Sep 24, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA;  Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown  in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals post impressive victory over Cowboys

Joshua Dobbs threw for 189 yards and a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals cracked the code on the previously impenetrable Dallas Cowboys’ defense in a 28-16 upset win in Glendale, Ariz.

Dobbs’ 2-yard scoring strike to Marquise Brown with 7:22 left in the game finished off a four-play, 76-yard touchdown drive that quashed Dallas’ game-long comeback try. Dobbs completed 17 of 21 passes while adding 55 yards on the ground.

In giving coach Jonathan Gannon his first NFL win, Arizona (1-2) rolled up 400 total yards and averaged 7.5 yards per play against a team that allowed only 10 points combined in dominant wins over the New York Giants and New York Jets.

Dak Prescott completed 25 of 40 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys, while Tony Pollard rushed for 122 yards on 23 carries. But Prescott also tossed a game-clinching interception to Kyzir White in the end zone with three minutes left.

Dallas also ran into penalty problems, an indication of its overall sloppiness. In losing as an 11-point favorite, the Cowboys were flagged 13 times for 107 yards.

Beginning with the second play of the game, a 44-yard run by Dobbs as he fooled Dallas with a well-executed option play, Arizona seemed a step ahead of the Cowboys throughout the first half.

It scored on all five of its possessions in the half, Matt Prater starting it with a 39-yard field goal less than 2 1/2 minutes in. James Conner pounded into the end zone from the 5 on the next possession to cap an 82-yard drive.

After Dallas got a 49-yard field goal from Brandon Aubrey, the Cardinals made it 15-3 at the 12:31 mark of the second quarter on Rondale Moore’s 45-yard run. Prescott drew Dallas within 15-10 on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Rico Dowdle.

Prater gave Arizona a 21-10 halftime lead with a pair of field goals. He connected from 43 with 1:28 left, and then lined a 62-yarder as time expired.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) stretches on the field before the game against the New York Jets at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dialed-in Dallas ‘D’ ready to ‘hunt’ Cardinals

Five teams in the Super Bowl era scored 70 or more total points while holding opponents to a combined output of 10 or fewer in the first two games of a season.

One of them, the 2023 Dallas Cowboys, sashays into Arizona to challenge the Cardinals (1-1) on Sunday.

First-year Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon contended with Dak Prescott and company in another capacity previously as defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles. This week, part of his challenge is convincing a shorthanded team to erase the recent memory of blowing a 21-point second-half lead to lose to the New York Giants, 31-28.

For the sake of comparison, the Arizona result came a week after the Cowboys (2-0) whipped the Giants 40-0.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Gannon said Wednesday.

With Kyler Murray (knee) unavailable, the Cardinals started Joshua Dobbs at quarterback for the first two games. He completed 42 of 61 passes for 360 yards with one touchdown in the first two games. Facing injuries and a decided playmaker deficit, Dobbs said the Cardinals are locking in on finishing.

A challenge for the offense, which has 44 points in two games, will be finding a way to move the ball while limiting the impact of Dallas pass rusher Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs. The Cowboys are leading the NFL in multiple defensive categories, yielding 5.0 points per game, collecting 10 sacks and boasting a turnover margin of plus-7. Opponents are converting only 23.1 percent of third downs to first downs (6 of 26).

“My sentiment to the offense has been, when we do execute, when we do what we’re coached to do, we’re a really difficult offense to stop,” said Dobbs, who will start three consecutive games for the first time in his career.

Gannon said the Cardinals are cognizant of not allowing Parsons to wreck the game.

“He’s one of the elite players in the world. Explosive, fast, powerful. He can rush, takes the run away.”

Parsons had 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble last week in a 30-10 win over the host New York Jets. Diggs picked off one pass and shares the NFL lead with 18 interceptions since 2020.

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said the Cowboys are focused on the Cardinals while also carrying the mentality that they can’t be stopped if they do their jobs.

“Come back to the lab each and every day and work on our fundamentals,” Lawrence said. “I feel like, times like this, when you’re 2-0 and you’ve got the hype around the team and things can get out of whack. People can let that self-confidence lead them into some things they don’t need to be in.”

“(Doesn’t) matter who’s back there. We’re gonna hunt. I feel like every week, we’ll be facing a running quarterback. … If you’re not a running quarterback, you’re gonna wanna make sure your legs work that week.”

