The Cowboys (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) did not look like the team that finished with the best record in the NFC in 2016 as Dallas was routed at Denver, 42-17 as 2 ½-point favorites. Following a Dak Prescott touchdown pass to Dez Bryant to even the score at 7-7, the Broncos outscored the Cowboys, 28-3 to put the game out of reach. Prescott finished with 238 yards passing, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, but running back Ezekiel Elliott was limited to a career-low eight yards on nine carries. To put that number in perspective, Elliott’s previous career-low was 51 yards, which came in his NFL debut against the Giants last season.
The Cardinals (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) were on the verge of an 0-2 start after falling behind at Indianapolis, 10-0. However, Arizona rallied back to even the game at 13-13 on 40-yard field goal from Phil Dawson late in the fourth quarter. Dawson would connect on the game-winning kick in overtime to give the Cardinals a 16-13 road triumph, although Arizona failed to cash as 6 ½-point favorites. Carson Palmer overcame a three-interception performance in the season-opening loss at Detroit to rack up 332 yards through the air against the Colts to avoid Arizona’s first 0-2 start since 2005.
Dallas began the Prescott era last season by winning its first six games away from AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys lost their final two road games last season (which included a Week 17 defeat at Philadelphia with their starters not playing), while dropping their third straight away contest at Denver last week. Rewinding to the start of 2016, the Cowboys own a 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS mark in the role of a road favorite, even though two of those victories last season came at San Francisco and Cleveland.
Arizona is receiving points at University of Phoenix Stadium for the first time since Week 16 in 2014 in a 35-6 setback to Seattle as nine-point ‘dogs. That season, the Cardinals compiled a solid 4-1 SU/ATS record in the home ‘dog role, although two of those victories came as a short one-point underdog. Since 2015, the Cardinals have been listed as a home favorite 17 times, but have covered the number only six times. Last season, Arizona put together a 3-5 ATS record, but the Cardinals have won each of their past seven home openers since 2010.
The Cardinals have owned the Cowboys over the years by winning each of the last four meetings since 2008. Two of those victories came in overtime (2008 and 2011) in Glendale, while Arizona beat Dallas at AT&T Stadium in the most recent matchup in 2014 by a 28-17 count. The Cardinals erased an early 10-0 deficit as Palmer tossed three touchdown passes, as Arizona outscored Dallas in the final three quarters, 28-7. The last time Dallas beat Arizona came in 2006 as 6 ½-point road favorites, 27-10 as Matt Leinart was the Cardinals’ quarterback that day.
The Cowboys closed out 2016 by cashing the UNDER in six of their final seven road games prior to eclipsing the OVER in their away opener at Denver. The Cardinals hit plenty of UNDERS at University of Phoenix Stadium last season, going 6-2, while 10 of the past 12 home contests since November 2015 have finished UNDER the total.
During Jason Garrett’s tenure, the Cowboys own a 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS in Monday night action, including a 42-21 blowout of the Lions in Week 16 last season. The Cardinals have won all three Monday games since Bruce Arians took over as head coach in 2014, but all came in the favorite role at home.