- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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Overall, the Cardinals ranked near the bottom of the league in total offense (25th), rushing (28th) and middle of the pack in passing (15) and points per game overall (15th).
Star receiver Larry Fitzgerald is tied for 48th in receiving with just 30 catches for 443 yards and two touchdowns. But in last week's victory over Philadelphia, Fitzgerald caught seven passes for 160 yards including a career-long 80-yard touchdown reception.
Rookie wideout John Brown had five catches for a career-high 119 yards.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is trying to get his defense ready minus weakside linebacker (and leading tackler) Justin Durant (season-ending biceps surgery). The team is coming off a season-high three-sack game against Washington.
"I just think obviously, a heck of a player for us, really terrific player and having a great year," Marinelli said of Durant. "It's part of the business, we got other guys stepping up and you have an opportunity to work with them and other guys have to step up that where it is. Each guy has to bring their game up a little bit more."
Marinelli saw positive things from his defensive line last week particularly from defensive tackle Henry Melton, who picked up two sacks and overall the Cowboys had eight tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries against a third-string quarterback in Colt McCoy.
What will Marinelli's group do against Carson Palmer, a veteran of 12 NFL seasons?
"Usually what it comes down to is alignment, assignment, key and technique," he said. "Every defense, every call. If we’re on our alignments, we’re on our keys, we’re on the proper technique and we’re hustling, we’ll play good. So it’s consistent throughout. Some you can see bigger than others. Sometimes we’ll see a guy get hooked for a 5-yard run, shouldn’t happen. Alignment."