The Arizona Cardinals feel as if they may be in for a major improvement, even as they have to transition away from their long-time coach and long-time quarterback. They'll have a lot to deal with in the NFC West, including an expected surge on the part of the San Francisco 49ers. What kind of rabbit does first-year head coach Steve Wilks have to pull out of his hat?
The Dallas Cowboys always draw a lot of attention, and now they'll have a number of people wondering how they are going to solve a dilemma with the offensive line. They'll be without one starter and maybe two when the regular season begins, and they are glad at this point that they invested a high draft choice in help up front.
The Cowboys lost 21-13 at home to the Cincinnati Bengals last week, while the Cardinals went on the road and beat New Orleans 20-15. Now, these teams meet at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
TV: 8 PM ET, Local Coverage, NFL Network (replay). LINE: Cardinals -2. O/U: 40.5.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS: Sam Bradford, projected to be the starting quarterback for the Cards, continued to be sharp in shirt stints as he completed all six passes against the New Orleans Saints. Josh Rosen, who may eventually find himself competing alongside the first team, went 10 of 16 for 107 yards and a touchdown pass. He has also suffered an injured thumb, which makes his status day-to-day. So he will be evaluated right before Sunday's game to determine whether he is good to go. Christian Kirk, the second-round draft pick out of Texas A&M who is being counted on to pick up the slack after the loss of John Brown, had four catches, including a 13-yard TD pass from Rosen. Despite a torn ACL, the Cardinals have signed AQ Shipley, their starting center, to a one-year contract extension. It looks as if rookie Mason Cole is going to assume the first-team role in Shipley's absence. The major concern on the part of Steve Wilks and his staff has been the 183 rushing yards the Saints had last week. Perhaps some of that had to do with the absence of a few defensive linemen who might normally be in the rotation. The linebackers, including Josh Bynes, the "mike" in the scheme, are optimistic about the zone coverages the team will play and expect more opportunities at interceptions. The Cardinals are +1150 to win the NFC West, +4500 for the conference title, and +8500 to win the Super Bowl.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS: Dak Prescott looked sharp against Cincinnati, completing ten of 15 passes, and the Cowboys got off to a 10-0 halftime lead, though they were not able to protect it in the second half. As it turns out, that may his last action until the regular season opener. Some grave concerns have developed along the offensive line. Guard Zack Martin, a four-time Pro Bowl performer, suffered a knee injury and is going to be held out of the last two pre-season games. Center Travis Frederick, another Pro Bowler, has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and the club has no idea when or if he'll be able to play again. Because of this sudden instability up front, the idea has been floated that none of the offensive starters take part in the last two exhibitions so that the club can regroup and get ready to play when the games are for real. Connor Williams, the team's second-round pick out of Texas, is now ticketed for a bigger role on the OL. Randy Gregory, who missed all of last season after getting suspended three times in 2016 for substance abuse violations, finally got back into action last week for the Cowboys. Last week the NFL had a mental health conference in Dallas, and Gregory, who has bipolar disorder, is critical of the way the league handles mental health, stating that they are much more concerned with catching players with drugs like marijuana. “It’s trash. It’s punitive,” Gregory said of the league’s mental health approach. “That’s my experience. Maybe they have something different.” The Cowboys are priced at +300 to win the NFC East, +1150 to win the NFC title, and +2000 to win the Super Bowl.
1. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has nominated Gil Brandt, the Cowboys' director of player personnel for 29 years, as a finalist in the contributor category. Brandt is generally considered to be the individual who brought scouting into the modern age, and the Cowboys were miles ahead of other teams for quite a while with their innovations.
2. Arizona general manager Steve Keim made his first public statements since serving his five-week suspension for "extreme DUI," where he tested over twice the legal limit on the Fourth of July. "I don't want to get too deep into it and personal, but I can tell you that coming away from this has made me a better man," he said.
3. Dallas' Jason Garrett has not been a strong performer against the pointspread in pre-season games, going just 11-20 ATS during his career with the Cowboys.
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News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
- Hamstringday-to-day | questionable
Awuzie departed the previous game with a hamstring injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be active Week 3 versus the Seahawks.
- Neckday-to-day | questionable
Smith missed the last game with a neck injury, and it is unknown if he will line up against the Seahawks in Week 3.
- RibsOut indefinitely | I-R
Brown has been moved to the injured reserve list, and it has yet to be established when he will return to the fold.
- KneeOut indefinitely | I-R
Erving will miss an undetermined length of time while on the injured reserve list due to a sprained MCL in his left knee.
- KneeI-R | I-R
Jarwin has hit the injured reserve list after tearing his right ACL.
- HamstringProb Sun | probable
Gifford sat out the previous game with a hamstring injury, but he is projected to suit up against the Falcons on Sunday.
- TeethQues Sun | questionable
Smith is ailing from a tooth issue, and it is unclear if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Falcons.
- AnkleProb Sun | probable
Lewis missed the last game with a left ankle injury, but he is likely to play Sunday against the Falcons.
- Ankleday-to-day | questionable
Williams sat out the previous with an ankle injury, and it is unknown if he will face the Lions during Week 3.
- AnkleOut indefinitely | I-R
Thompson has been designated for the injured reserve list due to an ankle injury. It is unknown when he will get back on the field.
- Hamstringday-to-day | questionable
Cole missed the previous game due to a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will play against the Lions in Week 3.
- Lower BodyProb Sun | probable
Humphries departed the previous game with a lower-body injury, but he is projected to line up against the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
- WristQues Sun | questionable
Fitts has a wrist injury, and it has yet to be established if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Washington Football Team.
- AnkleQues Sun | questionable
Jones missed the last game with an ankle injury, and it is unclear if he will suit up Sunday against the Washington Football Team.
- PersonalOut indefinitely | I-R
Johnson has been ticketed for the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is unknown when he will return to action.
- AnkleQues Sun | questionable
Williams is nursing an ankle injury, and it is unknown if he will be available against the 49ers on Sunday.