That sound you hear is the Dallas Cowboys crashing into rock bottom.
The Cowboys, now 2-4, proved they officially belong among the NFL’s lowliest ranks following their 38-10 blowout home loss to the 4-2 Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
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It was one thing when Dallas could light up the scoreboard, but the loss of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott pits a rudderless offense with a historically hapless defense, and perhaps worst of all, a coaching staff arguably no better than the previous failed regime.
A perpetually let-down fan base can’t do anything about Prescott’s season-ending injury nor Andy Dalton’s insertion into the lineup. Struggling defensive coordinator Mike Nolan? No longer the biggest fish to fry.
Cowboys Nation is almost exclusively fixated — same as ESPN’s cameras during the game — on head coach Mike McCarthy, whom they hope will accept a one-way ticket back to Green Bay.
Bad on Both Sides
Yes, for another week, Nolan’s unit was atrocious. They were powerless to stop Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ offense, which totaled 438 yards and 22 first downs across 11 drives. Murray threw two touchdowns and rushed for another. Running back Kenyan Drake averaged a ridiculous 8.2 yards per carry on 20 totes and twice hit paydirt. Wide receivers Christian Kirk and DeAndre Hopkins had long gains of 80 and 60 yards, respectively. Just unspeakably bad all around.
But the offense was unwatchable for four quarters, neutered by Prescott’s absence and Dalton’s 4.9 yards per completion. The former longtime Bengals starter went 34-of-54 for 266 yards, one TD, and two interceptions, with a chunk of his stats coming in garbage time. He absorbed three sacks and finished with a 65.8 passer rating.
And it seemed like everyone around the signal-caller got worse, too. RB Ezekiel Elliott? 49 scoreless yards on 12 carries — and two fumbles. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup? Each held under the century mark. Even the play-calling, a shared venture between McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, was depressingly vanilla.
The Cowboys committed six penalties, four turnovers, and came away a measly one-for-three in the red zone. They lost the time of possession battle, their third game in four opportunities, and any remaining fan morale for the remainder of 2020 (or until sweeping changes are made).
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MM Criticizes Himself
Say this for McCarthy: he took his medicine in bitter defeat. Delivering post-game remarks to reporters, the first-year head man offered no sugarcoating in his analysis of the Cowboys. Which really was an indictment on his own ability — or lack thereof.
“We didn’t play very well on offense, defense or special teams. Most importantly, I didn’t coach very well. I have a continuing issue with ball security on my football team,” McCarthy said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL