It hasn’t taken me long to transition right over from a profitable winning baseball season, to a nice start with football. My last official play on Thursday night was an unfortunate loss, losing by .5 as the Chicago Bears beat the San Diego Chargers 33-28. The Bears’ starters dominated the first half of the game, but it turned into roulette from that point on, as the Bears seemed to shut their offense down for the evening, opting to kill the clock. I came back strong last night with a posted play on my twitter account, OVER 40.5 Bucs/Pats, which hit comfortably.
We turn our attention to a franchise that is in desperate need of a successful run in 2013. If you guessed the Dallas Cowboys from reading that sentence, congratulations, because that’s who we’re going to focus on for Saturday afternoon. The Cowboys will make the short trip to Arizona for a matchup with the Cardinals as we inch closer to the start of the official start of the NFL season.
Cowboys vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
Dallas Cowboys +3 (-105)
@ Arizona Cardinals -3 (-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cowboys vs. Cardinals Pick:
Tony Romo is back under center for the Cowboys once again, as they embark on another NFL season anticipating improvements from a season ago. If you remember correctly, the Cowboys had another disappointing campaign in 2012 that had them on the outside looking in of the playoffs. For the Cowboys to be successful this season, Romo is going to need to stop fading in and out of games. He’s going to need to show that he wants this and isn’t just out there collecting a pay cheque. It will help if his number 1 target, Dez Bryant, has a big year as well. This is a big year for Bryant, as we’ll finally get a great grasp of this guy is for real or just another prima dona.
The Cowboys are going through a transition defensively, exiting is defensive coordinator and enter Monte Kiffin. Kiffin is a defensive pioneer of sorts that is one of the grandfathers of the Tampa 2 defense. He will be bringing a 4-3 defensive scheme with him, which will be replacing Ryan’s 3-4 attack. It remains to be seen if the Cowboys are going to take giant strides forward, but their first team defense looked good in the little time they played. We will get a better feel for their defense going into week 2 of the preseason. It appears like Romo and the other starters will be playing the first quarter for the Cowboys. The Cowboys’ quarterback rotation will start with Romo, then followed by Kyle Orton, and lastly rookie Nick Stephens out of Tarleton State. Yeah, I know a lot about college football and I don’t know much about Tarleton State at all. Stephens hasn’t been all that impressive in the preseason thus far this season, which may prove to be troublesome for the Cowboys late in this contest.
Conversely, the Arizona Cardinals are still looking to replace Kurt Warner at quarterback. Since getting to the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers, life has been difficult on the Cardinals. After winning their first four games, including a win over the Patriots, the Cardinals finished the year an abysmal 5-11. The season finished with plenty of hype, but fizzled out, only beating the Detroit Lions after that 4-0 start. The Cardinals bring Carson Palmer over from the Oakland Raiders to try and get the franchise heading in the right direction. The team as a whole looked great, most notably the defense, last week against the Green Bay Packers. Palmer connected with Andre Roberts for a 38-yard connection to give himself a nice start in the Cardinals offense. Following Palmer in the rotation will be Drew Stanton, who has enjoyed success in the preseason with the Detroit Lions as a backup. Ryan Lindley will enter after Stanton, who has experience as a starter with the Cardinals last year.
This isn’t a game you want to be throwing a huge play on. The oddsmakers have no clue what to do what this game, and threw out a 3 on the home team to give the Cardinals a slight advantage. The problem with the Cardinals last season wasn’t the defense, it was their offense. The Cardinals actually had one of the better defenses in the NFL. They even showcased it last week against the Packers allowing no points. Other than the defense, I think the Cardinals will cover this game thanks to Drew Stanton, a quarterback that has many impressive preseason starts to his credit, including last week. I’ll make a small play on the Cardinals -3 for Saturday afternoon.
PICK: Cardinals -3 (-115)