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Offensive Line Can't Protect Carson Palmer

Notes: Cards quarterback sacked six times; Dawson's critical miss; Seals-Jones elevated


Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was under duress too often on Monday against the Cowboys.

When he was in a rhythm, quarterback Carson Palmer was excellent on Monday night against the Cowboys, but those moments were too few and far between as the game moved along.

After a hot start, the Cardinals' offense slowed down considerably the final three quarters, in large part due to below average protection. Palmer was sacked six times and pressured many more, limiting a passing game which was finally finding its footing.

"We had guys open at times and just didn't get them because we couldn't throw the ball," coach Bruce Arians said.

While Arians didn't lay blame on individual players, the right side of the line, featuring Evan Boehm and Jared Veldheer, seemed like the weak link for a second straight week. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had three sacks and six quarterback hits, and he was often lined up against Veldheer.

Veldheer is a veteran who found a lot of success at left tackle in the past but is struggling after a position switch.

"I need to block my guy," Veldheer said. "It doesn't matter where I am. My job is to block the guy."

Palmer finished the game 29-of-48 passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns, but there were times when the offense became stagnant because he was either sacked or threw the ball away. Left tackle D.J. Humphries and left guard Mike Iupati didn't play in the games due to injuries, which also contributed to the struggles.

"We will keep working," Palmer said.


The Cardinals were primed to go up by double-digits after a hot start, but a hold by Veldheer wiped away a touchdown, and then a 36-yard field goal attempt by kicker Phil Dawson went wide right. Dawson has now missed a field goal in every game this season: a 32-yarder against the Lions and a 42-yard game-winning attempt against the Colts in addition to the one on Monday.

"I'm not executing to the level I need to right now, and I'm not making any excuses for it," Dawson said.

Dawson was signed in free agency to bring stability to the kicking game after Chandler Catanzaro's  erratic 2016, but it's been more of the same thus far. Dawson only missed three field goals in both 2015 and 2016.

"Let's hope that's true this year," Dawson said.

Arians was unhappy with the kicking and the punting. Andy Lee punted six times for 271 yards, an average of 45.2 yards with a net of 38.0.

"We have to do better jobs there," Arians said.


Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones was elevated to the active roster before the game after spending the first two weeks on the practice squad. Linebacker Phillip Wheeler was released to make room.

Practice squad offensive tackle Ulrick John is also reportedly going to be signed to the Packers' active roster, which would leave the Cardinals with two practice squad openings.

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