Two Biggest Dallas Cowboys Failures in Loss to Arizona Cardinals

The Dallas Cowboys' red-zone offense and run defense proved to be the two most troubling aspects of their Week 3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

In a disappointing 28-16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys defense allowed 222 rushing yards and failed to convert on four out of five trips to the red zone, proving that the red-zone offense has not improved and the run defense will need work heading into Week 4.

Dallas Cowboys Offensive Woes in Red Zone

A big question heading into Week 3 was whether or not Dallas would be able to be more effective in the red zone. The answer? No. The offense was able to make their way down the field consistently, but things came to a halt within the 20. Quarterback Dak Prescott credited the lack of productivity in the red zone for the loss.

“When you look at this loss, we moved the ball up and down the field and just couldn’t score,” Prescott said. “We’ve gotta get back to the drawing board, and that starts with me making some throws and making some plays with my feet to try and get it done. We didn’t convert in the red zone. That’s the story of this game. Period.”

The backup linemen in for the Cowboys often led the team to fear dropback passing, instead deciding to run out heavy personnel packages and heavily tip their hand at running.

A combination of pressure from the defense and Prescott being rattled from the consistent failure to block up front forced him to move around and throw off platform, leading to incompletions and his first pick of the season in the red zone.

Run Defense Struggles

In addition to the troubling red-zone offense, the run defense proved to be another hurdle the Cowboys could not quite get over on Sunday.

The defense faced adversity with the loss of Trevon Diggs, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.

While the biggest run play on the day from the Cardinals came on an inside zone run by Rondale Moore, their most consistent form of offense came in the power run game with James Conner.

The Cardinals gave a variety of looks in the power game, and the line executed well on many of the runs. Oftentimes, the pullers were in the right place at the right time to open up seams for the running backs.

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On the Cowboys’ end, the second level failed to fill the run well and missed tackles. The worst example was the Moore touchdown, where safety Jayron Kearse got caught taking a bad angle.

There were a few instances of the Cowboys defenders getting distracted by the pre-snap window dressing and not being in the right place to make a play by filling their assigned gap or hole.

While there was a lot of optimism for this team heading into Week 3, the loss of Diggs and the lack of depth on the offensive line without Zack Martin, Tyler Biadasz, and Tyron Smith were definitely felt.

Going into Week 4, the Cowboys will need to learn from these failures to have a chance at defeating New England.

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