The Dallas Cowboys were 13-point road favorites against the Arizona Cardinals -- and why wouldn't they be? Not only was the home team pegged as one of the NFL's bottom-feeders coming into the 2023 season, but starting 0-2 pushed Arizona's losing streak to nine games dating back to the 2022 campaign. Meanwhile, the Cowboys had beaten the Giants and Jets by a combined score of 70-10.
Easy Cowboys win in the desert, right? Nope.
Not at all, in fact.
The Cardinals ran amok against the Cowboys early, scoring on all five of their drives in the first half. Arizona's defense then played bend-don't-break perfectly, limiting Dallas to field goals and forcing a key turnover late in the fourth quarter to ice the game, winning 28-16.
It's an embarrassment for Dallas to not just lose, but lose that badly in that spot. And someone needs to take some blame for that loss. We have a good idea as to who, namely these three Cowboys.
Cowboys to blame for Cardinals loss, No. 3: Dak Prescott
The final box score line for Dak Prescott, all things considered, doesn't look too bad. If you removed the final score and saw that the Cowboys quarterback went 25-of-40 for 249 yards with one touchdown, one pick and 24 rushing yards, you'd probably have thought it was another fine day dominated by the defense.
That, however, was not the case for Dak.
Routinely throughout this game in Glendale, Prescott was missing throws. To make matters worse, it seemed as if the most crucial plays to be made in the game, whether that was on key third downs or in the red zone, the throws weren't remotely where they needed to be, or were poorly timed.
The cherry on top was the fourth-quarter interception that ultimately sealed the loss for Dallas. Prescott wasn't pressured too heavily, but still attempted to force a throw into the back of the end zone. Instead, one of the two defenders between the quarterback and intended target jumped up and picked it off.
Prescott's turnover woes from the 2022 season were well documented, but he'd been clean through the first two weeks of the season. That changed on Sunday at the worst moment. However, that game-defining interception was just a snapshot of an overall poor day from QB1. The Cowboys need him to make a quick pivot from this performance if they want to avoid further embarrassments after Week 3.