Cowboys' Key to Victory vs. Cardinals: Zeke

BriAmaranthus

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys are still adjusting to the premature end to quarterback Dak Prescott's incredible season. Monday marks Dallas' first game without Prescott as starting quarterback since the end of the 2015 season. Three-time Pro Bowler Andy Dalton will take over with the opportunity to get the 2-3 Cowboys back to .500. 

Monday also marks the Cowboys' chance to get their first victory over a team that has any wins. The Cowboys’ two win victims, vs. the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants, are a combined 0-10. 

Yet, Dallas sits atop the NFL East. 

Will the Cowboys find their footing and beat an explosive Arizona Cardinals team before back-to-back road games against divisional opponents?

RECORDS: Cowboys (2-3), Cardinals (3-2)

ODDS: Dallas is a 2-point underdog and the over/under is 55 points.

BETTING TRENDS: The Cowboys are 0-5 against the spread this season.

FUN FACT: The Cowboys are first in the NFL in total offense and third with 32.6 points per game.

[READ: Cowboys Practice Report: Vander Esch On Field, Dak at The Star]

KEEP AN EYE ON: DeAndre Hopkins, in his first return to the lone star state after seven years with the Houston Texans. Hopkins is the only wide receiver in the NFL with 500-plus receiving yards and 40-plus catches. 

DALTON, QB1: Dalton started the first 133 games of his NFL career in Cincinnati before signing with Dallas this offseason. In his ninth season in the NFL, Dalton is 11th on the active list in passing yards, touchdowns, and completions. Dalton's talent is up to par and so is his leadership, shortly after Prescott was carted off the field ...

"I came here to win,'' Dalton told his new teammates in the huddle . "I came here to play. So let's do it."

[READ: Fantasy Football: Don't Dump Dallas Cowboys]

MURRAY'S AT&T STADIUM HISTORY: Duel-threat Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray is averaging 7.2 yards on the ground this season. The 2019 offensive rookie of the year is returning to his home state of Texas, where he has played seven games at AT&T Stadium, leading powerhouse Allen High School to seven victories. Murray was a perfect 43-0 as Allen starting quarterback, winning three-straight state titles and scoring 186 touchdowns (117 passing, 69 rushing). 

DALLAS KEY TO VICTORY: Feed Zeke

Whether it be in the passing game or the rushing attack, Ezekiel Elliott needs a big day for the Cowboys to win. Elliott is still looking for his first 100-yard rushing game of the 2020 season. As the back-to-back NFL rushing champion, Elliott is elite enough to lead the Cowboys to a win sans Prescott.

GAME TIME: 7:15 p.m. CT, Monday, Oct. 19th

LOCATION: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

TV/RADIO: ESPN, 105.3 The Fan

THE FINAL WORD: "We should adjust expectations; different than optimism. But we should adjust our expectation. Dak is a very, very integral part of the success of this football team. On the other hand, if we don't reach where we want to go ultimately, and the ultimate success is to win the championship, it will not be because of Andy Dalton. It will not be because of where our play at quarterback. He is capable of stepping in and playing at that level." - Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

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