Arizona (10-5) at Dallas (11-4)
When: Sunday, January 2nd 2022
Where: AT&T Stadium,
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: Dallas -3/50.5
The Arizona Cardinals are slumping bad at the wrong time and hope to buck that recent trend this Sunday afternoon. But it won’t be easy. The Cardinals visit the red-hot Dallas Cowboys at A&T Stadium at 4:25 ET on FOX. Arizona was sitting on top of the NFL world after a 7-0 start, but have gone just 3-5 since and are clinging to one of the final wild card spots in the NFC. The Cardinals have dropped three in a row after last weekend’s 22-16 loss at Indianapolis. However, Arizona has been much better on the road this season, going 7-1 including four outright wins as betting underdogs. The offense has been the biggest issue during the recent skid. Arizona topped 30 points in seven of the first nine games but has hit that mark just once in the past six games – 16 or fewer points in three of those contests. They were also routed by the Carolina Panthers (34-10) and the Detroit Lions (30-12) during that stretch.
The Cowboys look to stay in the hunt for the top seed in the NFC by posting a fifth straight win on Sunday. The Cowboys are coming of a dominating 56-14 rout of the Washington Football Team, and have now claimed victory by double-digits in three of their last four games. Dallas remains one game back of the Green Bay Packers heading into Week 17. This will be the second meeting between these two teams in as many seasons. The Cardinals rolled to a 38-10 victory as 1-point underdogs when they visited Dallas last season, and have now won and covered in five of their past six meetings. Dallas comes in as 6-point favorites in this one with a total set at 51.
— UltimateCapper.com (@ucapper) December 30, 2021
Injuries can be contributed to the Cardinals’ lack of offense the last two months. Kyler Murray missed some time and they dearly miss star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who remains sidelined indefinitely by a knee injury. The return of running back James Conner could provide an offensive spark. Murray has completed just four scoring passes over his past five games after tossing for 17 in his first seven appearances this season. Poor play from the special teams and penalties hurt Arizona in the loss to the Colts last week, with Matt Prater missing kicks and the team getting called for 11 penalties. Murray passed for 245 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions on 27-of-43 completions against the Colts, while Chase Edmonds had 56 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Arizona standout safety Budda Baker (ribs) sat out practice Wednesday and linebacker Devon Kennard was placed on the COVID-19 list.
After tossing for just five touchdowns against five picks over his previous five games, Dak Prescott returned to form last weekend, throwing for 330 yards and four touchdowns in the Cowboys’ route of Washington. Overall, Prescott has thrown 20 touchdowns through seven home games. CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Dalton Schultz have taken turns as the team’s top receiving threat over the past three weeks. The Dallas defense has been playing well also. They have allowed just 20 points in their last two games and an average of 14.3 points during their current win streak. The Cowboys own a seventh-ranked defense that is allowing 20.5 points per game on the season. The tandem of Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs have been awesome. Parsons has 13 sacks, while Diggs recorded his 11th interception against Washington to match the franchise record set by Everson Walls in 1981.
Dallas is red hot right now and are still going after the No. 1 seed in the conference. Arizona is a mess right and couldn’t even beat the Lions on the road. I think the Cowboys momentum continues with an easy win here.
Pick: Cowboys -6
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