Cardinals upset Cowboys, give Jonathan Gannon 1st victory as coach

Sep 24, 2023, 4:30 PM | Updated: 11:01 pm

Jonathan Gannon looks on...

Head coach Jonathan Gannon of the Arizona Cardinals looks on against the Minnesota Vikings in the first half of a preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 26, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 18-17. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys entered Week 3 as statistically the best defensive team in the NFL, with the asterisk that they had drubbed the New York teams by a combined 70-10.

The law of averages came in the form of the Arizona Cardinals, who entered winless but exited with Jonathan Gannon earning his first win as an NFL head coach.

The Cardinals powered to 182 first-half rushing yards in a 28-16 win. Even when Dallas adjusted to put a halt to the rushing attack, holding Arizona to just 40 second-half rushing yards, the Cardinals did enough to make it an easy win in the final minutes.

A 69-yard catch-and-run by rookie receiver Michael Wilson highlighted Arizona’s lone second-half scoring drive, which ended on a two-yard catch by Marquise Brown with 7:22 left in the game. That put the Cardinals ahead by the final score, and linebacker Kyzir White on the ensuing Cowboys possession picked off quarterback Dak Prescott in the end zone with three minutes left.

The first half was all about Arizona’s rushing attack.

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs rushed twice for 51 yards, and veteran James Conner piled up yards early to finish the day with 14 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.

But Arizona also got five carries from backup running back Keaontay Ingram, three more from receiver Rondale Moore — including a 45-yard touchdown burst in the second quarter — and two more from rookie Emari Demercado.

Dobbs and the offense played turnover-free football as well. The Cardinals signal caller had his best game yet, going 17-of-21 for 189 yards and a touchdown.

Prescott completed 25 of 40 passes for 249 yards, striking several times on explosive plays but stalling deep in Arizona territory too often and finishing with a 1-for-5 mark in the red zone.

The Cardinals had been on top of the Cowboys’ passing game much of the day, recording nine passes defensed to go with four QB hits and two sacks.

Dallas even had the balance of the run game, too, rushing for 185 yards on 5.6 yards per tote.

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Joshua Dobbs (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Jonathan Gannon (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Krys Barnes (51) tackles Dallas Cowboys running back Rico Dowdle. (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Marquise Brown (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Dante Stills (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) James Conner (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Michael Wilson (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Matt Prater (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Rondale Moore (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports) Zaven Collins (Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports)

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