There’s no need to watch preseason games to confirm that Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant are elite wide receivers, but they went ahead and offered evidence of it on Saturday afternoon anyway.
The Cowboys and Cardinals played a pretty sloppy first half in Arizona, which ended with the Cardinals up 9-0, but the two wideouts had several chances to flash their skills before the starting units were removed from the game. Fitzgerald, moving around the offense more than in the past in a similar role to the one that Reggie Wayne played for him in Indianapolis last season, caught three passes for 44 yards and had another significant gain wiped out by a holding penalty on left tackle Levi Brown.
Bryant had four catches for 74 yards, following up on a strong outing against the Raiders in last week’s game. One of the catches was an impressive grab against tight coverage from Patrick Peterson, who also saw some action on offense for Arizona, on a back shoulder throw by Tony Romo. The only blemish for Bryant came when he fumbled at the end of a 27-yard gain.
That was one of five first half turnovers for the Cowboys, who also saw Romo overthrow a wide open Terrance Williams down the sideline on a play that would have likely resulted in a touchdown. The Cardinals haven’t allowed one of those yet in the preseason, which is a good sign for their defense as the offense deals with some struggles of their own.
Arizona added a turnover of their own as well as a series that saw Carson Palmer, who was 7-of-15 overall, misfire on three straight passes. Palmer also had a fourth down incompletion on a throw at Rashard Mendenhall’s feet during a fairly lackluster performance. Throw in a shanked 30-yard field goal for Jay Feely and the performance of the two wideouts stands out even more.