When the Cardinals (3-2) face the Cowboys (2-3) in Dallas on "Monday Night Football" (8:15 p.m. ET, NBC), there will be a very Texas feel to the game. Former Lone Star State high school superstars Kyler Murray and Andy Dalton will duel at quarterback, the latter filling in for Dak Prescott. The Cardinals also are coached by Kliff Kingsbury, who played and coached for Texas Tech with stints at Houston and Texas A&M, too, while Dalton went to TCU.
The Cardinals need this win to get closer to the Seahawks (5-0) in the NFC West and also strengthen their wild-card playoff chances. With the Eagles (1-4-1) and Washington (1-5) losing in Week 6, the Cowboys can start building a comfortable lead in the NFC East.
Arizona comes in with a dangerous offense and Dallas can move the ball well with Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup to help Dalton. The lack of good defense on both sides should make for a fun game.
Here's how Sporting News sees the matchup playing out plus betting information you need to know for the game:
Cowboys vs. Cardinals odds for 'Monday Night Football'
- Spread: Cardinals by 1.5
- Over/under: 55
- Point spread odds: Cardinals -110, Cowboys -110
The Cardinals started out as just under field-goal favorites on the road but the line has shifted a little toward the Cowboys side. The Cowboys will have limited fan attendance to help their home-field advantage a little.
Cowboys vs. Cardinals all-time series
The Cowboys lead 56-32-1. The teams used to be rivals in the NFC East, playing twice a season dating back to the Cardinals playing in St. Louis. They haven't met since 2017, when Dallas beat Arizona, 28-17. Before that, going back to 2008, the Cardinals won four straight, including two in overtime. That stopped a three-game winning streak by the Cowboys. Most notably, the Cardinals beat the Cowboys in a playoff game after the 1998 season.
Three trends to know
— 51 percent of spread bettors like the Cardinals to cover as small road favorites with limited home-field advantage for the Cowboys.
— 95 percent of bettors like the game to go over the high point total with two explosive passing games and two awful pass defenses.
— The Cardinals are 3-2 against the spread this season but all five of their games have gone under in 2020.
Three things to watch
Dalton in for Dak
The Cowboys' offense won't change too much with Dalton at QB. They still will spread the ball around well to their talented wide receivers, but they should lean on Elliott's running a little more, anyway, to protect their defense with a little ball control. Dalton gets a break against a shaky Cardinals' pass defense that doesn't make a lot of plays on the ball and is without elite edge rusher Chandler Jones.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. the Cowboys cornerbacks
The Cowboys will have their hands full with Murray's go-to all over the field. They simply cannot handle him in coverage one-on-one anywhere, so there's a good chance he will get a double team. The problem is, the Cardinals can pose speed and quickness issues elsewhere, led by Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella. Murray should see terrific matchups across the board.
Cooper, Lamb and Gallup vs. the Cardinals' cornerbacks
Patrick Peterson is fading fast as a top corner so there's nothing scary on the back end for Dalton, especially with limited pressure in his face. Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Byron Murphy Jr. all will struggle with the various intermediate and vertical challenges of this trio.
Stat that matters
124.2. That's how many yards rushing per game on average the Cardinals are yielding, ranking them No. 19 in the NFL. The Cowboys should be able to pound away well with Elliott to set up favorable play-action passing for Dalton. The Cardinals can be worn down should Elliott get a heavy dose of carries.
Cowboys vs. Cardinals prediction
The Cowboys will be pumped to play well for Prescott and Dalton will deliver spreading the ball around and even running well when needed at times. Murray's passing and running will drive Dallas batty, so it comes down who can simply score more. The Cowboys do it again on their final possession.
Cowboys 34, Cardinals 31