Cardinals’ upset win over Cowboys especially sweet for the polarizing Gannon
Sep 24, 2023, 5:40 PM | Updated: Sep 25, 2023, 8:31 am
(Photo by Mike Christy/Getty Images)
GLENDALE — The parking lot was full of Texas license plates. The Great Lawn was a sea of silver and blue.
For the visiting infidels, it will be a long drive home.
“How ‘bout them Cards?” quarterback Joshua Dobbs said. “That was awesome.”
That’s how you do it, folks. That’s how you turn around the scourge of State Farm Stadium and the home-field disadvantage that has been plaguing our NFL franchise for too long.
The Cardinals upset the Cowboys 28-16 on Sunday, proving yet again that football is full of surprises, and we are not immune.
Over the weekend, Kenny Dillingham claimed his first moral victory at ASU; Jonathan Gannon took home his first game ball from the Cardinals; and the state of Colorado ended up with the combo platter beatdown that was forecasted for sports fans in the Valley.
Sunday’s victory over the Cowboys was especially sweet. It was Arizona’s seventh victory over the Cowboys in its past eight tries. Beating Dallas is like beating a team from Los Angeles. It never gets old, and this was rock solid effort against a superior roster that speaks of renewal and optimism in the desert.
Unlike the previous regime, Gannon and his coaching staff have the Cardinals ready from the opening kickoff. The Cardinals have posted three consecutive stellar first halves of football, outscoring their three opponents by a combined score of 54-20. There is no more lamenting the curious lack of energy to start games. And for the third consecutive week, the Cardinals entered the final quarter with the lead.
This time, they finished the job.
Gannon struck an interesting tone after the game. He was remarkably unimpressed with himself; slightly agitated by his Gatorade bath on the sidelines (“I’m not a fan, honestly.”); and not in the mood to celebrate his first career victory as a head coach in the NFL.
“I mean, hopefully one of many, but back to the drawing board (Monday),” Gannon said.
This much is certain: For a polarizing coach who is public enemy No. 1 in Philadelphia, Gannon has been one of the best surprise stories of the NFL. His team is clearly buying into his message of physicality, violence and hardcore football. The Cardinals amassed 222 rushing yards against a vaunted defense, and their defense gave no quarter.
One of the stars was Kyzir White, a former Eagles defender who followed Gannon to Arizona and came up with a clutch interception near the end of the game.
“To seal the deal and him get his first win, it felt good,” White said.
Dobbs also deserves immense credit. He was acquired in an unexpected trade on Aug. 24, never played a down of preseason football, and was given the starting job by default. He has seized the opportunity with considerable poise. He is athletic, smart, and calm under pressure. He extended plays, made plays, and took care of the football. His 44-yard run set up the team’s first score while his 69-yard completion to a wide-open Michael Wilson in the fourth quarter cemented the triumph, proving the Cardinals had learned their lesson in their Week 2 loss to the Giants.
“It was a great full-circle moment,” said Dobbs, clutching his own game ball, a quarterback whose first career start came in a loss to the Cowboys in 2022.
Before the season started, the Cardinals were not favored to win any of their 17 games. They are now 1-2 in the standings and 3-0 against the oddsmakers. They are proof that heart, conviction, good coaching and a quality quarterback can take a football team a long way.
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