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Cowboys vs. Cardinals: What the experts predict about the game

Can the Cowboys pick up another win without their starting quarterback?

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys face their first big test without Dak Prescot on Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys have never had to play a game without Prescott since he took over the starting QB duties in 2016. Andy Dalton is the main man now, and Monday will give us our first big clue on how how he will perform.

So just how are NFL observers viewing this brave new world for the Cowboys? Here are what some experts think as they share their picks for the Cowboys week six game versus the Cardinals.

CBSSPORTS (Will Brinson): Cardinals 28, Cowboys 21

Andy Dalton in prime time? Yes, I will fade him. I actually think Dalton will play well in this spot, with Chandler Jones out for the Cardinals and the weapons he has at his disposal. But the Cowboys are dealing with major offensive line issues and Dalton without protection is a problem. The Cowboys defense is impressively bad and Kyler Murray/DeAndre Hopkins should be able to attack them through the air.

Issues outside of Dalton’s control worry Brinson.

CBSSPORTS (Pete Prisco): Cardinals 34, Cowboys 30

This will be Andy Dalton starting for the Cowboys with Dak Prescott gone for the season. The Cardinals are playing a third consecutive road game, which is tough — and it’s in prime time. But I think Kyler Murray and the offense will show up big here. This will be a shootout.

That score and prediction feels like every game this season even with Dak Prescott. (Gregg Rosenthal): Cowboys 30, Cardinals 27

The Cowboys are missing their two Pro Bowl tackles and quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cardinals are now missing their best pass rusher with Chandler Jonesout for the season. While that’s not a fair trade-off, the biggest mismatch in this game is the same with or without Dak. It’s the Cowboys’ wide receivers matching up against Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick, the Cardinals’ struggling cornerbacks. Andy Dalton never saw receivers this open in Cincinnati — and as Michael Gallup showed last week, Dallas’ WRs are open even when they are covered.

What do you know? We have a pick for the Cowboys.

SportingNews (Bill Bender): Cowboys 34, Cardinals 31

Andy Dalton is the next man up at quarterback for the Cowboys, and the offense can still function with him at quarterback. This is a homecoming of sorts for Kyler Murray, a Texas high-school legend who has the Cardinals in the playoff hunt. Some might want to write Dallas off. We just think this is the next roller-coaster ride.

Another pick for the good guys.

ProFootballTalk (Mike Florio): Cardinals 27, Cowboys 20

Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury, buoyed by a return to Texas, take care of a Cowboys team still reeling from the injury to Dak Prescott.

ProFootballTalk (Michael Smith): Cardinals 20, Cowboys 10

If Dak Prescott were healthy I’d pick the Cowboys, but I have my doubts about how well the Cowboys’ offense can perform with Andy Dalton at the helm.

Boo. The loss of Prescott is the pivot point here.

SportingNews (Vinnie Iyer): Cowboys 34, Cardinals 31

Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins will cause a lot of problems for the Cowboys’ reeling defense, no doubt. So will Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds out of the backfield, and this is a week where tight end and veteran slot man Larry Fitzgerald can make more of a difference. But the Cardinals’ defense isn’t stopping much, either, and won’t have Chandler Jones to go after Andy Dalton. They don’t really have answers to slow down Ezekiel Elliott and cover Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Dallas plays inspired again without Dak Prescott as Dalton digs deep for another winning play at the end.

We’ll end on a positive note, a pick for the Cowboys. The offense, especially those receivers, are tipped to pull off the victory.

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