Dallas hasn’t had to flex offensively with Parsons, Lawrence and pals bruising opponents.

The Cowboys have at least six points in all eight quarters this season. Quarterback Dak Prescott has been highly efficient with head coach Mike McCarthy calling plays. They ran 83 offensive plays against the Jets and 55 against the Giants. But Gannon said it’s not about who to stop so much as how to stop the Cowboys because of their numerous skill-position threats.

“They’ve got a lot of weapons, it’s a well-coached scheme and they’ve been together for awhile now,” Gannon said.

Running back Tony Pollard is one player that McCarthy plans to ease up on this week. In the win over the Jets, he had 25 carries and seven receptions, the heaviest single-game toll of his career.

Left guard Tyler Smith (hamstring), wide receiver Brandin Cooks (knee), safety Donovan Wilson (calf) and offensive tackle Chuma Edoga (elbow) practiced on Wednesday, but right guard Zack Martin (ankle) worked with trainers.

–Field Level Media

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) during training camp at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Aug. 9, 2022.

Cardinals S Budda Baker lands on IR

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Head coach Jonathan Gannon said Monday that Baker’s hamstring strain was severe, but tests revealed the muscle was still intact. Gannon said the Cardinals expect Baker back this season.

“You rally around, you’re never going to replace a Budda Baker,” Gannon said. “But we have guys we feel comfortable that can get the job done and play winning football for us.”

The move to injured reserve means Baker will miss at least four games. He’s eligible to return Oct. 22 at Seattle.

Baker had missed just five games since being drafted by the Cardinals in 2017, including the final two games of the 2022 season with a shoulder injury.

“We missed him a lot,” safety Jalen Thompson said of Baker leaving the loss to the Giants. “That’s our defensive captain right there. It’s always good having him on the field. As a leader he makes sure we are all set and all good. It was a big loss to not have Budda out there but it’s next man up. We have to keep going and keep going hard.”

Part of the collective effort in replacing the Pro Bowl safety, recently elevated practice squad safety Andre Chachere figures more prominently in the defensive game plan.

And to help fill the void, Arizona signed safety Qwuantrezz Knight off of the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Jones, Giants rally from 20-0 hole to stun Cardinals

Daniel Jones passed for two touchdowns and ran for one and the visiting New York Giants scored all their points in the second half to defeat the Arizona Cardinals 31-28 on Sunday afternoon in Glendale, Ariz.

Jones completed 26 of 37 passes for 321 yards as the Giants (1-1) bounced back from six scoreless quarters to start the season and outscored the Cardinals (0-2) 17-0 in the fourth quarter.

Jones threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Hodgins, then drove New York 56 yards to Graham Gano’s winning 34-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining.

Joshua Dobbs, filling in for the injured Kyler Murray, passed for 228 yards and one touchdown and James Conner rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown for Arizona.

The Giants, who suffered their worst season-opening loss in a 40-0 defeat to visiting Dallas last Sunday, trailed the Cardinals 20-0 at halftime.

On the first offensive play of the second half, Jones connected with Jalin Hyatt for a 58-yard pass completion. Two plays later Jones’ 14-yard touchdown run gave New York its first points of the season.

On the ensuing possession, the Cardinals answered with Dobbs’ 3-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown and Dobbs’ run for a two-point conversion that produced a 28-7 lead.

Barkley’s 1-yard touchdown run pulled the Giants within 28-14 at the end of the third quarter.

Conner ran 4 yards for a touchdown that gave Arizona a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, Dobbs scrambled 23 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Later in the quarter, Matt Prater kicked a 37-yard field goal to push the lead to 17-0.

The Giants drove 39 yards to the Arizona 36, but a pass from Jones bounced off Barkley’s hands and Jalen Thompson intercepted it and returned it 35 yards to the New York 34.

Six plays later, Prater kicked a 44-yard field goal that increased the Cardinals’ lead to 20-0 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws a pass as he receives help from his offensive line. Sunday, September 10, 2023

Giants aim to rebound from shellacking in clash vs. Cards

In a league defined by close games — there were eight in Week 1 decided by one score — the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants provided classic examples in 2022.

The Giants were 8-4-1 in one-score games and finished with a 9-7-1 record last season. They qualified for the playoffs and saw Brian Daboll in his first season be named NFL Coach of the Year.

