Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals
Former divisional rivals face off as the Dallas Cowboys travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football in Week 3. Neither team is too thrilled with the start to their season as each sit with a 1-1 record. The Cardinals needed overtime to defeat the winless Indianapolis Colts and the Cowboys were just embarrassed by the Denver Broncos in Week 2.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had his first multi-interception game of his career in their beatdown and the Cardinals needed a pick of their own to set up the win.
These teams know each other well, and this should be a good contest on Monday Night Football.
Dallas Keys To Victory
Let the game flow: It seems like the major issue Dallas is having on offense is trying to force the ball to receiver Dez Bryant. It ended in disaster more than once against Denver and can’t continue. What made them so dangerous last season was that everyone could beat opponents. They need to get back to that approach and if it’s not there with Bryant, so be it.
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Establish the run game: The biggest problem in their loss was the way Ezekiel Elliott was stuffed. Eight yards in nine attempts is just sad, but they can’t let that deter them. Stick with it and good things will com.
Stay disciplined in coverage: The worst thing about the Cowboys game against Denver was how bad their zone coverage was. The Broncos receivers found openings with ease and allowed an average quarterback in Trevor Siemian to look like an All-Pro. At this stage of his career, Carson Palmer is an average quarterback. Dallas can’t give the same free plays to Palmer, or the result will be the same.
Arizona Keys To Victory
Control the clock: One thing Dallas likes to do is run the ball and control the clock. One thing they hate is when other teams do that successfully to them. The Cardinals will need to rely on running backs Chris Johnson and Kerwynn Williams to keep their offense on the field — thus keeping Prescott and company out of rhythm.
Expose the pass coverage: As we all saw last week, Dallas still stinks in pass coverage. The return of cornerback Orlando Scandrick will help them, but the middle of the field was open all day for Denver. Palmer needs to work that part of the field and take advantage of what’s there.
Be the aggressor on defense: While Dallas has a massive offensive line, they’re not perfect. They struggled being bullied in Week 2 as they were used to being the bullies. The men up front need to win this one for Arizona. If they can be the aggressors and have Dallas’ offensive line on their heels, good things can happen.
Point Spread: Dallas -3
Moneyline: Dallas -119, Arizona -102
Odds via Sportsbook Review
The sky isn’t falling in Dallas. Sure, the consensus is Prescott is terrible, Elliott is out of shape and the defense is atrocious. Well, the defense is still a work in progress, but the other two are just knee jerk reactions to a terrible game.
Dallas has way more weapons than Arizona and with running back David Johnson injured. There’s not much left on offense outside of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Still, Dallas will make this much closer than it should be as they let Palmer look 10 years younger before winning it in the fourth.
Final Score: Dallas Cowboys: 31, Arizona Cardinals: 27