The Dallas Cowboys were favorites to win the NFC East at the start of the season per the NFL futures odds, but it’s going to be difficult for this team to live up to those expectations without their star quarterback. Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury is a crushing blow for the Cowboys. Prescott was having a career season with over 1,800 yards through five games, and they will now have to turn to Andy Dalton to get the job done. This team does play in the worst division in football though, so their postseason hopes aren’t shot yet, and they have a good chance to pick up a win against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
NFL Odds at Bookmaker.eu
Arizona Cardinals -2
Dallas Cowboys +2
Signing Dalton in the spring might save Dallas’ season. Dalton has a ton of experience from his time as a starter with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he was never awful in the Queen City. The Red Rifle threw for over 30,000 yards in his nine seasons there, so it’s not like the Cowboys are putting their faith in an inexperienced rookie.
Additionally, there is a ton of talent around Dalton. He has better players surrounding him than he ever did in Cincinnati, including what is probably the best receiving corps in the NFL. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup were already very good as a duo but drafting CeeDee Lamb took this position group to a completely different level. The trio have combined to catch 85 passes for 1,205 yards and four touchdowns through five games, and all three receivers are currently on pace to finish the year with over 1,000 receiving yards.
With Prescott out for the year, Dallas will need more from Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott has been rather pedestrian this season, averaging just 4.1 YPC, and he has yet to surpass 100 yards in a single game. In his first four seasons, Elliott looked like the best running back in the league, but he has fallen off somewhat and continues to have trouble holding onto the ball with three fumbles in 89 carries.
Arizona’s defense is looking considerably stronger than it did last year. The Cardinals rank fifth in scoring defense (20.4 PPG) and 10th in total defense (346.6 YPG) coming into this game, but they just lost their best pass rusher for the season. Chandler Jones suffered a right biceps injury against the New York Jets last week, depriving Arizona of a player that had 19 sacks in 2019.
Kyler Murray has looked sharp through the first five games of his second season. The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 1,299 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He continues to be an elite runner, averaging 7.2 YPC to have nearly as many rushing yards as Kenyan Drake in less than half the carries.
Murray has the benefit of throwing to one of the top three receivers in the NFL. DeAndre Hopkins might have his best season yet in the desert, as he has 45 receptions for 528 yards in 2020. He has more than three times as many yards as the next leading receiver on the Cardinals, so he should be targeted often against a Dallas defense that ranks dead last in scoring defense.
The Cowboys have allowed at least 34 points in each of their last four games. They have played some quality offenses during that time, but they surrendered 34 points to the Giants last week. While there are a lot of big names in the front seven, many of those players look to be past their prime.
Cardinals at Cowboys NFL Betting Prediction
Dallas is going to have a lot of value in the coming weeks. Many people are going to write off the Cowboys, but Dalton isn’t a bad quarterback, and he should put up big numbers considering all the talent around him. The Cowboys are going to pull off the upset on Monday, and this team stands a good chance of going into its bye week with a winning record.
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