The Dallas Cowboys suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday, falling to the Arizona Cardinals 28-16 on the road.
Arizona got aggressive early on and struck quickly behind running back James Conner, while Dallas struggled to produce offensively after an early touchdown.
The Cardinals scored on all five of its first-half possessions and took the first into Dallas territory after just two plays, as quarterback Josh Dobbs took for 44 yards to put the Cardinals well within field goal range. The Cowboys’ defense held serve and forced a field goal to trail 3-0, but there was more to come.
The Cowboys ran just three plays on their first possession and lost five yards, and Arizona responded with a touchdown from Conner and another from Rondale Moore early in the second quarter to take a 15-3 lead.
Dallas finally found the end zone when Prescott completed a pass to running back Rico Dowdle, who fought through tacklers to reach the pylon and cut the deficit to five. However, Arizona added two more field goals to lead by 11 at the half.
The Cowboys’ offense moved the ball better in the second half but came away with little to show for it. It went 67 yards and added a Brandon Aubrey field goal to start the third quarter, only to follow it with an 80-yard drive that resulted in no points. Dallas once again came within five with under 10 minutes remaining, but a deep pass from Dobbs to rookie Michael Wilson set up another score for the Cardinals to increase their lead.
Dallas drove deep into Arizona territory one more time, and Prescott was intercepted by Kyzir White in the end zone — returning the ball to Arizona and allowing the Cardinals to kill the clock.
Dobbs threw for 189 yards and a touchdown on 17-of-21 passing, while Conner had 116 total yards and a touchdown.
Tony Pollard eclipsed 100 yards again for Dallas, and Prescott finished with 249 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
WHAT TO KNOW
— The Dallas Cowboys lost for the first time this season.
— The Cowboys were without a number of important players, including defensive back Trevon Diggs and offensive linemen Zack Martin and Tyler Biadasz. Offensive tackle Tyron Smith also got injured during the game.
— Quarterback Dak Prescott threw his first interception of the season on a throw into the end zone in the fourth quarter.
— The Cowboys forced no turnovers for the first time this season.
BY THE NUMBERS
— Dallas allowed 28 points after only allowing 10 combined through its first two games.
— Dallas outgained Arizona 416-400 but had fewer drives and averaged fewer yards per play.
— The Cowboys were 1-5 in the red zone.
— Arizona finished with 222 rushing yards.
— Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy on moving forward: “We’re 2-1. We’re going to fully expect to win every week. Obviously, we’re disappointed. We’re disappointed that we’re leaving there without a win, but that’s part of the journey. It’s part of the humbling component of the National Football League. Every experience gives you an opportunity to grow, so we need to grow from this experience.”
— Linebacker Micah Parsons on the defense’s struggles: “It’s just a game that never came into our favor. It never came into where [Dobbs] had to drop back and think to make the big throw and things like that. He could’ve done whatever he wanted to. The full playbook was open, and it’s just hard to play against when you’re playing from behind with a slow start. That’s just the reality of football.”
— The Cowboys (2-1) host the New England Patriots (1-2) at 3:25 p.m. CT on Sunday.