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Arizona Cardinals defensive formations vs. Dallas Cowboys

A look at how they grouped their personnel on defense.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals were on the field for 59 plays on defense. They showed some new things in the 28-17 win. I finished charting how the defense lined up. Here is how it looked.

The most common look the Cardinals gave the Cowboys was a 4-3 formation. It was the first time they showed it all year. They lined up that way (four down linemen and three linebackers) 18 times. To start the game, Deone Bucannon was in the game as an actual safety.

Four of those 4-3 plays were in a sort of nickel package. Instead of two corners and two safeties, they had three corners and one safety. It was almost like a 4-4 concept with a nickel application.

Speaking of 4-4, the Cardinals lined up three times with a 4-4 set -- eight men in the box.

Four times they lined up in their 3-4 base they have run for a few years now.

However, with all the talk of their four-man lines, they still ran their dime packages more than anything else. They lined up in dome 32 times. Half of the plays were with three linemen and two linebackers and half were with two linemen and three linebackers.

On one play -- the key fourth down stuff -- the Cardinals put their goalline unit on the field. That has all five active defensive linemen, four linebackers and two defensive backs -- Rashad Johnson and Deone Bucannon. Bucannon got the tackle.

There was one other play that surprised me. They lined up with a 2-4 nickel set once.