The Cardinals sustained a debilitating stretch of injuries and were 2-6 in one-score games in 2022. That resulted in a 4-13 record and the firing of head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Coming off a 40-0 home shellacking by the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, the Giants travel to Glendale, Ariz., to play a Cardinals team with first-time head coach Jonathan Gannon and coordinators Drew Petzing (offense) and Nick Rallis (defense). Petzing and Rallis are in those roles for the first time in their respective NFL coaching careers.

Rallis’ group played better than expected in Week 1, but the offense managed only 210 yards in a 20-16 road loss to the Washington Commanders.

Daboll obviously expects his team to rebound after its demoralizing loss.

“It’s a humbling league and one week doesn’t have much effect on the next week,” Daboll said. “Your preparation, your performance ultimately on Sunday, or whenever that day is, does. That’s what we will focus on; a lot to learn. We’ll do our best to teach it, to learn from it, to go out there and have a good week of practice and to get ready for the next week’s opponent.”

The Giants had three turnovers, were 5-for-16 on third down and scored no points on two trips to the red zone. They were pushed back from the 8-yard line to the 27 on the first possession of the game, and a 45-yard field-goal attempt by Graham Gano was blocked and returned 58 yards for a touchdown.

Things only got worse after that as quarterback Daniel Jones was 15-for-28 for 104 yards, was sacked seven times and had a passer rating of 32.4.

Meanwhile, projected by many as the worst team in the league, the Cardinals led 16-10 in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs, however, lost two fumbles — one on a sack and one on a botched center exchange — which the Commanders turned into 10 points and the narrow 20-16 victory.

Dobbs was making the third start of his career and was acquired by the Cardinals in a trade only 17 days before the opener. The offense struggled against Washington, going 4-for-14 on third downs and mustering just 210 total yards.

The Cardinals also failed to score touchdowns on two red-zone trips, but at least came away with two of their three field goals. Their lone touchdown was on a fumble return following a strip-sack.

Dobbs believes things will go more smoothly in Week 2.

“I think a huge jump is in store,” he said. “Just getting out there, getting in the flow of a game, getting in the flow with the guys and the rhythm. Timing and rhythm in the games is always different than practice sometimes. Just getting out there to play ball can definitely (provide) a huge jump and I expect to make a huge jump, especially situationally.”

Since winning at home on Oct. 24, 2021, against the Houston Texans, the Cardinals have won only one of their last 13 home games, a victory over the New Orleans Saints last season on Oct. 20. Four of their seven home losses last season were by three points or fewer.

New York left tackle Andrew Thomas played only 53 of 70 snaps in Week 1 because of a hamstring injury. He joined tight end Darren Waller (hamstring/rest) in failing to participate in practice on Wednesday.

The Giants also are starting rookie second-round center John Michael Schmitz Jr.

Arizona edge rusher Dennis Gardeck had two of the team’s six sacks against the Commanders.

Cardinals defensive lineman L.J. Collier (biceps) and linebacker Josh Woods (ankle) did not participate in practice on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) signals first down during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals  at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Howell, Commanders make plays late to beat Cardinals

In their first game with new owner Josh Harris, the Washington Commanders held off the Arizona Cardinals 20-16 on Sunday before a sold-out crowd at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., in the season opener for both teams.

Quarterback Sam Howell, making the second start of his career, completed 19 of 31 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown, but most important gave the Commanders a 17-16 lead on a 6-yard run with 11:48 remaining in regulation.

Washington had taken over at the Arizona 29-yard line after a strip-sack of quarterback Joshua Dobbs by defensive end Montez Sweat that defensive tackle Daron Payne recovered.

The Commanders defense limited the Cardinals to 93 yards in the second half and allowed only four first downs on 14 third-down plays in the game.

Dobbs was starting his third career game after being acquired in a trade from the Browns on Aug. 24. He also fumbled a snap on first-and-15 from the 40-yard line that was recovered by Abdullah Anderson and resulted in a 33-yard field goal by Joey Slye for the final points of the game with 2:23 remaining.

The fumble came after a 16-yard pass play to tight end Geoff Swaim to the Washington 39-yard line was negated by right guard Will Hernandez being illegally downfield.

The Cardinals piled up 122 yards lost on nine penalties. Dobbs was 21-for-30 for 132 yards, an average of 6.3 yards per completion.

