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Cowboys defense 'punched in the mouth' in loss


GLENDALE, Ariz. — On the heels of an historically poor effort in defending the run, the Dallas Cowboys suffered its first loss of the season to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday after giving up 222 yards on the ground.

It started early and often for the Arizona running game as its 182 rushing yards in the first half were the most given up by the Cowboys in a first half since 1991.

"We just weren't locked in with all 11," defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins said. "We weren't on the same page. Arizona did a good job of capitalizing on us. We definitely got switched up too many times."

Hankins described an out of character performance from the Dallas defense during the postgame availability, as it's something they can bounce back from moving forward.

"It's definitely a punch in the mouth," he said. "We didn't expect it to go down like this. That's definitely what happened today. We just gotta learn from it and not let it happen again."

"You gotta give those guys credit, they came out there and pushed us. They were just the better team today."

When asked about the inefficiency in defending the run, safety Jayron Kearse credited a good game plan from the Cardinals and poor execution from the Cowboys.

"They ran a lot of pull schemes," Kearse said. "They got downhill, didn't really attack us on the edges. A lot went wrong. It was bad football. It wasn't sound."

Another key part of the interior of the defensive line, Osa Odighizuwa, stated that the defense never found their stride which led to big plays and no takeaways for the first time this season.

"We were never in rhythm," Odighizuwa said. "We didn't do a good job stopping the run, inside or outside. We just gotta watch the film and do better."

Moving forward, Odighizuwa sees an opportunity to rebound early in the season with an opponent like New England looming in week four.

"We just gotta get back to our standard," he said. "Gotta get back to being the team that we know we can be. We just didn't execute at a high level."

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