NFL Sneak Peek – Week 9 – Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys

It will be strength versus strength when the Dallas hosts Arizona. Dallas is the best rushing team in the NFL and have used the ground game to jump out to a lead in the NFC East. The Cardinals lead NFC West rivals San Francisco and Seattle, in large part, because they’ve stopped the run better than any other squad in the NFL. Arizona has won three straight meetings against Dallas including two overtime wins. But the Cardinals have not played in Dallas since 2005.


It will be strength versus strength when the Dallas hosts Arizona. Dallas is the best rushing team in the NFL and have used the ground game to jump out to a lead in the NFC East. The Cardinals lead NFC West rivals San Francisco and Seattle, in large part, because they’ve stopped the run better than any other squad in the NFL. Arizona has won three straight meetings against Dallas including two overtime wins. But the Cardinals have not played in Dallas since 2005.

This will mark the third straight home game for the Cowboys who will travel to Jacksonville in week 10 and then have a bye. After Dallas the week 9 tilt with Arizona, the Cowboys only play two more home games this season (compared to five on the road). This game will come on a short week for Dallas, who play on Monday Night Football against the Redskins in week 8. Dallas is 3-1 at home this season. After losing to the 49ers 28-17 to begin the year, the Boys have won home games against New Orleans (38-17), Houston (20-17 in overtime), and the Giants (31-21).

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians helped turnaround the Colts as the interim head coach two years ago and, thus far, all he has done in Arizona is win. The Cardinals are 2-1 on the road with convincing wins over the Giants and Raiders. They lost 41-20 at Denver, but it should be noted that the Cardinals were down to third string QB Logan Thomas by the end of that game. Arizona is 7-3-1 against the spread away from home over the past two years.

Despite having an outstanding record to start the year, the Cardinals are below average on offense (averaging a paltry 317 yards per game, fifth worst in the league) and very poor defending the pass (giving up 284 yards per game, second worst in the NFL). However, Arizona is among the best in the NFL in turnover margin and have made the most of their extra possessions. Ted Ginn Jr. has also been electric on special teams; he has the Cardinals averaging over 13 yards per punt return – third best in the league – and sparked a comeback win against the Giants with a punt return TD.

Before traveling to Dallas, Arizona will host the Eagles in week 8. Trying to stop a resurgent Shady McCoy will be a good warm-up for facing the NFL’s leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, in week 9. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, even if they do shut down the Dallas run game, Tony Romo is looking better by the week and Dez Bryant has been an absolute terror for defensive backs. The Cardinals, who are currently 27th in the league in sacks with just seven through six games, will have to find a way to make life more difficult for Romo if they want to come out of Big D with a big W.