Arizona Cardinals @

Dallas Cowboys

Mon, Oct 19
5:15 PM Pacific
Rotation: 275
Odds: Dallas Cowboys +1.5, Total: 55

Game Analysis

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Note: I grabbed Dallas at +2.5 early in the week and teased them with Chicago for another Best Bet. The line has since moved to pick, which is out of Best Bet range.

1-Star Best Bet – DALLAS (+2.5) over Arizona

1-Star Best Bet Teaser (-120) – Dallas (+8.5) with Chicago (+8.5)

The look-ahead line for this game was Cowboys -3.5. The Cardinals dominated the Jets while Dallas struggled to take care of business against the Giants even before Dak Prescott’s injury. I think it’s reasonable to say this game would’ve opened Dallas -3 this week if Prescott was healthy. Going through zero doesn’t really count as a point, so the market adjusted about 4.5 points for the difference between Prescott and Andy Dalton, which I think is too large. Dalton’s play was very consistent throughout his entire time in Cincinnati despite his win percentage dropping from 66% in his first five seasons to 36% in his final 4 years. Dalton’s passing grade on PFF was 75.9 from 2011-2015 and 75.5 from 2016-2019. I think most people would say they’ve been impressed by Joe Burrow this season, but Dalton actually averaged 0.7 yards per pass play more than Burrow has thus far with a worse supporting cast and same play-caller last year. This tells us that Dalton is a capable quarterback that is mostly the product of his surroundings. The Dallas offense has weapons and one of the league’s top play-callers in Kellen Moore (Dak 7.7 yppp with Moore compared to 6.4 yppp before Moore) and I do not expect a huge drop-off from Prescott to Dalton.

The bigger issue for the Cowboys on offense is Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith going on the injured reserve list due to neck surgery. Dallas has already been playing without starting right tackle La’el Collins and starting center Joe Looney is also on the injured reserve list. The Cowboys’ offensive line will likely be a problem for them in their quest to win the NFC East, but it might now be much of an issue this week. All-Pro edge defender Chandler Jones is Arizona’s best pass rusher, by far, but he suffered a torn biceps and likely will be out for the rest of the season. In 2019, Jones had 75 pressures (8th) and the next best Arizona edge rusher had just 19 pressures. I do not expect the Cardinals to take advantage of the injury-riddled Dallas offensive line without Jones in uniform.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ pass rush is going to be a problem for Kyler Murray. DeMarcus Lawrence recorded a pressure on 32% of his pass-rush reps last week, which is the highest in a single game thus far in the 2020 season, and fellow edge defender Aldon Smith leads the league in pass rushing efficiency. Daryl Worley hasn’t been terrible for the struggling Dallas secondary, as the cornerback is allowing just 0.82 yards per cover snap (10th), and he will at least challenge DeAndre Hopkins on the left side.

Arizona’s offense is scoring a touchdown on 81% of their trips to the Redzone, which is completely unsustainable (last year they were at 45%), so they’re not really as good on offense as their mediocre 25.6 points per game suggests.

A key factor that may go unnoticed by most here is the Cardinals are playing in their third-straight road game, which is valued as a 1.6-point downgrade according to our metrics that are based on the historical performance by teams in the same situation. Our model favors the Cowboys by 1.6 points, with a predicted total of 54.6 points, and Dallas is a 1-Star Best Bet at +1.5 or more (Strong Opinion at +1) and are also part of our 1-Star 6-point teaser Best Bet with Chicago (both at +7.5 or more to qualify).

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Cardinals
  • Cowboys


  • Pass Plays 39.7 36.0
  • Succ Pass Plays 45.9% 43.6%
  • Sack Rate 5.0% 10.2%
  • Int Rate 4.6% 0.0%
  • Deep Pass Rate 17.7% 15.5%
  • Big Pass Yards 32.2% 46.1%
  • NYPP 6.5 6.3


  • Rush Plays 31.7 25.0
  • RB YPR 3.6 4.4
  • Stuff Rate 15.7% 23.6%
  • Succ Rush Plays 51.9% 46.2%
  • Big Rush Yards 52.7% 30.8%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.7 4.4


  • All Snaps 71.3 61.0
  • Early Down Succ 48.9% 48.0%
  • Succ Rate 48.6% 44.3%
  • Big Yards Rate 40.5% 40.9%
  • Yards Per Play 5.7 5.5
  • Fumble Lost Rate 0.0% 1.1%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 26.0 28.7
  • Run Ratio 44.3% 41.0%
  • Starting Field Pos 22.9 32.0
  • Game Control 4.1 -4.1
  • Points 25.7 20.3
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