Dak needs to bounce back

Cowboys To Bounce Back Against Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys face off in the final week three contest on Monday Night Football.

The Cardinals got off the mark last week by staging a comeback win over the Indianapolis Colts. Bruce Arians’ men fell behind early in the contest, but brought themselves back before snatching the victory in overtime at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Dallas were brought back down to earth from their opening-day win over the New York Giants. The NFC East side were hammered by the Denver Broncos on the road, pulling them back to 1-1.

Ezekiel Elliott was shut down in the running game, while Dak Prescott had difficulty mastering the Denver defense. The loss could a welcome wake-up call for the Cowboys, but they will have to find their form against a stout Cardinal defense.

Jason Garrett’s men also had their issues on the defensive side of the ball. Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for four touchdowns in the contest, exposing the secondary. Facing Carson Palmer could be the perfect remedy, but there’s a challenge ahead.

Arizona will be alarmed by the form of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West. It raises the urgency for them to improve their standard of play to stave off their threat in the division.

We’ll now break down the contest looking at both teams’ start to the season along with the latest betting odds for the clash at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Arizona Cardinals

Palmer needs to improve

The form of Palmer has been a concern for the last season. The 37-year-old was outstanding in the 2015 campaign as he drove the club to the NFC Championship game. However, he took a large step back last season as Arians’ men suffered a drop back into mediocrity.

There was hope that Palmer would return to his best for the start of the term. However, it appears age and the lack of quality in the receiving corp is affecting his play. Palmer struggled against the Lions in the opener, throwing three interceptions and another followed against the Colts.

The pressure has been elevated on the quarterback to carry the offense given David Johnson’s injury. The 24-year-old was an All-Pro at running back last season and provided a dual-threat running the ball as well as catching out of the backfield.

There’s no quality safety net for Palmer to rely on, and although Larry Fitzgerald still remains a quality player – there’s not a great deal of talent outside of him. JJ Nelson raised the level of his game against Indianapolis, and the Cardinals need that level of production on a weekly basis.

Arizona have not missed the presence of Calais Campbell on their defense. Chandler Jones has enjoyed a strong start to the term, notching three sacks. The defensive end has started well in the past, but has to sustain his form for the rest of the campaign.

Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu are the true stars of the Cardinals’ defense. They improved against the Colts, but will face a stern examination against the Cowboys. Given the problems on the offense the duo cannot afford to be anything other than an All-Pro form until Palmer returns to his best.

Dallas Cowboys

Dak needs to bounce back

The Cowboys were stunned by the performance of the Broncos at Mile High. Dallas’ offensive line has been one of the most dominant units in the NFL in recent seasons. However, they were unable to get a semblance of a push to move the Broncos off the line to create space for Elliott.

Therefore Dallas’ best player had arguably the worst display of his career. Elliott also appeared to have issues with his attitude, although the current confusion over his availability due to an ongoing court battle with the NFL could explain his problems.

With Elliott failing to make an impact in the game, the pressure was on Prescott to rise to the occasion.  Denver’s secondary the ‘No Fly Zone’ shut down the passing game and forced the quarterback into mistakes that he has not made during his fledgling career.

Prescott has not known a great deal of failure in the NFL. For the first time since he was elevating into the starting role last season, there will be expectations of him to bounce back. He has a strong character and should be able to find his feet again.

Defensively the Cowboys were downright atrocious against Siemian and company. The third-year quarterback dissected Dallas’ secondary with ease, highlighting the issues with depth.

DeMarcus Lawrence committed several penalties over the course of the contest, including an error that led to a touchdown. Rod Marinelli’s unit are young in a lot of areas and will use the loss as a learning experience.

However, they have a point to prove against the Cardinals. If they fail to combat Arizona’s passing attack there will be questions about the defense perhaps being the cause of the team’s downfall this season.

Betting Options

At the start of the season this was scheduled to be a duel between two of the best running backs in the NFL. Cardinals back Johnson is ruled out until December, while Elliott looks far from his best due to his off-the-field issues.

However, it should be an enthralling contest as both sides have quality, but also deficiencies that could lead to drama at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers are not stacked with talent, but managed to combine for arguably the game of the season thus far on Thursday Night Football. This game could follow a similar pattern with the team that makes the fewest mistakes, winning the contest.

Dallas were disappointing in their defeat at the hands of the Broncos and do have the talent to be a lot better than their last outing. Therefore back them at odds of -160   with TopBet sportsbook to bounce back to claim the victory.

The -5.5 spread is enticing for the Cowboys, who have the offensive weapons to win by a clear margin if they find their peak form. Take the -5.5 at odds of +138   with BetVictor.

Dez Bryant had a disappointing game against the Broncos as he failed to beat off the attention of Aqib Talib. He will face another challenge against Peterson this week, but backing the wideout at odds of +138   with William Hill to score anytime is excellent value.

Tips Summary

Dallas Cowboys To Beat Arizona Cardinals
Monday 25th September 2017 20:30 ET (Tuesday 26th September 2017 01:30 BST)
Odds: -160

Dallas Cowboys To Cover -5.5 Spread
Monday 25th September 2017 20:30 ET (Tuesday 26th September 2017 01:30 BST)
Odds: +138

Dez Bryant To Score Touchdown Anytime
Monday 25th September 2017 20:30 ET (Tuesday 26th September 2017 01:30 BST)
Odds: +138

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