Undefeated Dallas Cowboys Try To Keep Rolling Against Winless Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) runs for a first down against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) runs for a first down against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT, Fox

BETTING LINE: Cowboys by 12 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Dallas 2-0; Arizona 2-0.

SERIES RECORD: Dallas leads 56-34-1.

LAST MEETING: Cardinals beat Cowboys 25-22 on Jan. 2, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.

LAST WEEK: Cowboys beat Jets 30-10; Cardinals lost to Giants 31-28.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Cowboys plus-7; Cardinals plus-2.

COWBOYS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR CeeDee Lamb tied a career high with 11 catches and had 143 yards receiving against the Jets. The fourth-year man didn’t score but set up two touchdowns and became the first Dallas receiver with four games of at least 10 catches in his first four seasons. The Cowboys found ways to get him open despite the absence of Brandin Cooks, the new sidekick who was out with a knee injury a week after his Dallas debut. Cooks might return, which could loosen things up more for Lamb. Cooks would get more looks as well, though.

CARDINALS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Dennis Gardeck has been a force through two games with eight tackles, three sacks, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and a forced fumble. Gardeck has slowly become a vital piece for the Cardinals over the past six years.

KEY MATCHUP: The Cowboys defense gets a juicy matchup against Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs, who lost two fumbles in Week 1 but played better against the Giants last week. Dallas has forced seven turnovers through two weeks, making life miserable for Giants QB Daniel Jones and Jets QB Zach Wilson.

KEY INJURIES: Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs torn the ACL in his left knee in practice Thursday. Diggs, who led the NFL with 11 interceptions in 2021, had one of three for Dallas against the Jets. His 18 interceptions since entering the NFL in 2020 are tied for the league lead. ... LG Tyler Smith could make his season debut after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury sustained in practice the week before the opener. If so, Dallas will have intact for the first time the offensive line it expected to open with last season. Those five didn’t play together at all in 2022 because of injuries. Six-time All-Pro RG Zack Martin, who is expected to play despite injuring an ankle against the Jets, is the anchor along with LT Tyron Smith. C Tyler Biadasz and RT Terence Steele are the other starters. … S Donovan Wilson also is awaiting his season debut after straining a calf early in training camp. ... The Cardinals will be playing their third game of the season without franchise QB Kyler Murray, who is recovering from a knee injury suffered last season. He has to miss at least one more game after Sunday to be eligible to come off the PUP list. ... DL Carlos Watkins (biceps) and LB Josh Woods (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday. ... Two-time All-Pro S Budda Baker (hamstring) was put on injured reserve earlier this week.

SERIES NOTES: While the Cowboys lead the overall series comfortably, Arizona has a 7-4 edge since the former NFC East rivals went to separate divisions. The Cardinals have won six of the past seven meetings, including two in overtime.

STATS AND STUFF: The Cowboys were turnover-free in their first two games for the first time in the 63-year history of the franchise. Their plus-7 turnover margin leads the NFL. … Dallas swept the New York teams by a combined score of 70-10 in the first two games. The 60-point margin is the second biggest in team history for the first two games, behind a 67-point differential in 1968. … If Dallas allows 16 or fewer points, it will beat the 1974 “Doomsday” defense for the fewest points allowed through three games. The 1974 unit allowed 27. … QB Dak Prescott will start his 100th regular-season game. He’s the only NFL quarterback with at least 150 touchdown passes and 25 rushing TDs in his first 100 games. … In his second game as the lead back with the offseason departure of two-time rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott in a cost-cutting move, RB Tony Pollard had career highs in rushes (25) and catches (seven). His 48 touches are the most through two games since Elliott had 53 in 2020. The Cowboys will hope for better efficiency going forward, though. Pollard averaged 3.4 yards per touch (32 touches, 109 scrimmage yards) against the Jets. … DT Osa Odighizuwa has three sacks, already just one shy of his career high. … K Brandon Aubrey, a 28-year-old rookie and former Major League Soccer player, needs three field goals to become the fifth in NFL history with at least 10 in his first three games. Aubrey had five FGs against the Jets, including a 55-yarder. ... Cardinals TE Zach Ertz has 77 catches for 735 yards and five touchdowns in 17 games against the Cowboys. ... Arizona's defense has nine sacks through two games. ... The Cardinals offense line allowed no sacks last week. ... Dobbs had a 99.9 passer rating last week vs. the Giants, which was his highest in four career starts. He completed 21 of 31 passes for 228 yards and a TD while running for 41 yards and a TD. ... S Jalen Thompson has five interceptions over his past 27 games.

FANTASY TIP: Cardinals RB James Conner had a big game against the Giants, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown. That's probably not an aberration. As long as Dobbs is the QB, the Cardinals will likely be a team that likes to keep it on the ground and Conner is — by far — the team's No. 1 option.


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