NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 1 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 19, Dallas Cowboys 16

August 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Cardinals' Rondale Moore (85) breaks a tackle from Cowboys' Jourdan Lewis (26) after a reception during the first quarter at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Patrick Breen-The Republic Nfl Preseason Cardinals Vs Cowboys

In a game dominated by kickers, it was only fitting that Matt Prater won the game for the Arizona Cardinals with a 47-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Dallas Cowboys 19-16. Quarterback Chris Streveler led the Cardinals on an eight-play, 40-yard drive with only 51 seconds left to set Prater up for his game-winning kick.

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KEY STORYLINES

Michael Gallup All Over The Field – In Gallup’s 11 snaps on the field, he lined up in the slot on seven attempts and out wide on four attempts. On the flip side, Ceedee Lamb was out wide on all 12 attempts — a stark difference in how he was deployed in 2020, which was almost entirely in the slot. Gallup finished the night with two catches for 23 yards, including a 12-yard reception on fourth-and-10 to keep the Cowboys' second drive alive.

Rondale “Do It All” Moore Moore caught three of his four targets in the first half and also handled two carries. This could mean that Kliff Kingsbury intends to deploy Moore as a do-it-all type player in the regular season. He was utilized mainly in the slot in three-receiver sets (12 slot snaps vs. two snaps out wide), which could be how he’s used in the regular season given that DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green are primarily outside receivers.

Dorance Armstrong Flashes – The former 2018 fourth-round pick out of Kansas had himself a night, as he finished with two sacks and a batted pass. The Cowboys have yet to establish a legitimate third pass rusher to go along with DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory — Armstrong made a good case that he could be that guy tonight.

Chris Streveler Shows Rushing Ability – Streveler could potentially win the backup quarterback role behind Kyler Murray with a good preseason. He had four rushing first downs, including this impressive 23-yard run where he bulldozed Cowboys rookie safety Israel Mukuamu.

Cowboys Being More Aggressive – The Cowboys did kick three field goals in this game, but they also went for it on fourth down on four separate occasions, converting on three of them. Whether or not this continues into the regular season remains to be seen, but Mike McCarthy doing it in the preseason should be a welcome sign.

QB2 Up For Grabs In Dallas – While Garrett Gilbert may be the Cowboys' most experienced backup quarterback, he didn’t look particularly impressive tonight. Despite getting to play with the “starters,” Gilbert amassed a -0.178 expected points added (EPA) per pass. On the other hand, Cooper Rush had a 0.042 EPA per pass, and Ben DiNucci had a 0.465 EPA per pass as well as the only Cowboys passing touchdown of the night.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
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