Dak Prescott had a slow start Monday night but rallied the Dallas Cowboys to a 28-17 win.
The offense went three-and-out on its first two drives and looked out of sync early. But Prescott showed his grit and competitiveness late in the second quarter, rushing for a 10-yard touchdown that ended with him flipping over a couple of Cardinals defensive backs and into the end zone.
It tied the game at 7-7 and sparked what had been a lackluster half for the Cowboys.
Prescott had six rushing touchdowns a season ago as a rookie, the most by a quarterback in franchise history. Monday’s touchdown marked his first rushing score of this season.
Prescott completed 13 of 18 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns to go along with his rushing touchdown.
The Cowboys have struggled to establish a running game so far this season and didn’t have much success early against the Cardinals.
Ezekiel Elliott had eight carries for 31 yards, including a season-long 30-yarder. The other seven runs combined to go for a total of 1 yard.
Elliott finished the game with 80 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown.
A seemingly weekly story is the Cowboys’ efforts to generate a pass rush. They had their spurts in the first half Monday.
DeMarcus Lawrence continued his standout season with a sack early in the second half. He got around Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham for a 6-yard sack of Carson Palmer.
It could have been his second of the day, too, but one in the first half was wiped away with a penalty.
Lawrence has joined Mark Gastineau and Kevin Greene as the only players to register more than one sack in each of their opening three games of a season.
Lawrence would add two sacks to finish with three.
Defensive tackle Maliek Collins had his first solo sack of the season, getting to Palmer in the second quarter. Collins tackled Palmer for a 7-yard loss on third down, forcing Arizona to punt and setting up a short field for the offense.
Later in the quarter, Tyrone Crawford got his first sack of the season on a 6-yard loss. It came on a play after a would-be sack by Lawrence was wiped away by a penalty.
The Cowboys entered the game with five sacks in their first two games, including an NFC-leading 3.5 by Lawrence. Collins now has 1.5 sacks, with Charles Tapper and Tyrone Crawford with one a piece.
Tapper, though, was among the inactives for the Cowboys. They opted to stick with rookie Taco Charlton even though the first-round pick entered the game with a total of one tackle in two games.
The Cowboys entered the game light at cornerback with Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) and Nolan Carroll (concussion) out with injuries.
Orlando Scandrick returned after missing last week’s game with a fractured hand, although he exited briefly in the first half with cramps.
Carson Palmer took advantage by completing his first 11 passes, including leading a scoring drive of 82 yards to start the game. Palmer was five-of-five for 78 yards on that drive capped with a 25-yard touchdown to Jaron Brown.
Brown beat Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown for the score.
Other than that scoring drive, though, the Cowboys defense contained the Cardinals.
Dez Bryant played in his 100th career game and it was a special one.
Bryant caught a 15-yard touchdown in the third quarter. It was the 69th of his career.
No. 69 was a gritty one as Bryant dragged four defenders into the end zone from the 4 yard line.