In the Week 6 edition of Monday Night Football on ESPN, the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys meet at AT&T Stadium for what should be an exciting matchup in Arlington. It would have been even better if Dak Prescott was healthy and playing in this game. Instead Prescott is at home nursing his surgically repaired ankle. It was a severely damaged ankle, but Prescott is expected to make a full recovery from the compound fracture and dislocation.
With Prescott on the shelf, the starting job belongs to former Cincinnati Bengal, Andy Dalton. The Cowboys are certainly fortunate that they signed Dalton to backup Prescott. It looks like a really wise move at the moment. He may not be in his prime anymore, but Dalton is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL. Dalton has a lot of starting experience unlike most second-team quarterbacks.
The Red Rifle is also relatively young at 32, so while he’s on the downslope of his career, there is still some juice left in his arm. If Dalton plays well through the rest of the season, Jerry Jones might be tempted to pass on paying Dak and stick with a cheaper Dalton. He will be working with more weapons at his disposal than he had with the Bengals towards the end of his career in Cincinnati, so that will certainly help his cause in Dallas.
This is a nice primetime opportunity for Kyler Murray to show off. The Cardinals don’t often get the primetime slots, so this is a rare chance for Murray to impress in the spotlight. He saw more TV time when he was with the Sooners at Oklahoma.
Murray is an exciting quarterback with a lot to offer, though he still has a lot to learn to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. An electric couple of plays can be followed by boneheaded decisions with him, but he brings more positives than negatives. I will say that he’s fun to watch play. Sunday night was frustrating, as what could have easily been a winning night, turned into 1-2 on the props in San Francisco.
Raheem Mostert was injured towards the end of the first half and only played one down to start the second. That was it for him along with our receiving prop. Tough beat, but that’s going to happen occasionally with props. Hopefully we can make up for it on Monday night in Arlington. Head below for our free Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys prop picks for October 19, 2020.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 18, 2020
Kyler Murray Rushing Yards
What makes Kyler Murray so exciting to watch play is his ability to do damage with his legs. He found it far easier doing this against Big 12 defenses, but Murray is still picking his way on the ground in the NFL.
Murray doesn’t have as many dedicated options plays as he did in college, or like Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, but he’s a terrific improviser. When there isn’t anything open downfield, Murray will gladly take off and pick up what the defense is giving him.
Are the Cowboys going to be ready for Murray’s running ability? Putting a spy on him sounds good and all, but the Cowboys’ defense has been atrocious this season. It takes a good defender to blanket a fast quarterback. The good news for the Cowboys is that linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is scheduled to return on Monday.
As far as we know, though, the Cowboys are not going to give him a full workload in this one. They’re going to ease him back into action instead of going full bore. The Cowboys have been getting shredded on the ground with 155.8 yards allowed per game. Murray has rushed for more than 42 yards in three out of five games. I can see it happening again on Monday Night Football.
Andy Dalton Passing Touchdowns
All the Arizona Cardinal have to do is keep Andy Dalton contained and they likely win this game. How hard can it be? The Cincinnati Bengals gave up on him and he’s only starting because of the Dak Prescott injury. If that’s how the Cardinals are going to think going into this game, then I believe Dalton can chew the Cardinals up. Even if they take him seriously, I’m still confident in Dalton having a nice game.
The Cardinals are likely going to score on a bad Cowboys’ defense in this contest. They can’t be much worse than they’ve been recently, but Kyler Murray should still be able to move the football in this game. That should mean Dalton is going to have to air the ball out often on Monday night. In two out of five games this season, the Cardinals’ defense played against Joe Flacco of the Jets and Dwayne Haskins of Washington.
Those are really the only two quarterbacks that the Cards have contained. However, against better competition, they’ve found it a little more difficult. Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Teddy Bridgewater all passed for at least 2 touchdowns, while Flacco and Haskins did not. As far as Dalton is concerned, I feel he can have a fine game in this one. A couple of touchdown strikes isn’t out of the question.
DeAndre Hopkins Receptions
The Houston Texans were stupid enough to trade DeAndre Hopkins away to the Arizona Cardinals. The Texans’ stupidity is the Cardinals’ gain. Bill O’Brien is without a job now, while Hopkins is thriving in the desert with the Cardinals. Hopkins has recorded 45 receptions with 528 yards and 2 touchdowns through five games. That’s good for 9 receptions per game and 105.6 receiving yards.
Murray always looks Hopkins’ way before going to his next option. Despite defenses giving a lot of attention to Hopkins, he always seems to find a way to get himself open. He’s a master at making himself bigger than he is. Through five games, Hopkins has been the best receiver in the NFL. Hopkins has caught at least 7 receptions in four out of five games in 2020.
In the game he didn’t, the Cardinals had a big lead on the Jets last week and they didn’t have to pass much in the second half. Despite the lead, Hopkins still hauled in 6 receptions. I don’t believe the Cardinals will be able to win as comfortably. The Cards will likely have to keep attacking instead of having the game on ice by the fourth quarter. Hopkins should go OVER this total.