The Arizona Cardinals first home game of the preseason was ugly but it was a win for the Cardinals. In a game that featured 6 turnovers, the Cardinals defense bent but did not break. The offense however left much to be desired with several missed opportunities.
Carson Palmer struggled against the Cowboys Tampa 2 completing only 7 of 15 passes for 66 yards and was unable to lead the team to any touchdowns despite being in the red zone several times. He did connect with Larry Fitzgerald three times for 44 yards, a very encouraging sign after last season. Despite the lack of red zone productions there are still things to be happy about for Cardinals fans. Rashard Mendenhall was able to generate 32 yards on 7 carries and the starting offensive line gave up zero sacks and only a handful of pressures, something every Cardinal fan should be happy to see.
The starting defense again gave up yards and again came away with big plays. Special teams forced the first turnover but the defense created the next 5. Tony Romo and the Cowboys had little problem driving down the field with Dez Bryant abusing Jerraud Powers. Romo had a field day completing 7 of 10 passes for 147 yards. But it was Powers who had the last laugh with an INT against Kyle Orton and forcing a fumble while chasing down Dez Bryant.
The player of the game was Tony Jefferson who came away with several key tackles and 2 interceptions. Overall Arizona run defense played well allowing just 44 yards on 16 carries. The secondary was not as effective allowing 298 yards and 1 TD on 25 completions.
On offense Kerry Taylor of ASU had a field day catching 4 passes for 85 yards and making a case for why he should be on the roster. Charles Hawkins also made the most of 2 grabs collecting 55 yards. Jaron Brown also had a few grabs and looked good. Right now the Cardinals WR depth is making a case for why Bruce Arians won't need to check the waiver wire.
The sloppiness of the game reminds us at the Cardinals have a while to go and that it is preseason, however seeing a QB complete several passes to Fitzgerald is something to smile about.