Once again, the Dallas Cowboys have fallen into a trap game in the desert, one that thankfully is early enough in the season so it won't do a lot of damage to their postseason hopes. Still, that doesn't excuse the fact that the Cowboys have seemingly slipped back into the narrative of all hype. But is that really how we should be looking at this game? There are a lot of people to blame but let's see how this game came to be.
So let's take a look at the offense first and see what went wrong and who should take the blame for this outing.
Dallas Cowboys Offensive Issues
Dak Prescott really couldn't get anything going in this game despite what his stat line may show. He was under pressure most of the game thanks to the makeshift offensive line that started the game. The offensive line surrendered two sacks in the game and allowed pressure on the outside from a Cardinals team that didn't blitz all that often in this game.
The play calling from Mike McCarthy didn't do Prescott any favors either in this game. In the first two games of the season, the Cowboys offense was able to beat teams with quick passes that allowed Prescott to get the ball out of his hands quickly while hitting his receivers in stride to create yards after the catch.
In the Arizona game, the plan seemed to regress back into the Kellen Moore philosophy of deeper and longer developing routes that required Prescott to hold onto the football. That extra time along with the patchwork offensive line in front of Prescott could be seen as the main issue of with this offense along with the fact that this line wasn't able to get the ground game going.
Main Culprits: Mike McCarthy and Brian Schotenheimer
When you know that you're going to be down three starting offensive linemen the game plan needed to be more quick-hitting routes to get Prescott in a rhythm early not to try and attack a secondary you thought was susceptible to a deep aerial attack without safety Budda Baker in the lineup. You can also look back at the decision to go for it on fourth down in the red zone that failed instead of taking the points and putting yourselves in a better position at the end of the football game. Always take the opportunity to put points on the scoreboard, and never gamble on something like that when you see that your defense made a stop on a day where they just seemed all out of sorts and you come up with nothing. All it does is let the air out of that defense and put more pressure on to put points on the board when you could have been down five points heading into the fourth quarter, which could have changed the entire outlook of this game.
Close Runner-Up: The coaching staff mainly Mike Solari should also take the blame for the offensive line pairing he decided to roll out this weekend. Tyler Smith has shown he can handle playing at left tackle in Tyron Smith's absence. He should have been playing there Sunday with Chuma Edoga playing left guard and T.J. Bass at right tackle. That would have been the better offensive alignment to face off against this Cardinals defensive front that was doing most of its damage off the edge.