Cardinals making mockery of quarterback situation
The on-field product was dismal, but equally to blame is how the front office and coaching staff handled its quarterback situation.
Despite entering the week with a capable veteran quarterback in Josh Dobbs, as well as a supposedly healthy Kyler Murray ready to make his return, the Cardinals made the baffling decision to trade Dobbs, leave Murray on the sidelines, and start rookie fifth-round draft pick Clayton Tune.
It ended, predictably, in an absolute disaster of an offensive performance that made everybody involved look awful.
Tune completed just 11-of-20 passes for 58 yards and two interceptions, while the Cardinals as a team managed just 58 yards of total offense for the game.
The performance was historically inept, and beyond that, made it clear to everyone watching that the Cardinals aren’t thinking seriously about fielding the best lineup they can.
When the Cardinals traded Dobbs (for a sixth-round pick in 2024) on Tuesday it seemed likely the trade was going to open the door for Murray to make his debut after recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered late last season.
Dobbs had filled in admirably to open the year, gave the Cardinals a chance on most weeks, and played like a competent NFL quarterback. If the Cardinals were planning on Murray returning to marshal the offense on Sunday, dealing Dobbs might have made some sense.
But to trade him for so little before Murray was ready to return meant that, in effect, Clayton Tune was set up for failure from the start. It was made even worse by the fact that while the Cardinals offense was doing nothing, Dobbs was leading an improbable comeback for the Minnesota Vikings despite not even knowing his new team’s plays or the names of his new teammates.
The kindest read on the situation is that this is a strategic decision by the Cardinals’ front office to tank for draft position. Tune is clearly the worst of the three quarterbacks, and it is hard to think of any other reason why he would get a start for this — or any — game, especially if Murray is healthy.