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For most of the first half, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys still had a hangover from the Denver trip. The offense had struggled to move the football and Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer was having his way with the Cowboys secondary. In the end, Dallas turned it around in the second half, outscoring the Cardinals 21-10 in the second half en route to a 28-17 victory.

It was a good bounce back win after what happened at Mile High. Here’s a look back at what happened on the field tonight.

DeMarcus Lawrence Has Been The Best Defensive Player So Far This Season

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The Cowboys were able to get six sacks on Carson Palmer tonight, with half of those coming from DeMarcus Lawrence. He has simply been on a tear through the first three games of the season, becoming the third player in NFL history to record multiple sacks in the first three games.

For a team that wasn’t able to generate much of a pass rush a year ago, this has been a welcome improvement for the Dallas defense. He made life miserable for Cardinals offensive lineman Jared Veldheer and forced Palmer to be uncomfortable even when he wasn’t making a sack.

Honorable mention goes out to Maliek Collins (two sacks) and Tyrone Crawford (one sack) for stepping up as well. If Lawrence continues to play at a torrid pace and get double teamed, those two will be among the guys that will have to step up.

Secondary Still Has Work To Do

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For the first quarter of the game Monday night, Carson Palmer was slinging the ball pretty much wherever he wanted to, especially with Larry Fitzgerald. The veteran receiver had a huge night (13 catches, 149 yards, TD) and Palmer got off to a hot start completing his first eleven passes of the game.

The Cowboys secondary was banged up entering the game and had their struggles to start. To their credit, they did improve as the game went on but it’s a unit that will have to step up and be better given the fact they go up against a much-improved Jared Goff and Aaron Rodgers over the next two weeks.

Offense Has A Flair For The Dramatic

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The first two games of the season were a struggle offensively and it looked like that it was going to be the case in the first half of Monday night’s game. But, after the Cardinals came away with empty handed on their second drive, the Cowboys started to get back on track thanks in part to the play of Dak Prescott.

Prescott made good decisions with his arm and legs as he front-flipped into the end zone for the first score of the game from Dallas.

Then, there was the second touchdown by Lufkin’s own Dez Bryant, who showed an impressive display of #bEASTtexas strength dragging multiple Cardinals defenders into the end zone.

Finally, there was Prescott’s tremendous throw on the run to Brice Butler, who did a tremendous job of high-pointing the ball into the end zone for the third touchdown of the night. Butler would add another great catch in the later stages of the fourth quarter that set up Ezekiel Elliott’s first touchdown run of the season that sealed the win.

At times, it wasn’t pretty. That said, the Cowboys defense made enough big plays when they needed to to get the job done.

More Concerns With Injuries

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The health of the Cowboys on the defensive side of the ball was an issue entering Monday night’s game and now there may be even more lingering issues to follow.

Rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis had been fighting a hamstring injury all preseason and Sean Lee left Monday night’s game with a similar injury. As of when this article gets published, both players say they’ll be fine but those kind of injuries can be a pain to deal with. We’ll see what happens moving forward.

 

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