The Dallas Cowboys travel to Arizona in Week 3 to take on the Cardinals in a prime-time Monday night match-up. Kickoff will be at 8:30 PM EST on Monday, September 25 at University of Phoenix Stadium. The game is being nationally broadcast on ESPN.
The Cowboys are currently listed as 3 point road favorites. That line is almost unchanged from earlier this week, where Arizona opened at +3.5. The over/under for the game is 47 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 3 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Cowboys vs Cardinals Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
Dallas looked absolutely awful last week against the Broncos, losing 42-17 and allowing Trevor Siemian to throw for four touchdowns. To be fair to the Cowboys, they did travel to Denver with an extremely banged-up secondary that was already missing Orlando Scandrick before losing both Nolan Carroll and Chidobe Awuzie relatively early in the game. Dallas also allowed C.J. Anderson to rush for 100+ yards . However, it was the Cowboys struggles on offense that were the biggest surprise last weekend. Denver always plays extremely tough at home, but Dallas struggled to establish any sort of meaningful pressure all afternoon long. Dak Prescott was an extremely inefficient 30-50 on completion attempts and also threw two interceptions while Ezekiel Elliot only managed eight rushing yards on nine carries. Of course, he was also the subject of extra scrutiny all week after appearing to completely quit on his teammates mid-play after Prescott turned the ball over to Denver cornerback Chris Harris.
Arizona certainly has a lot of problems too, as they barely escaped with a win in Indianapolis last weekend. The Cardinals looked to miss star RB David Johnson immensely, and trailed the Colts for much of the game before Palmer found streaky WR J.J. Nelson in the end zone halfway through the 4th quarter. Despite coming away with a much-need victory, it’s certainly hard to put any trust in an offense that had to mount a late comeback just to force OT against a Colts team playing without Andrew Luck and Vontae Davis. Arizona did look slightly better on defense after allowing 35 points to Detroit in Week 1, although Jacoby Brissett is certainly much easier to contain than Matthew Stafford.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Cowboys -3
This is definitely a pretty tough spot for both teams, as the Cardinals are relatively one-dimensional without David Johnson while Dallas is likely going to be missing two of their top cornerbacks. The reason I’m giving a slight edge to the Cowboys in this game is largely related to just how badly they were embarrassed against the Broncos in Week 2. Prescott has admitted he needs to be much better, while Elliot has come out with a public apology stating that he knows his behaviour was unacceptable. Both will be extremely motivated this week to avoid facing increased media scrutiny for a second week in a row. I can see the Cowboys coming out with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, especially in a prime time game on ESPN.
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Although both of these teams are 1-1, Dallas did look pretty good against the Giants back in Week 1. However, the Cardinals haven’t really looked all that great against either Detroit or Indianapolis. Without a massive game from J.J. Nelson against the Colts, Arizona would have likely been 0-2 heading into this Monday Night Football match-up. Carson Palmer definitely looks his age, and WR Larry Fitzgerald struggled in what many deemed as a cupcake match-up against a weak Colts secondary. I can’t see the tandem of Chris Johnson and Kerwynn Williams having much success against a usually stout Dallas defence, so Palmer and Co. will likely be forced to air it out early and often on Monday.
Assuming this Dallas secondary can play marginally better this week in spite of all their injuries, I think the Cowboys should come away with a road victory this week. Dallas also travels well, and I expect the building to have a ton of Cowboys fans who made the relatively short trip out to Glendale. Dez Bryant will be in tough against Patrick Peterson, but Cole Beasley should help pick up the slack with an easier match-up in the slot. This should be a somewhat low scoring affair, and I would be really surprised if the total went much over the expected number of 47 points. Look for Dallas to come away with a 4-6 point victory before heading back home for Week 4.