Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals - 8/13/21 NFL Picks and Prediction

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The Dallas Cowboys will travel to State Farm Stadium to take on the Arizona Cardinals in NFL Preseason action this Friday night.

The Dallas Cowboys come into this matchup with an 0-1 record in the preseason after dropping a 16-3 battle against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike McCarthy didn’t have any of his regulars going for this matchup as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, & CeeDee Lamb didn’t see field and the offense struggled without them. Dallas was led by a trio of QB’s in Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci, & Cooper Rush with Gilbert having the strongest game completed 9 of 13 passes for 104 yards. Leading the backfield for the Cowboys was Rico Dowdle who had 43 yards on 8 carries. Leading the way for the receivers was Malik Turner (4 rec, 47 yards), Aaron Parker (2 rec, 39 yards), Cedrick Wilson (2 rec, 29 yards), & Sean McKeon (2 rec, 26 yards).

Dallas did a decent job against the Pittsburgh rushing attack, holding the Steelers to just 76 rushing yards on just 30 carries (2.5 yds/carry), however, the passing defense struggled a bit as the trio of Pittsburgh QB’s finished completing 18 of 28 passes for 174 yards & 1 TD while combining for a 122.9 rating.

The Arizona Cardinals will take the field for the first time this preseason and is coming an 8-8 season last year in which they fell just short of making the Playoffs. Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals will have some high expectations this season as on top of having one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL, the Cardinals added some talent in the off season by brining in J.J. Watt, A.J. Green, Rodney Hudson, & Malcolm Butler while also having a solid draft lead by their top draft picks in LB Zaven Collins & WR Rondale Moore.

Arizona offense finished last season 13th in team offense and had a balanced offensive attack as they ranked 17th in passing offense (244.8 passing yds/g) & 7th in rushing offense (139.8 yds/g).

Leading the passing attack was Kyler Murray who completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,971 yards, 26 TD’s, & 12 INT. Murray is one of best duel-threat QB’s in the NFL and showed that again last season rushing for 544 yards & 4 TD’s on just 93 carries. Murray will have plenty of weapons at his disposal in the passing game this season as on top having DeAndre Hopkins (115 rec, 1,407 yards, 6 TD) & Christian Kirk (48 rec, 621 yards, 6 TD) returning, he will also have A.J. Green and dynamic rookie Rondale Moore as targets.

Arizona did lose Kenyan Drake in the backfield, however, they should still have a solid one-two punch after bringing in James Conner from Pittsburgh to combine with Chase Edmonds who showed that he can be very productive in both the rushing and passing games last year.

The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog, however, are just 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Cardinals are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games as a favorite and just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall.

It’s always hard to get a full read of who is going to be playing in terms of regular starters in the early preseason games, however, we do know that the Cowboys will be without Dak Prescott due to a shoulder injury. Arizona on the other hand has already come out said their starters are going to see some action, including Kyler Murray, and I’m somewhat expecting to see Arizona go at full-speed with their starters for a few series. Dallas had trouble protecting their QB’s against Pittsburgh which I once think will be an issue in this one and as I expect the Arizona passing attack, including their backups, to have no trouble against a Cowboys defense that won’t have much experience in the secondary, I think Arizona pulls away in this one and covers this small spread. Good Luck!

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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