Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys will face each other in the preseason game at State Farm Stadium on Friday evening. It is going to be the first preseason game for the Cardinals, while the Cowboys already played one match. However, they lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in last Thursday’s Hall of Fame clash.
These two sides head to the new season with the idea of improving their records. Last time, they didn’t enjoy much success – the Cardinals had an 8-8 record, while the Cowboys couldn’t do better than winning six times. Dallas’ form was severely affected by injuries, and they want to step up this time. Both teams hope for a better record this season and aim for a victory in their preseason matchup. It is going to be the premier match for the Cardinals, while the Cowboys want to celebrate a win after a failure in their first game.
Arizona Cardinals – Can they maintain a solid defense?
It is challenging to predict how the Cardinals will perform in the preseason, as this will be their first match after the break. However, their defense has always been pretty solid, and the cardinals might build their strategy based on that. They had a 39.4% blitz rate last season, which was the fourth-highest in the league. While testing the defensive capabilities of their less experienced players, Arizona Cardinals will search for the opportunity to stop the Cowboys’ sub-par offense. On the other hand, we shouldn’t expect to see J.J. Watt in the lineup. Reports say that the new joiner deals with a hamstring injury and will be sidelined for this clash. He is one of several defensive players facing injury troubles at the moment. Although the injury details are always slim during the preseason, there should be three fully ready defensive players: Michael Dogbe, Leki Fotu, and Cam Murray.
The preseason is one game short this time, as there will be three matches instead of four. Therefore, head coach Kliff Kingsbury wants to make his running backs comfortable with the system as soon as possible. Thus, James Conner and Chase Edmonds should use their time interchangeably. With a lot of wide receiver options, players will have the chance to impose themselves to the coach. The attackers shouldn’t lack motivation, and we might see a strong start from the Cardinals.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Chase Edmonds, JoJo Ward, KeeSean Johnson, Andre Baccellia, Maxx Williams, D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh, Rodney Hudson, Justin Murray, Kelvin Beachum
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Zach Allen, Rashard Lawrence, Jordan Phillips, Chandler Jones, Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons, Markus Golden, Byron Murphy Jr., Jalen Thompson, Budda Baker, Malcolm Butler
Quarter Back: Kyler Murray
Kicker: Matt Prater
with best odds
Dallas Cowboys – Who can fill Prescott’s boots?
The Cowboys head to this game after a loss against Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday. That game showed they have a long way to go until reaching the optimal form. Their opening game of the season is scheduled against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Dallas needs to do much better than shown in their premier match. The Cowboys scored only three points, and Dak Prescott’s absence still affects their performances a lot. He slowly started getting back to the training process but will definitely be sidelined for this clash as well. Due to Prescott’s absence, the quarterback position is available for Ben DiNucci, Cooper Rush, or Garret Gilbert. The latter one was the starter against the Steelers and put a decent performance. Despite his lack of scoring, he had a passer rating of 93.1.
With Dak Prescott being out for preseason and probably a few first matches of the regular season, the quarterback position will be a pain point for the Cowboys. It could severely affect their results at the beginning of the campaign, and Dallas should find a player to fill Prescott’s boots. His replacement should lead the team to victories and improve their chances of securing a playoffs spot. Therefore, the Cowboys should address their offensive troubles by appointing a decent quarterback, even when Prescott fully recovers from his injury.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Ezekiel Elliott, Cedrick Wilson, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Blake Jarwin, Nick Ralston, Ty Nsekhe, Connor Williams, Tyler Biadasz, Isaac Alarcon, La’el Collins
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Tarell Basham, Neville Gallimore, Carlos Watkins, Randy Gregory, Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Donovan Wilson, Damontae Kazee, Anthony Brown
Quarter Back: Garrett Gilbert
Kicker: Hunter Niswander
Expert Pick #1 – The Cardinals to Win ML @-130
The Cardinals aim for a strong start, and players are eager to prove themselves to the head coach. Although this game could go either way, the Cardinals should be closer to the victory and capitalize on Dak Prescott’s absence. Therefore, my main pick is the Cardinals to win.
Expert Pick #2 – The Cardinals to Beat the Spread (-1.5) @-110
Bookies expect a close matchup, and they set the spread to -1.5 in the Cardinals’ favor. I believe Arizona can beat the spread, especially due to the Cowboys’ troubles in the offense. Therefore, I’m taking a pick with a bit higher odds compared to the moneylines market as my first alternative bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Under 39.5 @-110
Arizona’s solid defense and Dallas’ low-scoring performances drive us to a conclusion that we shouldn’t expect to see too many points in this encounter. I believe the game to stay under a 39.5 margin, and this is my second alternative tip.