Monday, October 19, 2020, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 8:15 p.m. ET
Cardinals at Cowboys Betting Preview: Cardinals (-1.5), Cowboys (+1.5)
Kyler Murray is keeping his feelings under wraps, but the Cardinals quarterback would like to put on a show in his first NFL appearance in the Dallas area. Murray was a high school legend in the area and won three state titles at AT&T Stadium and figures to have both his arm and nimble legs ready against a Cowboys defense allowing a whopping 36 points per game.
Murray passed for a career-best 380 yards last Sunday in Arizona’s 30-10 road victory over the New York Jets. He has thrown for 1,299 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions while also recording 296 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Wideout DeAndre Hopkins has been a force for the Cardinals and leads the NFL in receptions (45) and receiving yardage (528). The move from the Houston Texans to Arizona has been pleasing for Hopkins, who has been running deeper routes in his short time with the franchise. The Cardinals have been thin at safety, but it is possible that both Jalen Thompson (out last four games with an ankle injury) and Chris Banjo (out two games, hamstring) could return against Dallas.
Arizona sustained a huge blow when star linebacker Chandler Jones was lost Sunday with a season-ending torn biceps. There is no way to replace a player who had a career-best 19 sacks last season and tied for the league lead with eight forced fumbles.
Andy Dalton takes over at quarterback after the horrific ankle injury sustained by Dak Prescott, and the Cowboys don’t expect a drop-off. That might seem overly optimistic considering the great start Prescott was enjoying (league-best 1,856 yards), but Dallas coach Mike McCarthy sees a highly productive nine-year NFL starter in Dalton and reasons the team should be able to move the ball. The Cowboys have been one of the top offensive teams through five games as they lead the NFL in total offense (488 yards per game) and rank third in scoring (32.6 points per game).
Running back Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for 364 yards and five touchdowns but has averaged only 15 carries over the past three games. That number figures to rise closer to the 22 rushing attempts he had in both of the first two contests of the season as Dallas would like to avoid getting into a shootout without Prescott. Another factor under the radar is that offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has to adjust Dalton’s strengths while attempting to keep the offensive tempo and production at the same rate.
The Dallas defense has been easy to move the ball against — it ranks 27th in total defense (404.4 yards per game) — and part of the reason for the issues has been an injury to Leighton Vander Esch. The standout linebacker has missed the past four games with a broken collarbone but has returned to practice and might be activated off injured reserve.
Cardinals at Cowboys Betting Pick for Week 6
The realization will hit in pregame warmups that the Cowboys’ star quarterback is missing. Dalton has been through the wars, so he will handle the moment fine, but the change from Prescott to him is major.
The Cardinals will look to quicken the pace and make the game an offensive shootout. Murray and Hopkins should be able to find some big plays against a Dallas defense that has been too soft too many times this season.
Cardinals at Cowboys Betting Pick:
Cardinals 34, Cowboys 27
Cardinals at Cowboys Best Bet for Week 6
Murray isn’t returning home expecting to play in a close-to-the-vest, defensive-minded game. Dallas is still very capable of putting points on the board without Prescott, so the over is looking like a fine play.
Cardinals at Cowboys Best Bet: OVER 55 total points (-110)
–Field Level Media