Blitz Weekly

Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals: Monday Night Rerack?

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant stepped up when needed en route to going 11-1 on the season. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant needs to step up and be a difference maker on Monday night.
Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

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By Zach Walker

Game Info
Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals
Monday – September 25 – 7:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN
U of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale – AZ

Records Prior to the Game
Dallas Cowboys (1-1, 0-1 Away)
Arizona Cardinals (1-1, 0-0 Home)

Who do the Cowboys need to shut down?
DE Chandler Jones: Solid dodge by me here, but this game is selfishly all about if the Cowboys WANT to win or not. The Cowboys had enough grenades going off around them against Denver that as much as the Cardinals would like to mirror that, they can’t. They do have the coverage like Denver, and they have rushers too, but after being just mopped with, the Cardinals must expect a different game from the Cowboys. La’el Collins, for as much focus has been on him at right tackle, handled himself well against probably the quickest rusher in the league in Von Miller, and only got beat with under five minutes left in the game, when it was in “face-saving” mode from the Cowboys. The Cowboys line is taking a week long waxing from the nation, for being left out to dry by their own staff. Chandler Jones is a darn good pass rusher, but he’s no Miller, he’s got bulk, which allows the Cowboys to get the hands on and take him for a ride.

Who on the Cowboys, needs to step up?
The Dallas Cowboys Coaching staff. Okay, so the Cowboys got tossed like a rodeo clown, take nothing away from the Broncos defense, but they received aide from an unusual source, the Cowboys’ sideline. The Broncos have three expert level corner backs, and for all the homer-isim in the world, the Cowboys have one top level option to combat them, Dez Bryant. The Cowboys playcallers abandoned the run so quickly, if you tuned in late enough, you’d question if they ever even packed Ezekiel Elliott for the trip to Denver. The Broncos have a damn good defense, but ever dam breaks. The staff abandoned and switched to a perfect game plan for Denver that it made me retrospective. I am just curious, when it was the Tony Romo show, how many times did this staff, i.e. Garrett, simply abandon the run, put the full load on Romo, have him throw into a saw mill, then pepper in runs late for the box score, then chalk it up to the good ole Gun slinger just “audibling” out of plays. Just an unexplored perspective, but solid food for thought. The Cowboys staff is 0-2 is gameplans this season, they just played the Giants, so that’s a win. I’m all for expanding Prescott into a more advanced passer, but at the sacrifice of the run game, the team’s strength, that’s down right dumb. The Cardinals are along those same lines of solid defense with strong aerial defenses, so unless a knowledge bomb got dropped off at the Star, we should all expect to see attacking Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, and a ton of Jon Gruden explaining where the Cowboys are failing to exploit the Cardinals youth in their front seven.

Which group will give the Cowboys trouble?
The Arizona Wide Receivers. My only actual football, ex’s and oh’s of this preview. The Cardinals have Larry Fitzgerald, likely a hall of famer, and the Cowboys will put second year pro Anthony Brown on him, homer-spin all you want, that’s a Cardinals positive. Then they have John Brown, a pure-speed burner, not exactly something the Cowboys are known for shutting a lid on. They also have Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson, two more dangerous weapons. The Cardinals biggest weakness right now is, aside from losing number one fantasy option David Johnson, Carson Palmer. He’s looked old through two weeks of football. As in, hang it up old.

Which group will give the Cardinals trouble?
The Cowboys needing to win this. It’s early in the season, WAY too early for any sort of desperation from any team, but this feels like a pivotal game. The way the Cowboys can respond to a complete dismantling is a seriously important thing to find out. It’ll show the resolve of the team. It’ll show that the game that they played is truly behind them. All that stated, the Cowboys can’t let this game slip from their grasp, it’s too early in the season for their tires to be needing changed. There are players across this roster that won’t allow this game to get out of their reach, Sean Lee, DeMarcus Lawrence, wanting that payday. Dez Bryant and Dak Prescott wanting that bounce back. And Zeke needing to put a lot in the rear view.

What will it take for the Cowboys to win?
Execute. Plain and Simple.

Prediction
Dallas 24 – Arizona 20

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