday Night Football. They then won their next seven games, before losing Super Bowl V on a last-second field goal.
Feel better? Nah, me neither.