MNF reaction - The Cowboys are in big trouble, and the Cardinals aren't as good as they looked

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton is tackled in loss to Arizona Cardinals
Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NFL

Show Bio

I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t foresee the Dallas Cowboys’ offense being this bad without Dak Prescott. Andy Dalton was abysmal in his first start with the Cowboys, as the Arizona Cardinals picked up a dominant 38-10 victory. Dallas is still very much alive in the playoff hunt thanks to the pitiful state of the NFC East, but they’ve got a tough road ahead.

Arizona is now 4-2 on the year, and everyone is singing the praises of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. While the team is certainly better than they were last year, I’m not sold on them as a playoff team, and they’ve still got plenty of question marks themselves. Here are my main takeaways from this snoozer of a Monday Night Football:

The Cowboys are a disaster

This was rock bottom for the Cowboys, but I’m not sure I see it getting much better anytime soon. Perhaps most troublingly is the fact that the problems certainly don’t end with Dalton. The Red Rifle was a disaster no doubt, but so was the offensive line and the defense. Pretty much the entire offensive line was already hurt, and now arguably the best guard in football, Zack Martin, is out as well.

I expected the team to rally around Dalton and come out with an big effort in their first game without Prescott, but clearly they aren’t buying whatever Mike McCarthy is selling. The body language was bad right from the jump, and the team looked completely lifeless.

I think we’ve all overrated the skill position talent a bit, and it isn’t nearly enough to compensate for all the deficiencies. The secondary is showing no signs of improvement, as there are still guys running wide open way too frequently.

Making matters worse, six of their last ten games are on the road. They’ve incredibly given up at least 34 points in five straight games, and unless something dramatic changes, I don’t even see them winning this dumpster fire of a division.

The Cardinals aren’t as good as people think

The Cardinals are sitting at 4-2 right now, and they’re one of the toasts of the league. Everyone is celebrating the development of Kingsbury and Murray, while completely ignoring the many troubling signs beneath the surface of the record. Even against this terrible Cowboys defense in a game they won going away, Murray didn’t look all that good, completing just 9/24 passes.

Arizona was gifted two fumbles early on by Ezekiel Elliott, and Dalton’s incompetence sealed the deal. It was about as unimpressive of a 38-10 win as you could imagine. The Cardinals have played an incredibly soft schedule, and their wins don’t mean that much to me.

First they squeaked by a banged-up 49ers team in Week 1, and their last three wins have come against Washington, the Jets, and now Dallas. Those three teams have a combined 3-15 record, and any time they’ve had to play even middling competition recently they’ve lost.

They fell to the Lions and Panthers, two teams that are hardly world-beaters. The schedule is about to get a lot tougher, as five of their next six games are against the Seahawks (twice), Patriots, Bills, and Rams. They’re going to be without star pass-rusher Chandler Jones for the rest of the season, and I think they’re going to get torched when they play a real offense.

That will come this weekend when they host Seattle’s high-flying passing attack. Russell Wilson should have a field day and expose this unit for what it is. Murray hasn’t been too efficient, and he still doesn’t look comfortable in the offense. This is a team I’m selling moving forward.

Pickswise is the home of free NFL picks and NFL Odds. Check out the latest prop bets and parlays as well as expert underdog predictions and computer picks.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$3000

No Sweat First Bet up to $3,000 - Guaranteed

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $3,000!

Get refunded up to $3,000 in bonus bets if you lose

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

Unibet

$100

Virginia Bettors- Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

bet365

$200

Bet $1 and Get $200 in Free Bets at bet365!

Register for a new bet365 account

Place qualifying bets of $1 or more

Get $200 in free bets - no matter if your bet wins or loses

New Customer Offer. Deposit required. Free Bets added to Free Bet Credits balance. Free Bet risk excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits, and exclusions apply. Must be physically located in VA.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets Instantly

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Make your first deposit and bet $5 on any sports market

Receive $200 in bonus bets instantly, no matter what!

Gambling Problem? Call 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (CO/IL/IN/LA/MD/MI/NJ/PA/TN/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA(select parishes)/MD/MI/NJ/NY/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Void in OH/ONT. Eligibility restrictions apply. Valid 1 per new customer. Min. $5 deposit. Min. $5 bet. $200 issued as free bets that expire 7 days (168 hours) after being awarded. See terms at sportsbook.draftkings.com..

PointsBet

$500

Get $100 in Free Bets, for 5 Days Straight starting

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Your First Cash Bet Is On Caesars Up To $1,250

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account and Place your 1st wager of $10 or more

If you lose, you get 100% of your stake back as a Bet Credit - up to $1,250.

AND win or lose, you’ll also get 1,000 Reward Credits® and 1,000 Tier Credits.

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get $1,000 Paid Back in Bonus Bets, if you Don't Win

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded up to $1,000 in bonus bets if you don't win

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get up to $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply