The odds and statistics were heavily stacked against them. Yet, yesterday, the NFL’s script took an unexpected turn in Glendale, Arizona. The Dallas Cowboys, having entered the season with a roaring momentum of two straight 20-point victories, were anticipated to steamroll past the Arizona Cardinals, especially as 12.5-point favorites. However, football, as we all know, is unpredictable. Instead of a Cowboys’ cruise, it was the Cardinals’ who turned the tide, claiming a win outright as a 12.5-point underdog.
This was not just any victory. It marked the first ever for Jonathan Gannon as the head coach in Arizona. And for the Cardinals? Their first win this season. From the first whistle to the last, the Cardinals showcased superiority for all four quarters, painting an impressive picture of grit, strategy, and execution.
The quarterback play, especially, deserves a spotlight. Josh Dobbs finished the game with a nice stat line and looked the part. While it may not sound like he dominated the game, his efficiency was notable. As if addressing young QBs like Zach Wilson, Dobbs seemed to say, “This is how you play when you don’t need the team to shoulder everything â you simply avoid mistakes.”
On the ground, James Conner was very solid for the Cardinals and proved to be a big factor in the win. Shifting our focus to the Cowboys, the pre-game narrative revolved around their hampered offensive line. Yet, that concern proved somewhat unfounded, as they only allowed two sacks on Dak Prescott.
Then there’s Tony Pollard. Had someone hinted at his 5.3 yards per carry average over 23 carries before the game, many would have placed their bets on a Dallas triumph. However, a crucial interception by Prescott late in the game, right in the end zone, tilted the scales.
To say the Cardinals were impressive is an understatement. Their performance prompts questions about their potential this season. Given their talent and recent form, they could be eyeing a 3-0 record very well. This game indeed acts as a reality check, tempering the hype around the Cowboys being the NFL’s pinnacle. While Dallas is undeniably gifted, the Cardinals reminded everyone that anything can happen in football on any given Sunday.