The Cardinals led 13-10 at halftime despite totaling only 117 yards with five first downs to Washington’s 16 and being 1-for-6 on third down.

Three Commanders turnovers were critical, including a strip-sack by linebacker Dennis Gardeck that was recovered by linebacker Cameron Thomas, who ran two yards for a touchdown and a 13-7 lead with 55 seconds remaining in the half.

The Commanders scored first on a 7-yard pass from Howell to running back Brian Robinson Jr. with 4:15 to play in the first quarter. The 91-yard drive was helped by three Arizona penalties for 67 yards.

Cardinals kicker Matt Prater hit 28- and 54-yard field goals to cut their deficit to 7-6, the second coming after an interception by linebacker Zaven Collins.

After the Cardinals go-ahead score, Slye kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired after Howell completed three passes for 69 yards to reach field-goal range.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) attempts a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Sold-out Cards-Commanders game features quirky QB clash

History of sorts will be made Sunday when the Washington Commanders host the Arizona Cardinals in Landover, Md.

Following the departure of Dan Snyder as owner and the arrival of new leader Josh Harris, the game is sold out.

On the field, fans will be watching two quarterbacks who have an unprecedented low level of NFL experience for a season opener.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this will be only the second time since 1970 that a Week 1 game features two starting quarterbacks selected in the fourth round or later and who had 100 or fewer career pass attempts.

The Commanders will turn to Sam Howell, a fifth-round pick in 2022 who started the season finale — the only game he played that season. He completed 11 of 19 passes for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 26-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cardinals are expected to start Joshua Dobbs, who was acquired in an Aug. 24 trade from the Cleveland Browns. He will have had five practices with the team prior to Sunday. Four days after the trade, the Cardinals released Colt McCoy.

First-year head coach Jonathan Gannon has refused to name a starter publicly even though the team knows who it will be, so there’s a chance rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Tune will get the call.

Dobbs originally was a fourth-round choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, but in his six NFL seasons has played eight games (two starts) in the final two games of the 2022 season for the Tennessee Titans. He has 85 career pass attempts, with 68 coming in his two starts after being signed on Dec. 21.

“Ironically, it’s happened twice for me in the last nine months. It’s a unique process,” Dobbs said. “The quickest thing you can do is get the logistics of the offense, understand the play calls, getting in and out of the huddle, learning teammates’ names and faces, communicate with them and then just be yourself.”

The Commanders signed eight-year veteran Jacoby Brissett from the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in March. In explaining the decision to start Howell, head coach Ron Rivera said, “He and Jacoby are at two different points in their career. To me, the guy who’s ascending, growing into it, compared to the guy who’s already there, you got to look at that.”

For historical perspective, Steve Beuerlein started for the then-Los Angeles Raiders and Babe Laufenberg for the then-San Diego Chargers on Sept. 4, 1988. Beuerlein was a fourth-round pick and Laufenberg a sixth, and both had no pass attempts prior to that game.

While the quarterbacks will be on center stage, the Cardinals have also undergone a roster makeover and front-office shift following a 4-13 season in 2022. The roster includes 11 rookies, 28 players who weren’t with the team in 2022 and 44 players in their first three years of NFL experience.

The Commanders were 8-8-1 last season, one game behind the 9-7-1 New York Giants, who joined NFC East rivals Philadelphia and Dallas in the playoffs.

While quarterbacks always take center stage, a crucial matchup will be Arizona’s interior offensive line. It features new starters Elijah Wilkinson at left guard and center Hjalte Froholdt along with right guard Will Hernandez dealing with Commanders defensive tackles Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen.

Only two NFL defenses, Washington and Carolina, had multiple players with at least 16 tackles for loss in 2022. Payne had 18 and Allen 16.

An injury issue swirls around Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin (toe) and defensive end Chase Young (neck), who were both limited in practice Wednesday.

For the Cardinals, wide receiver Marquise Brown (hamstring) and tight end Zach Ertz (knee) were limited on Wednesday. Ertz sustained a torn ACL in Week 12 last season against the Los Angeles Rams.

–Field Level Media

Browns quarterback Josh Dobbs warms up before playing the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Cleveland.

Report: Cardinals to start Josh Dobbs at QB

Josh Dobbs, who has been with the team for less than two weeks, is expected to be the Arizona Cardinals’ starting quarterback in Week 1 vs. the Washington Commanders, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Rookie Clayton Tune will be QB2 for the opener.

New Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon has been coy about who would start Sunday, thinking that by keeping the Commanders guessing it gives the 7-point underdogs a competitive advantage. The Cardinals are projected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, if not the team holding the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Cardinals just acquired Dobbs from Cleveland on Aug. 24. Since then, Arizona acut veteran Colt McCoy, starter of 36 career NFL games, while Tune, a 2023 fifth-round selection, made the team.

The Cardinals’ decision to add a veteran quarterback comes as Kyler Murray continues to rehab from ACL surgery on his right knee. The former No. 1 overall pick tore his ACL on Dec. 12 last season.

Dobbs, 28, signed up for a second stint with the Browns in the offseason after bouncing among Cleveland and four other teams since entering the league in 2017.

In December 2022, with Ryan Tannehill injured, the Tennessee Titans signed Dobbs off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad and had him start the final two games of the season — the first two starts of Dobbs’ NFL career. Dobbs went 40-for-68 passing for 411 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in those games.

After being drafted in the fourth round in 2017 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dobbs saw action in five games in 2018 and one in 2020. Pittsburgh traded him to the Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of the 2019 season and claimed him off waivers from Jacksonville before 2020.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (right) walks onto the field at  U.S. Bank Stadium before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cards name Kyler Murray a captain: ‘He’s our franchise quarterback’

For the fourth straight season, the Arizona Cardinals have named quarterback Kyler Murray one of their team captains.

Murray joins running back James Conner, left tackle D.J. Humphries, linebacker Kyzir White, safety Budda Baker and linebacker/special teamer Dennis Gardeck.

Coach Jonathan Gannon, entering his first season in Arizona, went with four players with previous experience as captains in Arizona — Murray, Humphries, Baker and Gardeck. His reasoning for Murray was simple.

“He’s our franchise quarterback,” Gannon said. “And everything that I want our captains to be, he demonstrates it.”

Murray, recovering from a torn ACL, will miss at least the first four games of the regular season after starting out on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. And speculation surfaced over the weekend that the Cardinals have financial incentive to keep Murray sidelined for all of 2022.

Reports said the Cardinals would owe Murray $37 million in 2024, $29 million in 2025 and $26 million in 2026 in injury guarantees if Murray cannot pass a physical before March 2024.

But Murray being named a captain, combined with Gannon’s comments, signals that Arizona will roll with the former No. 1 overall pick when he is healthy and ready to play.

The Cardinals will start either journeyman Josh Dobbs, acquired in late August from Cleveland, or fifth-round draft pick Clayton Tune at quarterback Week 1 against the Washington Commanders. That determination has not been made.

Arizona also signed veteran QB Jeff Driskel to the practice squad Monday. Driskel spent time at Cardinals training camp and was cut before the initial 53-man roster was finalized.

–Field Level Media

Jun 2, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks Colt McCoy (12) and Kyler Murray (1) during voluntary Organized Team Activities at Dignity Health Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

Nfl Arizona Cardinals Otas

Cardinals release Colt McCoy, Kyler Murray reportedly headed to PUP list

Colt McCoy was released on Monday and the Arizona Cardinals’ franchise quarterback, Kyler Murray, will reportedly begin the season on the physically unable to perform list.

The roster moves would set up another big decision for first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon: whether to ride with rookie Clayton Tune or journeyman Josh Dobbs as QB1 in Arizona.

The Cardinals traded a fifth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for Dobbs and a seventh-round pick last week. Arizona needs help at the position until Murray clears rehab from ACL surgery on his right knee.

The former No. 1 overall pick tore the ACL on Dec. 12 last season. By being placed on the PUP list, Murray would be required by NFL rule to miss at least the first four games of the 2023 season.

Tune, a fifth-round pick out of Houston, has impressed Gannon in extended playing time in the preseason.

“I feel like I have learned a lot, grown a lot,” he said. “I just continue to learn each day that goes by.”

Dobbs, a fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2017, made the only two starts of his career late last season with the Tennessee Titans.

McCoy spent the past three seasons with the Cardinals and entered the NFL as a third-round pick of the Browns in 2010 after starring at Texas. He had stints with San Francisco, Washington and the New York Giants.

McCoy was released Monday along with safety Sean Chandler and cornerback Nate Hairston as part of Arizona’s roster reduction to reach the 53-man limit allowed for the regular season.

–Field Level Media