Maybe Kyler Murray will lose a game on the home field of the Dallas Cowboys one of these days.
It was not going to be on Monday, when the Arizona quarterback watched the star running back of his hometown team have another night of “fumble-itis.”
Murray accounted for three touchdowns in his first game back home as a professional and Ezekiel Elliott set up the visiting team’s first two touchdowns with fumbles as the Cardinals beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-10.
The speedy quarterback, who won three high-school championships and a Big 12 title at the home of the Cowboys, improved to 7-0 as a starter at AT&T Stadium, throwing for two scores, despite a rough start through the air, and rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.
“That’s not easy when that’s what everyone has been talking about all week,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “He’s probably had this one circled on his calendar since it came out, but I thought he handled himself well.”
It was the Monday Night Football debut for Murray, a star while playing in the Dallas suburbs, and Kingsbury, who also had a happy first trip to his native Texas as an NFL coach.
“It was fun, brought back a lot of memories,” Murray said. “Felt like I’ve been playing there every Sunday honestly. It’s comfortable, felt good.”
Andy Dalton had the rest of Dallas’ four turnovers, with two interceptions in his first start for the Cowboys in place of the injured Dak Prescott.
The nine-year starter in Cincinnati led a come-from-behind victory over the New York Giants after a compound fracture of Prescott’s right ankle. There was not anything resembling a rally this time.
While the Dallas offense did not look anything close to the unit it was with Prescott, Elliott’s miscues led to the fifth straight game in which the Cowboys have trailed by at least two touchdowns.
The Cowboys (2-4) overcame two of those deficits, which is why they were guaranteed to stay in first place in the woeful National Football Conference East no matter what happened in the last of three straight home games.
“The record, it is what it is right now, the division is what it is right now, but it’s still early,” Dalton said. “There’s a lot of football left to be played and for us, we’ve got to improve as a football team.”
Elliott was benched briefly after the two-time rushing champion lost a second fumble in the same game for the first time in his career.
He has five fumbles (four lost) already this season — one shy of his career high for an entire season.
Murray misfired on eight of his first 11 passes and finished nine of 24 for 188 yards.
“It wasn’t as good as it should have been,” Murray said. “Wasn’t as accurate as I should have been. Wasn’t up to par for my standards, so I’ve got to be better.”
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