Cowboys Cardinals Spread Line and Predictions Christmas Day

Well, it looked good when the schedule came out, that’s for sure. This game is on NFL Network, and is the only game on tap for Saturday. And, how ’bout those Cowboys? Interim head coach Jason Garret may be just what the doctor ordered in Arlington as the Cowboys have risen to the occasion under his leadership. The Cards, on the other hand, have really been exposed with the departure of legendary QB Kurt Warner and they are once again a dismal looking squad. If Jason Garret can take his (5-9) Dallas Cowboys into Glendale, AZ and escape with a victory against the (4-10) Arizona Cardinals then he would all but be assured of a head coaching job with Americas team next season, kickoff slated for Christmas night at 7:30 PM EST. The Cardinals and Cowboys are former NFC East foes and have faced each other 84 times during the regular season with the Cowboys holding a 28-55-1 advantage in the series. 

The series dates back to 1960 and this week’s matchup will be the 18th time the Cowboys will have played the Cardinals in Arizona.

The Cowboys will continue to start Jon Kitna over Stephen McGee, a 2009 fourth-round pick. Dallas placed Tony Romo on injured reserve Tuesday, and Kitna has played well with a 66.1 completion percentage and 15 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Last week, the Cowboys finally threw the ball downfield. Fourteen of Kitna’s passes traveled 10-plus yards in the air. That’s 37.8 percent of the passes he attempted—less than one-quarter of Kitna’s passes entering that game traveled that distance. That strategy clearly paid off for Dallas, as the Cowboys gained 148 total yards on those plays and Kitna acquired a 118.8 passer rating. There will be opportunities for big plays in this game, and Dallas needs to take advantage of them. Interim head coach Jason Garrett has given Dallas some reason for optimism. The Cowboys, lead by backup turned starter Jon Kitna, is 4-2 over the past 6 games after starting the season 1-7 under Wade Phillips. Last week the Cowboys almost gave the game up when the squandered a 20 point lead against the Redskins, but took the game on a 39-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining. Garrett continues to audition for the permanent job, so he’s definitely going to have his team ready to play against the Cardinals, who have found motivation to be a problem over the second half of the season. “We have to improve in all areas,” Garrett said. “We’ve got to stop the run better, we’ve got to defend the pass better, we’ve got to prevent them from scoring better. We’ll continue to work on all those things.” Obviously, Garrett isn’t giving up a single game and has turned a tumultous situation in Dallas into a somewhat positive half a season. The Cowboys are unsure of the statuses of safety Gerald Sensabaugh and rookie linebacker Sean Lee, both of whom are out with concussions. In addition, receiver Roy Williams (groin) and running back Marion Barber (calf) were inactive last week.

Arizona lost its tenth of the season to Carolina 19-12. Carolina had lost seven straight before nailing its second win of the season. The Panthers don’t bring much of a defense to the game yet Arizona couldn’t get a win as QB John Skelton was held to 196 yards on 17 completions and failed to throw a touchdown. Arizona’s offense is second worst in the league, producing 268.5 yards per game. The team’s quarterback woes have hurt Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who needs 14 yards to reach 1,000 for the fourth straight year. Fitzgerald has five touchdown receptions after amassing at least 10 each of the three previous years. On the injury front, Joey Porter’s triceps injury is considered a strain and is listed as day-to-day. He did not practice today and neither did Stephens-Howling, due to his pulled hamstring. “Hyphen” might not be ready for the game against the Cowboys. Derek Anderson returned to practice but was limited. Clark Haggans (groin) and Calais Campbell (ankle) were also limited. Porter has not been ruled out for Saturday. If he is unable to play, rookie O’Brien Schofield would start in his place. Schofield has played very well on special teams and has contributed much more than expected, considering he was recovering from a knee injury and was not expected to play much at all this year. The Cardinals placed receiver Early Doucet on injured reserve with a hip injury Wednesday. The Cardinals will be playing in front of their 53rd consecutive sellout crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defense is allowing an average of 3.88 points inside the red zone, the best average in the NFL this season. A win would give the Cardinals a 4-4 record at home this season.

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Cowboys vs Cardinals Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Dallas Cowboys -7
@ Arizona Cardinals +7

Game Total:

Over (-110)
45.5
Under (-110)

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Cowboys vs Cardinals Prediction for Week 16:

Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – It is quite obvious from watching the Dallas Cowboys that they really want to play for Jason Garret. They are a much more disciplined and energetic squad after the firing of Wade Phillips. Dallas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games and have scored 5.7 more points per contest then when they were lead by Wade Phillips. It has been rumored all week in the press that Jerry Jones will give Jason Garret the reins to the team next year if he can pull out another win this week on the road. The Boy’s have long been known for their rivalry with the men from the Copper State, they have compiled a 18-7 SU record in their last 25 games when playing Arizona. The Cards have all but given up on this season, as evidence last week in Carolina. The Cardinals were completely stymied by one of the worst defenses in the league in the Panthers and they will have to address the quarterback position this offseason. Arizona is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home and 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games overall. Arizona is also 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Dallas. We will consider the Cowboys playing a passionate, heart-felt game and affording Jason Garret his most precious of Christmas presents in a job next year.

Top Play Prediction = Cowboys -7

Game Total Prediction – I believe we are in for an onslaught by the Cowboys. The Boys’ seem like they have a chip on their shoulder and they are still playing for pride and respect. Jerry Jones has made it quite clear that no job, starter or not, is safe this offseason and that he will use the final games to assess the talent. I believe Dallas will rise to the occasion on Saturday night and put up some points. The total has gone OVER in 5 of Dallas’s last 5 games and has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas’s last 5 games on the road. Jon Kitna is proving that he is an ageless wonder and he has been the number one weapon behind the Cowboys latest success. The Cards are coming into this one very vulnerable, but I expect them to play with some pride and they will find their spots. The Cardinals have been able to score at home, in fact the total has gone OVER in 6 of Arizona’s last 8 games at home. Take a look at the OVER on Christmas night in Glendale. Happy Holidays!

Prediction = OVER 45.5 Total Points

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