clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys @ Cardinals: 5 Questions with Revenge Of The Birds

Time to check in with cgolden at Revenge Of The Birds, SB Nation's  Arizona Cardinals blog, for a session of 5 Questions. Be sure to visit ROTB for all your Cardinals updates.

Blogging The Boys: Kurt Warner has been playing excellent ball. But in the past, if you get pressure on him, he makes mistakes. Is that still what you're seeing this year?

Revenge Of The Birds: That still holds true for the most part, with one minor exception. Through the first five games, Warner has actually been able to handle when teams bring multiple blitzers. The problem that he's run into is when the defense is able to generate pressure with their front three or four. The Jets were able to do that and it disrupted the entire offense for a quarter. If the offensive line can hold their own and the Cowboys have to bring five or six to put pressure on Warner, he can hurt you especially given the injury situation in the Dallas secondary.

BTB: In the running game, has Tim Hightower looked better than Edgerrin James? How are the carries split between the two and what are their strengths and weaknesses?

ROTB: The Cardinal running game is hard to describe other than to say, it's pretty ineffective for the most part. It keeps defenses honest but they gain 3.3 yards per carry so it's not like they're actually move the ball on the ground. Most of us are tired of watching Edge fall forward for three yards on every carry and even though Tim Hightower isn't averaging a Felix Jones-like 9.0 yards per carry, we're ready for him to start getting a 50/50 split in carries. As one of your readers stated earlier, a good description of Edge is "when you need a yard, he'll get you three, but when you need five he'll get you three." He simply doesn't have the speed or quickness to be a starting back anymore, at least not on a team without a dominant offensive line. Hightower runs alot like Marion Barber, not that he's got that kind of talent, but that's his running style. He's a force around the goal line because he's got great vision and makes decisive, explosive cuts and he runs with a full head of steam.

BTB: What's the injury situation? Is Boldin for sure out? What about the rest of the team?

ROTB: Boldin's hasn't been ruled out yet but it would be a minor miracle if he played. As for the rest of the team, Ben Patrick (sort of the starting TE) hasn't practiced all week and will have to practice tomorrow if he wants to play. Bertrand Berry, a good pass rusher, has been limited after missing the previous two games, but he's still questionable at best. Everyone else should play including Adrian Wilson, Eric Green and Roderick Hood (all starters). Hood is the only question mark since his injury sounded worse at the beginning of the week, but I haven't heard it even mentioned since Monday so I'm assuming he's good enough to play.

BTB: How much has coach Ken Whisenhunt played in the resurgence of the Cardinals? What's his style of play on offense and defense?

ROTB: Whiz is a huge reason why this team is on the verge of becoming a respectable franchise. He's brought heart, toughness and accountability to a franchise that's lacked it for as long as I can remember. His offensive philosophy actually works against the strentghs of the current players because at times I think he forgets that he's not in Pittsburgh anymore. He'll get caught up in "run on first down, run on second down, try to convert a 3rd and 6" at times but Todd Haley (former Cowboy) is helping open up the offense. On defense, I'm not sure how much he gets his hands dirty. This is Clancy Pendergast's system and it seems as if he's in complete control over it. Whiz's biggest contribution in my mind is that he isn't going to accept losing and it seems like it's trickling down through the franchise. He's got some learning to do with clock management and when or when not to challenge but that's to be expected.

BTB: OK, give me the prediction and how you think the game will play out.

ROTB: I'll try to be too much of a homer with this but I've got to go with my gut. I think the Cardinals can win this game and it wouldn't be a total shock either. It's probably cliche to say this game comes down to match ups but I think the Cardinals match up well with the Cowboys, especially with the state of the Boys' secondary. The Cowboys' offense is going to score points and this game will come down to whether or not the Cardinals can give Warner enough time to score points as well. For a score, I'll go with 34-30 Cardinals.